Pissed off in Postojna

Just suppose you’re in the most beautiful part of the world, in the kind of caves that call to mind words like ‘cathedral’ and ‘awe-inspiring’ and ‘wondrous beyond belief’.

To help you imagine, here are some pictures of the Postojna caves in Slovenia (not mine, my camera’s afraid of the dark, so I’ve linked the pics back to their original owners).

postojna caves 2postojna caves3


Anyway, you’re standing there, overwhelmed by this majestic, ancient loveliness, lost in reverie – and then you hear a raucous squabbling noise, and you look over your shoulder, and there are a hundred or so stunted, chain-smoking, video-camera toting middle Europeans slapping their kids and hoiking up their trackpants.  And you get, well, annoyed.

Particularly since the elderly, elaborately painted woman on your right has been told about five times already that cameras damage the cave interior and that you’re not allowed to turn yours on.  ‘Stalinist bastard’ she probably mutters under her breath, as she waits for the guide to turn his back before whipping out the flash again.

Because these are not only the most beautiful caves I’ve ever seen, they’re also the most popular.  You get in via a sort of cattle rail system and then they put you on a mini-train, and then you get conducted in groups of around, well, like I said, somewhere between 100 and 500 moody disinterested teenagers and plump Italian matriarchs on a slow crawl around the whole place until you get spat out the exit, dazed, impressed and fuming in equal parts.

Nearby Predjama castle, on the other hand…maybe it was because I went there on a really rainy day, or maybe it was because you could only get there by catching a ride with a lubricious taxi driver (I’m Slvenko. I like you. Call me!) – but it was pretty much deserted.  And here it is (now my camera was feeling braver).



The story goes that in the 15th century the castle was owned by a guy called Erazem Lueger. One day he was bailed up in it by the Governor of Trieste, who sat down in front with a heap of siege engines and wouldn’t let anybody out.  But instead of doing the decent thing and eating his serfs, Erazem instead kept chucking cherries at the besiegers.  Like, ha ha!  The reason being that the castle is built into a massive cave system, like everywhere in this area, and Erazem was sneaking out to the shops.  Anyway one day he was on the toilet, which for obvious reasons hung out a bit beyond the castle walls, and the Governor lobbed a cannonball at him and knocked him off his perch. And that was both the end of Erazem and of this informative blog post about Predjama Castle. Except for this picture from http://www.castles.nl/eur/sl/pj/pj.html , which is much better than mine.




    1. I suppose so. That’s why all the tapestries and lusty wenches – if one doesn’t keep the drafts out, the other will. Sometimes I wished I lived in one. A castle, that is.


  1. These pics are beautiful!

    In New Hampshire we get our fair share of “leaf peepers” who do nothing but get in front of us on the roads and drive twenty miles an hour as we’re trying to get to work. Then they invade our shops and proclaim that Vermont maple syrup is superior to ours.


  2. How annoying! Run the bastards over! (that’s what a famous Australian politician said on being confronted by anti-Vietnam marchers) As for the syrup – the cheek of it!!

  3. Poor old Erazem. What a way to go! Those caves look magnificent (though I’m not sure about having to see them in the company of the unwashed hoards…)

    1. They are the most beautiful caves I’ve ever seen.So that’s out of..let’s see…about three sets? One being Jenolan, if that counts for anything. They must make a packet out of them though.


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