Much to report today. We heard of a Grotto in Trieste, so prior to leaving towards Ljubljana we made two goals for ourselves. (as Catharine says: “Goals are important”) Goal 1: Find this Grotto (Grotta Gigante) Goal 2: Find Prosecco. Ok, for those of you that know JoAnn you will clearly understand the meaning of Goal 2. She drinks this stuff like a fish and if there is a town named Prosecco that can only mean that something good comes from there.
We started on goal one directly after breakfast and met quick success. This place is AMAZING. 100 meters deep (500 stairs down and then 500 stairs up). we set out to see it and here is what we found:
This is a pretty amazing hole in the ground! Now I wish to point out two subtleties in the next two pictures. You may need to blow them up to see it: On the first picture, the stairs we walked down to this point are visible going up the cliff face. In the second picture the stairs we are about to go up are visible. Yes — it was pretty daunting!
The tubes hanging down are a pendulum style seismograph (well not exactly but close) for measuring the slow movement of the earths crust. This is only one of several in the world.
And finally some view shots along the way. It was really an amazing morning to walk through the cave. One of the best things is the cave is a constant 11 degrees C or 52 degrees F. This was most excellent as the weather has been high 80 and low 90s for the last several days.
Then — on to Prosecco: This was a success and a failure as the city was there but there were no signs of bubbling wine at all.
We then smashed through the Iron Curtain as we drove from Italy into Slovenia. OK — I admit my hopes were pretty low for the old eastern block but I am very pleasantly surprised here. The roads are the best since Germany — no problem doing 160 kph and very smooth. We arrived in Ljubljana and our hotel is modern and VERY nice. The people were super friendly and helpful.
We walked around downtown — just 10 minutes from the hotel and the place is really gorgeous and the building all look as if they have been refurbished. I am very impressed with this place. For Lunch I had goulash that was really good and JoAnn had pasta with asparagus and lots of garlic. Amazing place. Here are a couple of shots — but we still have another day here so you will see more of this tomorrow.
And Last — Just so you all know I have been a good steward with the car and I am keeping it free from dents: Here is the car– still in good shape.