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...two travellers in search of the world's wildlife

18 May 2013

Dipping into Slovenia

13th May 2013

I’m liking Slovenia a lot. Today we squeezed in a visit to the picturesque seaside town of Piran, a real Italianate gem on Solvenia’s tiny stretch of coastline. The main Tartini Square was magical under an impossibly blue sky, presided over by a lively sculpture of the local violinist Tartini himself. This town just oozes charm and would be a great place to while away a couple of days.

We also brought our UNESCO World Heritage Site tally up to five with a visit to the Ć kocjan caves, an absolutely enormous underground canyon. The scale of this vast space below the earth is breathtaking, it really can’t be described or photographed. It certainly swallowed up our irritatingly large group of shambling multinational tourists (tip: maybe try following the Slovenian-speaking guide, his group will almost certainly be much smaller!).

In amongst this we found time to ramble through beautiful karst country, verdant green with woodlands and wild-flower strewn hay meadows. The lanes meander as though they are in no particular hurry to get anywhere, occasionally emerging on the outskirts of a pretty hilltop village. I find a great deal of pleasure in a country drive, and I certainly don’t feel that I know a country if I haven’t escaped from the city. How many people visit England without ever leaving London, or at least getting no further than day trips to Windsor and Stonehenge?

Alas, there was one spot on our itinerary today that defeated us. Predjame Castle is a weird sight, built half-way up a cliff in a cave. But although our guidebook said it closed at 7pm, times have changed and when we rocked up at 6:10 it was already locked up. Mind you, I have a feeling that the view from the outside is the chief reason for a visit. Job done.

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