Thursday, June 4, 2009

斯洛文尼亚/Slovenia(Part 4)

*波斯托伊纳溶洞与什科茨扬洞/Postojna and Skocjan Caves

From the pictures of Piran, Bled and Bohinj, you should have gathered by now that Slovenia is a really beautiful country. But if you ask me to pick out my favorite place out of so many beautiful spots, then it is neither the blue waters of Piran nor the green forests of Bled and Bohinj, instead it is the two karst caves, Postojna Caves and Skocjan Caves, which will top the list of my favorite places in Slovenia.

This is not the first time I’ve visited a karst or limestone cave. I’ve visited those in Vietnam and China too. However, to quote Mirjana, once you’ve seen these two limestone caves in Slovenia, you won’t have to visit any more limestone caves.

Most tourists will spend one day on each of the caves as they as not easy to get to with public transport. However, on the advice of Rasko, I decided to squeeze both caves into one day. This is not impossible as both caves are located in the same direction and since you need to be part of a guided tour in order to see the caves, there is only a limited amount of time you can spend in each cave. You will have to take a train early in the morning to get to Postojna Caves and make it for the first guided tour of the day. By the time the tour ends, there will be just enough time for you to get back to the train station and catch the train after noon to the Skocjan Caves.
说其他的溶洞不能媲美波斯托伊纳溶洞,主要是因为它非常、非常大。从每位游客必须搭乘小火车来参观整个山洞,你就可以想象这个岩石洞到底有多大。这个岩石洞已经有几百万年的历史,当导游告诉我们,这些钟乳石和石笋要每一百年才长一厘米,你不得不惊叹大自然的奥妙。这些钟乳石和石笋非常有趣,有些长得像纸张,有些长得像意大利面。因为相机的闪光灯会“杀死” 这些钟乳石和石笋,因此洞内严禁拍照,只有在特定的地点允许拍照,因此也就无法给你们看这个岩石洞到底有多雄伟。
The one big reason to choose to visit Postojna Caves over the other limestone caves is that this is a really huge network of limestone caves merge into one. Just from the fact that they actually have a mini train running through the caves is a good enough statement of how big the caves are. These caves have been in existence of millions of years. When we were told that it actually takes one hundred years for these stalactites and stalagmites to “grow” 0.1cm, one cannot help being amazed at the wonders of Mother Nature. The stalactites and stalagmites in these caves are really interesting, forming all kinds of shapes, with some resembling pieces of paper and others looking like spaghetti. As the flashlight from cameras will “kill” the stalactites and stalagmites and caused them to stop “growing”, photography is not allowed in most parts of the caves. You are only allowed to take pictures at specific points, which mean that you will not get to see how impressive these caves are unless you go to Slovenia yourselves. 什科茨扬洞虽然也是岩石洞,但却与波斯托伊纳溶洞不同。在波斯托伊纳溶洞,从你踏入洞内的那一刻起,你看到的除了钟乳石之外,就是石笋。什科茨扬洞的钟乳石和石笋“规模”没有波斯托伊纳溶洞那么壮观,可是我还是很喜欢这个岩石洞,因为它与后者一样大,你不必坐小火车参观山洞,而是自己不行。刚开始时,我们一直往下走。上上下下后,你就会来到一到河,必须走过一道桥才能到山洞的另一边去,实在像足到世界的中心去探险,真的很特别。所以如果你问我,这两个溶洞应该参观哪个好?我会告诉你,虽然门票是贵了一点,但两个都去,包你不会后悔!!
Although the Skocjan Caves are karst caves like Postojna Caves, it is distinctively different from the latter. Upon entering the Postojna Caves, what greet you are just stalactites and stalagmites, and more stalactites and more stalagmites. In the Skocjan Caves, you do not see that many stalactites and stalagmites, neither do the ones here look as impressive. However, I do like these caves because although they are equally big as the Postojna Caves, you do not take a mini train to tour the caves, instead you trek through the caves for more than an hour. The trek brings you deep into the caves, many times going down and down and down, giving one the feeling that you are journeying to the center of the earth. There is even a huge river that flows in the middle of the cave, where you will have to use a bridge to cross to get to the other side of the river. If you ask me, which of the two caves should you visit, I would say do both! You will not regret it! Although entrance fees for the two caves are not cheap and they are not easy to get to, but they are such interesting caves, that they are definitely worth your effort. And since both caves are different in their own ways, you won’t get the feel that you are seeing the same things even if you visit both of them.

1 comment:

evan said...

Are the stalactites and stalagmites really amazing?? I'm planning a trip to Beirut in mid Jul, during which i will visit the Jeita Grotto. One of the famous limestone caves and one of the candidates for the new 7 wonders of the world!

No photography also I think! Sian!