Discover international travel for the over 50's and take a trip to Slovenia. Postojna Caves are the country's number one
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George: Southwest of the capital something really spectacular, Postojna Caves actually seven caves stretching 13 miles or 21km down into the depths of the rock. It is Slovenia’s number one attraction and it’s easy to see why. You ride the rails into the heart of the cavern for a 90 minute tour. Bring a jacket because the temperature inside is a constant 47 degrees Fahrenheit or 8 degrees Celsius. Deep inside the darkness, the most notable resident of the caves. Proteus Anguinus, the human fish. They thrive in the cool dark damp environment and they don’t like being disturbed by human mammals like us. I was given a special coat because of excessive water drips but that’s after all how all the stalactites and stalagmites are formed. These are actually hollow so if you have a good knuckle, you can actually make music. The Russian bridge transports visitors across the deep chasm. It was built by Russian prisoners of war and once you’ve crossed the Russian bridge, prepare to visit Italy or at least an Italian staple, spaghetti. Time really flies down here and before you know it, you need to catch the train for the journey back above ground. Male: A lot of tourists, a lot of people who don’t know nothing about Slovenia, know Slovenia over Postojna. George: These caves are magnificent and Slovenians will tell you they are the most beautiful caverns anywhere in the world. Female: We’ve been to a number of caves in a number of countries and that was without a doubt, the most beautifully presented walk through a cave that we’ve ever experienced. Right through—yes, that was very nice not to have to walk the entire distance. George: Six miles, some 9km away, Predjama castle sits in majesty carved into the mouth of a cavern in a cliff. There’s been a fortress on this site since the 12th century and legend says it was once home to a wily knight, which is why they still hold jousting competitions here on a regular basis. In Slovenia, try a farmer’s platter, sausages, meats, strupli which are dumplings stuffed with goodies along with sauerkraut and potatoes. Or try golash, similar to goulash. I found a local restaurant near Bled with fine local food and terrific entertainment. The owner even plays a mean harmonica. For dessert in Bled, don’t pass up the kremna rezina, a vanilla custard and cream dream cake. You know about this cake, what’s in there? Female: It’s custard, cream and pastry. George: I wonder how they make this cake. It’s even better when you know how. Slovenia produces wine but the locals drink meditsa, homemade honey brandy. Med means honey in the local language. What is it? Female: This is meditsa. Actually it’s a honey brandy. George: Homemade. Female: Yes, I made it. George: And so it’s honey, what do you put in it? Female: I put schnapps like brandy and honey. Nothing more. George: How long does it sit and wait? Female: You must just water on a fire 5 minutes about 40 degrees and that’s it. George: It’s ready to go. Instant brandy, I love it. Cheers. In southwestern Slovenia, this is the place where the famous lipizzaner horses were first bred. Today, these gold standard steeds are raised in many places but they remain here too. You can see the youngins who don’t turn white for several years. You can watch the horses perform when they do turn white and if you’re lucky, you can take a ride around the property. Barbara was just telling me that the stud farm here at LIpizza was founded in 1580 and it is still turning out the champions today. Female: So all of the horses must go to school and during the school we see how good they are. If they have talent for a dressage or not because the lipizzaners are used just for dressage, not for jumping or racing and during the school, we see how good they are so the best ones at school are used for breeding and also for performance. George: Nearby, the walled town of Staniel named in honor of St. Daniel. It was bombed during World War II and only now are repairs being made. It’s quiet up here and the view is spectacular. Western Europeans have known the joys of Slovenia for decades and now you too know why this is such a desirable vacation destination. Slovenians will welcome you with open arms and probably a bit of broken English. Thanks for coming along with me on this trip. Next time, I’ll take you to Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia. Before I go some words of wisdom from the American attorney, Clarence Darrell. He said the first half of our lives is ruined by our parents. The second half, by our children. I’m George Bauer, travel well and travel safely.