Some Relaxing Days & UNESCO Caves

Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
Trip End Dec 31, 2020

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Often travel seems like a full time job.

There is forward planning and research to be done, and tracking of past expenses and forward budgets. There are photos to be sorted, rotated, deleted.and uploaded. The blog requires hours to upload photos and write about them, and more hours for the story writing. We are also developing a new website of our own   while we are travelling, which has links through to our travelpod blog, but will also contain information on how we go about our travel. (this is still very much a work in progress!) 

We love it all, but occasionally a few days, to relax a bit, are so welcome!!   

Rovinj, in the Istria Peninsula area of Croatia gave us just that opportunity. We enjoyed swimming in lagoon like ocean almost without a ripple and even, heaven forbid, laid out in the sunshine for a little! The weather was very hot and sunny and, unlike our experiences in the rest of Europe, this trip, we didn't even have any rain at all for our stay. A professional massage each was on the agenda, to straighten out a few travel knots in our muscles. We were able to, in a less rushed fashion than usual, catch up on our blog stories about our time driving around France and afterwards. All in all,we had a few very pleasant days in the very pretty Rovinj.

Our next destination was Slovenia especially to see the UNESCO listed caves. While in Rovinj, we looked at a map and realised the caves were an achievable day trip away, so we hired a car just for the day to cross into Slovenia.

Never before have we seen caves that come anywhere near the immensity of those at Skocjan!  The cave system contains numerous caves and passages, natural bridges, sinkholes and a massive, mind blowing underground canyon. Entrance was only by guided tour and we were divided up into language groups so we only had two languages for each group i.e. Slovenians and Italians in one group and German and English in ours. We walked right down into the cave system dripping with gigantic stalagmites and stalactites, some of the largest in the world and certainly the largest we have seen. Photography was banned unfortunately but even if we could take photos they would not have been able to capture adequately what we were seeing. 

We walked over bridges that spanned two paths, way above the Reka River,making us almost giddy looking down to the river so far below and then looking up to the ceiling of the cavern so high above us. Our guide gave us informative and interesting facts but I think we needed a tape recorder as they were too quickly forgotten!.

At the end of the tour we elected to do the more strenuous option of climbing out of the cave system rather than take a tourist provided lift back up to ground level. We were rewarded with a spectacular waterfall and jungle like flora as we huffed and puffed our way back up to ground level.

Our time in Europe is nearly over. We took a ferry back to Venice and had an overnight in a cabin at a Venice campsite we had stayed at on our 2005 trip. As it is located near the airport it made an easy place to head off from the next day for our flight from Venice to Entebbe in Uganda. Our next exciting adventure, hopefully, is, to see the endangered Silver back Gorillas.  

Travel Tip: We can highly recommend Vetura Car Rental in Croatia. We hired a car with them and were unlucky enough to damage same. The staff of Vetura were fantastic both at Rovinj and Porec, handling all negotiations required and insurance details with no fuss or charge to us. The service was second to none and we were able to leave to Italy the next day as scheduled. Thank you Vetura.

Footnote: Skocjan Caves are UNESCO World Heritage listed.
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