After a long drive north, involving both toll booths and border crossings -- the kids never quite got the two straight -- we arrived in the Slovenian Karst, home to zillions of caves.
We first visited Skocjan Cave, a World Heritage site featuring an amazing underground canyon up to 60m wide and 80m high. The trail crosses the canyon on a bridge 50m above the river and winds its way along the cliffside, into which it is carved. It exits into the bottom an other-worldly sinkhole, sort of like Conan Doyle's Lost World in reverse. Unfortunately, I failed to bring the camera, due to heavy rains and a "No Photography" sign that only I believed.
We also visited Postojna Cave, the longest cave in Slovenia, and so big that it features a roller-coaster-like train ride.
Karin: "I like the open cars. That way, you're much closer to the environment."
Ron, noting how close you come to the walls: "Careful, or you'll hit the environment at high speed."
Although I did bring the camera here, my photos are notable mostly for their blurriness and dubious exposure. (I didn't have a flash.)
After the cave, the kids got to play on one of the old trains and build things from giant Legos ...
... while Karin the Lunch Queen performed her usual magic. (Travel tip to the wise: Let Karin fix lunch. Ron leans heavily toward peanut butter and thinks jelly is a luxury.)
But I did bring the camera to Lipica, original home of the Lippizaner Stallions.
And I brought it to Rakov Skocjan, a wonderful park with natural bridges and caves. We started with a visit to the largest natural arch, followed by an immense river cave.
This was followed by a chips-and-disco break.
And more caves and arches.
We ended the day with a drive through the country side ...
... and a rainy visit to Ljubljana.