Lipizaners in Lipica

Trip Start Jun 03, 2010
Trip End May 28, 2011

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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

August 30, 2010

We decided to pack up today, partly because the weather was deteriorating, and partly because we did not want to spend our good Euros on a not worth it campground. We still stopped in Ljubljana long enough for a good look at the castle area, and a nice picnic there. It was a good little hike up, about the same as Soames Hill, maybe a little longer but not as steep. The castle complex was a rather nice mix of modern structures and shops blended nicely with the old ramparts. There was a very interesting art display… little wooden human models, sitting at tables, and carefully manipulated to give really emotional little vignettes. Just by the position of the heads, the touching of the hands, the tilt of the torso, each table displayed a story wordlessly. See the attached photos.

The skies opened up before we descended, and we got very wet on the decent and at the little market. So, we skipped some of the touring we were going to do and headed out to Postojnski where there are a couple of good caves to tour, and on Tuesdays, a Lippizaner Stallion show. The campsite here at Pivka Jama is very pleasant… woodsy like a Canadian site, with all services, including free internet, for a much more reasonable 23 Euros.

It was very cold in the night, the first time we had to dig out the electric heater supplied wth the van. It worked very well, though we turned it off as we slept.

August 31

Another unexpectedly fantastic day! Sunny skies despite yesterday's downpour. We left the campsite at Pivka Jama regretfully, as it was a lovely one, and headed t

We then headed off to Lipica to see the Lippizaners. We finally clued in that "Lippizaner" is German for “of Lipica”, so this was the birthplace of the Lippizaner Stallions. It was a huge complex with acres of paddocks and stables, as well as some tourist draws such as a golf course, casino, hotel and restaurants.

We had read that there was a show on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays, and sure enough, there was, followed by a tour, in English, of the stables and training grounds. The best part was riding our bikes out around the fields before the show, and being able to stroke and scratch the colts while their Moms grazed peacefully in the background.

The show was fascinating as well… probably not quite as huge and dramatic as the Vienna show, but still quite wonderful, and even more so from the fact that we were in their home territory, and able to view the horses close up, and in their stables.

We moved on late in the afternoon to the vicinity of the Skojanske Jama (caves) which are Unesco recognized natural wonders. The campsite here is very rural, in a huge field with only about 5 other campers. The sky is still blue, with some cloud, but it is getting oward Prejamska Grad, a castle which we noticed as an afterthought. It turned out to be quite amazing… not big, but built right into a huge cave setting. It has been restored to the 16th C era, and the interior has some nice authentic looking rooms and furnishings. See photos. With the glorious weather, it was a highlight. very cool now at 6:30pm.  Let’s hope it is warmer down on the Istrian coast, where we head after the caves tomorrow.
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Doreen on

When I took a tour of the stable in Vienna, the girl told us that the riders and their horses (they always have the same one to train and ride) get a 2-month rest at Lipica every year. It's their 'holiday'.
Looks like some of them still work on their holiday. Neat pics and story!

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