14 March 2018

The Hidden Secrets of the Underworld - Mayor's Cave

The spring is slowly crawling in. Nature will soon put on its wonderful colours. It will be some more work as the winter came very late this season, nevertheless, the buds will steadily start to blossom.

However with spring comes also the unpredictable weather and in the beginning, it is still fairly cold. It's in human nature to always complain, I guess. When it's winter they want summer, when it's spring they wouldn't like it to rain when summer finally comes it's too hot and autumn is always the most hated season of all.

So, what one can do to escape the ever-changing weather outside and not be stacked away indoors?
Slovenia is intertwined with caves. There is reportedly 10.200 caves registered here of different depths and different lengths and each year 100 are discovered anew. Only a couple of dozens is open to visitors, but still plenty of them to explore.

So, if you like your weather steady you should visit a cave as there is a constant temperature of around 10 degrees Celsius, humidity is not high and there are perfect conditions for people with breathing problems. Therefore in winter is nicely fresh and in summer it is refreshingly cooling.

And there is much to do in there as well. You can ride in them, many of them hide a un underground lake that you can take a boat in and all of them offer a stunning view of the underground world that we can enter for a while but will never be truly a part of.

There is perhaps most know cave in Postojna, there is also enchanting ┼ákocjanske caves, because of its uniqueness also unlisted on the Worlds Heritage list and there are smaller caves and just as stunning that are not so know but where you can experience the true making of the cave, centuries-long work of nature.

One of such caves is a ┼Żupanova or Mayer's cave, hidden in the wilderness of Dolenjska region, near town Grosuplje, not far from the capital Ljubljana. 

It was discovered in 1926 by a then mayor of a small town nearby though some parts of the cave were known since 17th century. It is a 360m wide and 77m deep aggregate of 8 halls, which of seven are open to visitors.

The cave's underworld is beautiful and mesmerizing. Even the kids will love it as there are bats hanging down the rocks, steep steps that lead to the cave's depth and all the stalagmites and stalactites are just breathtaking. The caves are probably the closest thing the human eye will see resembling the centre of the Earth.

It always amazes me how powerful nature's work is and what amazing things it produces. And just to think that it takes thousands of years for dripstone to grow for a centimetre and what unimaginable forms it can make.

I had a difficult time to select the photos as all of them were pretty amazing. Normally we wouldn't be able to take photos in a cave as it is damaging to the dripstones, but as we were the only one visiting at that time, the guide let us take as many photos as we wished.

The Mayor's cave was also the site of a very famous (for Slovenes) Slovene film in the series of stories about Kekec, a literary figure that we all read and loved when children. Because of their excellent acoustics the cave occasionally hosts choir concerts too.

You can visit it on weekends and holidays.

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