Paloma is today at jaw-dropping, world famous Postojna Park, Slovinea.( N45.781500 E 14.202140). The cave system, is a series of caverns, halls and passages extending to 24km long and nearly three million years old, all of which was hollowed out by the Pivka River, which enters this subterranean world at the cave’s entrance. The caves where first discovered and opened to touirsts back in the 1818 and they have flourished and grown into this popular attraction, which reportably has around 1.6 million visitors a year !
Postojna Cave has a constant temperature of 10°C with a humidity of 95%, so a hoody and walking boots were donned, even though the rest of the place is basking in hot sunshine.
Now neither Michele or I are big tourist attraction people, normally choosing to avoid paying for things like this, but sometime, like today when we are only a few km from such a place, you just have to go !
Entrance wasn’t anywhere as bad I thought at €28 each, plus they have a fully serviced motorhome aire at only €18 for 24 hours.
The train takes you to the Great Mountain cavern, think Dr Evils layer in the Austin Powers films and you’ll have the picture in your head…
Guilds like this make the day, when like me you’re full of questions that all start, why ? What? When ?
The cave galleries, decorated with a vast array of stalactites shaped like needles, enormous icicles and even spaghetti, all these natural formations are created by different surface rocks allowing water to penetrate at diffent rates.
The stalagmites ( on the floor) form pillars, cool sculptures and translucent curtains that look like rashers of bacon in the half light.
At this point one of the polish visitors on our tour, reminds the guide of how during WWII a polish resistant team blow up the Nazi fuel and bullets stored in the cave system, the guide then went on to complete the story and further on he pointed out how they entered the Nazi controlled caves- brilliant guide !
Through beautiful caves that are filled with wonderful stalactites and stalagmites that are up to three million years old (the guide tells us takes up to 30 years to produce 1mm of growth) until we reach the farthest point which is about 140 meter underground.
The tour continued through the Winter Hall, showing off the snow-white brillant stalagmite called the Diamond and the neighbouring baroque pillar, somehow over the millions of the years the different ores in the earth didn’t mix and leave us with two amazingly different rock formations next to each other.