A little more than an hour away from Ljubljana is the small town of Postojna. It houses one of the most famous and most visited cave systems of Slovenia and world. Postojna Caves is a 21 kilometres long cave system with 3 kilometres open to tourist access. This is by far the most comfortable caving experience one can have – they take you 2 kilometres inside the cave on a train and then start a guided walk of about a kilometre going up and down inside the cave. I have been to a couple of limestone cave systems before and this one is by far the most beautiful. They have different kind of dripping rock formations all over and they have named them also, interesting! So walking through the cave system you will come across spaghetti hall, while hall and beautiful caves! They also have a concert hall inside in which we were told they actually hold concerts.
The rock formations here are dates some 300 million years back and they are formed in three layers – upper layer has mostly collapsed and what we walk around comprises the middle layer. Light from surface doesn’t reach inside of these caves and that has given rise to interesting life forms here. There are over 300 species in here which are found only in such caves. The most interesting specie is Proteus – commonly known as human fish. Human because it can live up to a hundred years like human and fish because it can live underwater. Though, it is a mammal. Proteus are pale because of absence of melanin – because they don’t need it and also eyes because they live in absolute dark. They also have very slow metabolism so they can actually survive over a year without eating anything.
Ten kilometres from Postojna Caves there is another interesting place, the fabled castle of Predjama. It was in my itinerary to go there but I ran out of time and strength to walk that distance. Hiring a taxi, hitch hiking or own vehicle are the only other options between two places if one doesn’t want to walk.
My trip to Postojna was marred from the beginning. Because of storms a week early, trains were not running on the route and instead railway had provided buses to run on same time, but they do not reach on same time. I took the bus to Postojna which dropped me off there a bit late and though websites say that caves are just there near train station, it actually is a good 3 kilometre walk. So by the time I reached caves it was almost time for last trip inside the cave. I was lucky that they let me in last minute. Cave and Castle both have different timings for different seasons so it would be advisable to figure it out before going.
If you are in Slovenia or crossing through it, do at least one of the caves there – the country it dotted with caves system. Skocjna and Postojna are the two famous and bigger once. It is a must have experience.
1:12 PM – Ljubljana (Slovenia) – 2606 to Postojna (Slovenia) at 2:20 PM
5:33 PM – Postojna (Slovenia) – 2615 to Ljubljana (Slovenia) at 6:40 PM