Caves at Postojna, Slovenia

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Yes indeed. Once again I went to place I'd never heard of before. Talk about not planning your trip ahead.

Even so, it's the surprises en route that sometimes surprise the most. This cave, or perhaps these caves expresses the scene better, go for some 20 kilometers. And just to be clear, since we're talking caves here, that's underground.

I admit that these photos don't capture the depth and size of the place, but they do capture some of the natural beauty. More importantly, the caves are a study in patience. The patience and time that are among nature's great pallets. For example, those are stalactites shown above (inadvertent pun here, but I guess stalactites will always be show above, it's the stalagmites that should be shown below). And those stalactites are more than a meter long. They grow at a pace of one centimeter in one hundred years. That's patience.

And these are more than two meters.

This photo shows the size of the place, when we look at the size of these short-lived humanoids (by comparison to the stalag something's around them).

 

 

And so let's catch a few images that capture the beauty of what nature can do when given endless time away from the harassment of humanoids.

 

 
The photo above shows something I've never seen before (which, when I think about it is pretty much the theme of this whole trip). Those are cave curtains. That's right cave curtains. They are thin, thin variations on our friends the stalactites. But the curtains have even greater patience. To grow one centimeter it takes 500 years. Some of the cave curtains at Postojna were more than a meter wide. That's more than 50,000 years by my crude calculations. That's patience.
Lets imagine for a second a conversation between papa cave curtain and junior, who's only a centimeter or two big.
“Don't worry son, you'll grow up soon. Why in ten or twenty thousand years you might be big enough to reach out and touch that lovely little cave curtain just right over there. I can tell already she's got feelings for you. And besides, who else is she going to reach out to? And I know ya can't see me son cause its pitch black in here, but I'm still with ya and rootin for ya all the way.”
So I digress, but that's what the feeling inside such an ancient place can do to you. But I'm not off my rocker talking about life inside the 20 kilometers of the caves. Here's a shot stolen from the Internet of one of the 150 or so life forms that live in that complete darkness (except for the lighted tourist paths that cover only a small part of the caves for only a few hours a day). By the way, this Olm is not flying, it's swimming in one of many little waterways in the caves. Originally, the caves were formed by huge underground streams. Those streams, they say, are now flowing deeper into the earth. What creatures lay there below?
 

This cave dweller can grow up to two meters in length, cannot see, but has an intricate sensory system. Note the ears.

It lives on the other life forms that inhabit the darkness, such as snails, crabs and worms. There are stories that it has attacked humans who've got too close in the darkness of that cave. The three claws can be particularly dangerous.

By the way, I made up that “two meter” length bit. And also the attacks on humans. The Proteus, or Olm is only little. The ones I saw were shorter than your index finger (since I'm not good with centimeters and millimeters). I emphasized the possible size to give you that spooky rush that comes from the fear we all have of what lies out there in the darkness and in the unknown. Caves will do that to you.

So, back to our tour.

 

 

These stalacsomethings go from ceiling to floor, and that distance is more than 20 meters. At one centimeter per 100 years, well, you've got my point.

 

Just to give you a sense of the size of the place, this photo shows a foot bridge some ten meters up and there's still lots of room to the top of the cave.

 

This is the cement walkway that takes you on a one hour walk through just a small part of the caves. You can see that for some lucky stalactites and stalagmites after many millennium they can embrace.

So, in the end, nature tells us that patience will be rewarded.

And I'd write more, but hey, I gotta go.

Once again, another train to catch.

 

 









About This Place…

"This website is dedicated to the many people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo who have suffered and died."

 

The writer was a journalist, prosecutor, and Canadian soldier who is now trying to help the people who live in the DR Congo.

 

The photographs and the commentary here are solely those of the writer and his pet dog named "Bark." The United Nations and MONUSCO have nothing to do with this website.

Similarly, the township of Puskokum in eastern Tennessee is equally not interested.