Friday morning saw us getting up nice and early, but we didn’t mind given the adventure in store: once more we would be crossing the border for a day and visiting Slovenia!
We passed through passport control no problem (most of us were taking the opportunity to catch up on our sleep!) and we headed for the Postonja caves: the second largest cane system in the country.
Once we arrived, we walked through the cave mouth to find a little station and a train waiting to take us several kilometres underground. It wound through passages and caverns, underneath rocky overhangs and beneath long, dribbly-looking stalactites. One cave even has chandeliers!
When the train ride ended, we began to explore on foot. We climbed up and down through different areas: the spaghetti cave with long, thin stalactites, through the old part of the cave where we saw stalagmites that were 9m tall and 500 000 years old, and into the white cave where the rock formations were pearly and beautiful. Our guide told us that the stalagmites grow at a rate of between 1 and 10mm in 100 years: the caves were extremely old. We also learned that the caves got electric lighting two years before London did, as they were so spectacular that many people wanted to visit!
We ended our tour by seeing the humanfish; these are flesh-coloured amphibians that like to live in dark caves, but are now endangered. They have lungs and gills and 4 tiny legs, you could buy cuddly humanfish toys everywhere! The real ones weren’t that cuddly though.
We loved seeing the caves and it was fun to go through all the caverns again on our train ride out.
After a picnic lunch, we spend the afternoon at the Lipica stud farm, home to lots of grey Lipizzaner horses. We had a tour of the stables and learned that around 30 foals are born at the farm each year! They are a whole range of colours when born but they go grey as they get older. Then, they are schooled in dressage as they grow up. The mares then breed new horses, and the most intelligent and agile stallions go to the “high school” to learn fancy moves!
The stallions had large stables and we could stroke their noses – although I think we liked seeing the little foals best.
After our tour we went to the arena to see a performance; the horses and riders were amazing and worked with such precision!
We saw a group of four working together, a carriage pulled by two Lipizzaners doing very precise figures, and a pair of riders, one riding side saddle, riding in formation. The end of the show was pretty spectacular as some of the horses performed flying kicks, bucking their hind legs in mid air, and rearing up to balance on your hind legs.
It was a great way to end the day and we traveled back to Croatia feeling pretty satisfied with the day.
Our kittens had clearly missed us but we fed them when we returned and they fell asleep in our laps while we played cards.
Until next time,
Middlesex East Croatia 2017