We left Ljubljana this morning to drive about an hour and a half to Škocjan Caves in Divača, Slovenia. A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1986, this is the largest cave system in Europe. The Reka River flows through the cave and during heavy rains, the river rises high enough to wash out the pedestrian walkways inside. Since photos aren't allowed inside the cave (probably to keep people from falling to their death while taking selfies), check out these Internet images of the cave's interior with the elevated walkways. It's really massive and worth a visit, as long as you aren't afraid of heights!
After spending about two hours at the cave, we drove to the picturesque mountain town of Bled. This town is known for its beautiful lake and the church perched on the island in the middle. Legend has it that if a groom carries his bride up the 99 stone steps to the church on their wedding day, then rings the church bell and makes a wish, they will be blessed with good luck. The Rick Steves video covering Bled has coverage of actual couples doing just that on their wedding day, and it's quite entertaining.
Unfortunately, we visited this pretty little town on a dreary, rainy day. We still had fun though, and even with grey skies we could see the beautiful turquoise hue of the clean and clear mountain water.
Hirsh found the "municipal swan."
Instead of making you imagine the town on a sunny day, enjoy this borrowed Google image...
That was all the sightseeing for this day. We got back on the road for what was supposed to be a 2.5 hour drive to our hotel in Forstau, Austria. What we didn't expect was the 6 hour cluster of a drive it turned into, with massive traffic delays getting through the single lane border tunnel and across into Austria. All's well that ends well, because we made it to our comfortable family-run ski lodge, Alpengasthof Draxler, and received the warmest welcome from hosts that were entirely too forgiving of us showing up 2 hours after check-in closed. 😄
The view from our room!