We got an early start today to make the most of this mother’s day. South of Ljubljana is a region called the Karst. It has caves. Super big huge caves, Carlsbad Cavern and Mammoth cave huge. Many many many years ago some of the roofs of the caves collapsed into what is called a Doline. It is all very cool too.
The caves system we visited is Skocjan Caves (another UNESCO site). It was very interesting to see how the European caves compared to the US caves. The most notable difference is the land – in the US the caves systems are protected for miles by the National Park service. Here, Skocjan Caves gets its name from the town of Skocjan that sits right on top of it. I think we had to walk througha few back yards to get to the cave entrance. There was no Junior Ranger badge to be earned by Brody nor was there a visitor center with exhibits about the history or park formation. But there was a restaurant and souvenir shop.
Before our tour we walked along a nature trail to the Dolmine overlook. They had nature information and some history about royalty who visited back in the day. Whomever did the translating really needs to be replaced:
The children immediately took to throwing rocks over the edge to see if they could hit the water below. After a doaen or so flings by everyone we noticed the sign of a person throwing a rock with a big “X” through it. Scarlet relieved us of our guilt by pointing out that it was meant only for people with ponytails.
Our cave tour took us around over and through the part of the cave that has collapsed and sections with the river running through it. This is the point where the Reka River disappears for 30 kilometers then reappears over in Italy. The clever Slovenians call the river “Reka” which means, “River”. The guide admitted that there are a lot of rivers in Slovenia called Reka.
After the tour we learned that there is a museum in the town. The museum turned out to be a couple of one room shacks, one with a thatched roof. We couldn’t really comprehend much. The children were more enamored with the St Bernard puppy outside than anything in the “museum”
Ten minutes from the caves is Lipica, Slovenia. Home of the Lipica Stud Farm. Acres and acres of trees, green grass and over 300 beautiful white horses-Lipizzaners. We toured at the time of year when there are little Lipizzaner colts with their mommas. Who knew these little guys were born dark and lighten up over 4-7 years. Eventually turning white.
Of course we had to stay for a show – it’s the Lipizzaners – horses of royalty! Not being very savvy about horse dressage, it was a little disappointing. Our tourguide really impressed on us how much work was put into training the horses and the rigorous selection process. Only the most talented are chosen and the bloodlines are watched closely. Al this and it looks like they get the horses to skip and beg. I was hoping to watch them jump around like bunnies but they just did the up on 2 legs pose and came back down. They did keep in time with the music so that was nice.
My view of the show may be a little tainted by the fact that I could not get a good picture. There isn’t a shutter control on the iPhone. Every single one is blurry- the darn prancing horses wouldn’t stop moving – not even for a second.
To round out mothers day the children gave me a necklace with matching earrings. These were items they found up in Prague and Lake Bled. We haven’t been picking up any souvenirs so I am very pleased that I will have a little something to bring home with me.
Girls have another video ready from our time in Berlin: click here