Generally, UNESCO World Heritage Site status suggests a place is going to be worth seeing, but nothing could prepare for the scale and majesty of the Skocjan Caves.
Led through a tunnel into a series of small antechambers, the initial sense is that much the same can be expected as from any subterranean experience. However, after passing through several halls with remarkable stalagmite formations, the main focus of the tour emerges…
Looming before the visitor is a 120 foot high chasm, spanned by a bridge no more than two feet wide and lit by a chain of small lights in the rock, giving the impression of some sort of underground civilisation. For anyone who has seen or read the Lord of the Rings, the best comparison is to Khazhad-Dum. From here, the path climbs steeply to surface in the gaping mouth of Schmidl Hall, from where the optional path back up to the centre, while strenuous, passes two impressive waterfalls, one of which emerging from a cave.
The taxi driver who drove us there seemed confused that we wanted to go here and not the more famous Postojna caves. However, though I cannot say what those caves are like, for a fraction of the price and a truly unforgettable experience, Skocjan is not to be missed!
(Photography is forbidden within the cave system- hence the lack of my own photos, but there are postcards galore to be bought)