Predjama Castle and Škocjan caves, Slovenia

Not my photo
Slovenia has some great natural wonders to see. Lake Bled and the Vintgar gorge are just a small glimpse into what Slovenia has to offer. Slovenia also has a lot of caves, one of them being Europe’s 3rd largest cave system. I found a picture of a cave on Pinterest and showed it to my husband. He said “that looks just like the one in the move Lord of the Rings,” so naturally he had to find it. Lucky for us it was on our way home from Croatia! 

     This cave system is called the Škocjan caves and it was amazing to see in person. There are different options for viewing the cave. There is the original cave system which I believe cost 15 euro per person, there was the new section they just recently opened up and then a combined option. We did the combined option that cost 20 euro per person. We figured for another 10 euro total we might as well see it all! We thought it was worth every penny! 
     This cave has a river running through the bottom of it which runs all the way to the Adriatic Sea. The tour guides spoke Slovenian and English during the tour. He explains how the cave was formed, who discovered it first, how they discovered it and talk about what happens when the river floods. Unfortunately photography was not allowed so I could not use my nice camera. 
     We did sneak a few photos from our phones (make sure your flash is off) so they are terrible quality. If this is something you’re interested in, be prepared to do a lot of walking up and down stairs. The cave stays the same temperature year round so we wore pants and a rain jacket due to water dripping throughout the cave. We were fine inside the cave but once we left there was some outside walking we had to do and it was SO hot! So if you go when it’s warm outside just make sure you have some water with you! 
Where the river enters the cave.

     Once we finished up with the caves we drove to Predjama to see the Predjamat Castle that is built into the side of a mountain. This is a really awesome sight to see! The castle also has its own cave system that you can tour. We only toured the castle due to time constraint which cost 9 euro per person.

     Here is a little history: There was a knight back in the 15thcentury who killed someone important so he was being hunted and he stayed in the castle for 1 year.  “But, much to the dismay of his adversaries, he continued to survive and taunt the attacking soldiers by pelting them with cherries. They couldn't figure out how he was getting his supplies. As far as they knew, there was only one way in and out of the valley, and the castle. But the cunning knight knew better. Unbeknownst to the soldiers, Erazem knew of a secret tunnel leading from the castle, which allowed him to travel to the nearby village of Vipava and collect supplies, including hoards of fresh cherries when the season was ripe. 
     But it seemed that the soldiers were to have the last laugh. With the strategic placement of a small signal flag, a servant of Erazem was bribed to reveal when his master was in attendance at that place where the elusive knight and even the noblest of men needed to go after consuming lots of cherries and wine: the outhouse. Unfortunately for Erazem, the toilet, situated on the top floor and at the very edge of the castle, was the one place that wasn't so impregnable. When the moment came, the flag was placed there by the treacherous servant. A single cannon ball was launched, and the errant knight was literally caught with his pants down.”

     The Škocjan caves and Predjama Castle are only 30 minutes apart from each other. On the way to the castle there is another cave system, Postojna caves. We did not do this but it looks like they have some great thing to do including a train ride tour of the cave. We plan to go back to Slovenia to do this.