Spas, Caves, Eats and Other Rainy (and Not So Rainy) Day Ideas!

Anyone visiting Slovenia in the last fortnight might be forgiven for thinking it rains here a lot! Please be reassured, however, that this much rain in June is not the norm. In the 9+ years I’ve been living here, I don’t think I can remember such a prolonged period of wet weather at this time of year. It really is turning out to be a strange year, weather-wise. After having very little snow during winter, we then had snow in late-April, and now, in the second-half of May and early June, it seems to be April! It’s been either raining torrentially or the clouds have been looming ominously, making it frustratingly difficult to go anywhere too far from home.

The good news is that it’s set to improve soon, just a couple more days of these storms then hot, dry weather is headed our way, yippee! In the meantime, I thought I’d share some of my ideas for how to spend rainy, as well as not so rainy, days in the Radovljica area and elsewhere in Slovenia.


It doesn’t matter what the weather is doing outside if you are inside getting wet anyway! All of Slovenia’s thermal spas feature indoor and outdoor pools, saunas, jacuzzis and modern wellness facilities, offering something for all the family. You can read plenty more about spas and the facilities here and read some insider tips from me, here –



A visit to one Slovenia’s caves, such as Postojna Caves or the UNESCO-listed Škocjan Caves, is ideal whatever the weather. There are over 9,000 caves in Slovenia, though only a small number of these are open to the public. The temperature in the caves is constant year-round so it really doesn’t matter if its snowing or there’s a heat-wave! All of the caves are fascinating and unique, and the current phenomena of the newly-hatched ‘baby dragons’ at Postojna Caves provides an additional reason to visit. Read more here –

Underground river Pivka in Postojna Cave_photo Iztok Medja for Postojnska jama


Rainy days always bring an influx of visitors to the Radovljica area as the small town packs in quite a few sights of interest. You can visit the Lectar Gingerbread Workshop, the Museum of Apiculture, the Šivec House Gallery, and the Beekeeping Education Centre of Gorenjska. More here –

Lectar - workshop&museum4

I don’t know about you, but this miserable weather makes me want to eat, eat, and then eat some more! The participating Taste Radol’ca restaurants all offer home-cooked, and locally sourced and produced food. Or why not visit the Sodček Wine Bar for a wine tasting session. More here –




Visit Avsenik in Begunje na Gorenjskem – home to the world-renowned legendary Avsenik music – a popular style of folk music. There are regular live events, festivals and workshops, and you can also visit the gallery and museum. More here –


There are hundreds of museums and galleries in Slovenia and a lot of attention is placed on culture and cultural-related events and activities. Next Saturday, 18th June, is Summer Museum Night, when, from 6pm until midnight, museums and galleries throughout the country offer free entrance and host special events. More information here –



Admittedly, I’m not a fan of shopping, particularly large shopping centres and especially when on holiday in a place where the great outdoors is so ‘great!’ So when I say ‘shopping’ I don’t mean traipsing round clothes shops, and getting hot, bothered and irritated in changing rooms (or is that just me?). Instead, when on holiday, I prefer to browse craft shops, visit local markets, buy and try local produce, and try to find unique buys. I particularly like foodie events such as Odprta Kuhna (Open Kitchen), which takes place every Friday (weather permitting) in Ljubljana. Closer to home at Vila Podvin in Mošnje a market takes place on the first Saturday of every month from 9am-noon, come rain or shine. You can meet local producers, buy food and non-food goods, and enjoy a delicious lunch cooked by one of Slovenia’s top chefs, Uroš Štefelin. More information here –



I hope to have provided some ideas and inspiration, after all, the weather may mean some plans have to curtailed but there’s always plenty more to see and do until the next sunny day comes along!

© Adele in Slovenia



The Phenomenal Postojna Proteus Phenomena!

Whilst I generally tend not to write about those places in Slovenia that are already huge tourist attractions, preferring instead to write about some of the lesser-known parts of this wonderful country that I now call home, the current phenomena that is occurring in the Postojna Cave is hitting the headlines all over the world and really is a major news story, so I decided it was time to find out more and see it up close for myself.

So, what’s all the fuss about? Well, it’s this weird and wonderful creature – the proteus – also known as the olm or humanfish – which has laid eggs and the world has been waiting to see if these amazing ‘dragon baby’ embryos will hatch.

The olm in Postojna Cave_photo Iztok Medja for Postojnska jama - Kopija

Photo: Iztok Medja

Today, Wednesday 1st June 2016, is a momentous day as the first one hatched and made its debut appearance!


Photo: Postojna Cave

The news about this significant, once in a decade, event first broke at the end of January 2016 when a cave guide noticed the first egg attached to the wall of the aquarium. The female then laid over 50 more eggs until she stopped laying on 10th March.


Photo: Iztok Medja

And then the long wait began for the team of biologists at the Postojna Cave, who have been carefully monitoring movements and, like expectant parents, have been eagerly awaiting the happy day! As any expectant parents will know, it can sometimes seem like a long frustrating wait but, hopefully, the end results are worth the wait! Though one has now hatched, it’s still a waiting game for the remainder.

Biologists at their daily work

Photo: Postojna Cave

When talking with the cave’s management team and biologists, and hearing their tales of tears of joy, I could actually sense the expectancy, excitement, and pride in the job. Yes, the Postojna Cave is a huge tourist attraction but it is also a significant place for research and development of cave habitat and it is clear this is something not taken forgranted.

Cave biologists inspect the eggs daily and remove any that are decaying, which is not an easy task. A biologist has to dive into the large aquarium and inspect the eggs in a difficult-to-reach spot that is half a metre below the surface.

These tiny embryos are fighting against the odds to survive, as only a small percentage have a good chance of developing into adults and there is also the risk of genetic mutations.

Photo: Iztok Medja

Photo: Iztok Medja

The more the eggs develop, the higher the pressure for them to survive. Whilst the Postojna Cave has an excellent programme in place for looking after the proteus, this mysterious animal is still at the mercy of nature and its unpredictability. Preparations for the potential newborns will be very demanding and therefore Postojna Cave’s biologists paid a visit to a French lab, returning with numerous pieces of valuable advice.

 Visitors can’t actually see the eggs up-close, since light, noise, and any other elements which could result in harm to the eggs, is avoided at all costs. Therefore, a screen has been provided for visitors where they can watch live footage of the eggs moving and developing.

Photo: Iztok Medja

Photo: Iztok Medja

Take a look at this short mesmerising video showing the movement and progress of the embryos.

As I had already visited the Postojna Cave on 2 previous occasions, this time, instead of taking the tourist train into the caves, I first visited the Vivarium Proteus where you can see and learn about all the weird and wonderful creatures that live in the cave system, then toured the new EXPO Karst exhibition, which is full of interesting and interactive exhibits about the cave’s history and formation. Apparently, if I grew like a stalagmite, I would be 18,000 years old!


You can learn about the fascinating Karst world and meet some of its inhabitants!


Find plenty more information about the Postojna Cave here – and keep up-to-date with developments here in the fascinating Olm Diary, written by the biologists in charge of the eggs –

For those who haven’t yet visited the Postojna Cave, I highly recommend it, it’s like nothing you’ve ever experienced before, and everyone, regardless of whether young or old, loves a ride on the mini-train!

Photo: Iztok Medja

Photo: Iztok Medja

© Adele in Slovenia



Humanfish (proteus) in Slovenia / Hotel and Restaurant Krek

In last week’s blog, written when it was dry, sunny and mild, I mentioned the new Sava River Trail, vowing to write more about it this week once I had had time to further explore it. However, once again the weather scuppered my plans. I must admit, I did wonder about the wisdom of erecting the signage and arranging the path at this time of year which is notoriously wet, since, as the name suggests, the path runs alongside the Sava river and even during the driest of months will be wet in places.

After last week’s torrential rain and flooding, it will be impassable in places so I’ll write about that at another, drier, time of year; goodness only knows when that will be though as this year anything is possible! Last week it started raining on Monday evening and continued until the early hours on Sunday – literally – it didn’t stop, not even for five minutes. This has inevitably led to more widespread flooding, villages being entirely cut-off, and more heads being scratched and questions asked in a year that has, so far, seen an unprecedented 15 extreme weather events in Slovenia; beginning with the glaze ice in February and continuing fairly unabated since then. The sheer frequency alone should surely be more than a warning that we, and by ‘we’ I mean all of us – not just here in Slovenia – need to take climate change more seriously and, although we can’t interfere with nature, we can at least take more preventative measures and governments need to be assigning more funds to addressing flooding and other climate related issues. Oops, I’ll get off my soap box now!

However, the flooding did turn up one interesting discovery, the very rare proteus, sometimes also known as a humanfish due to the colour of its skin, which was found in the flooded cellar of a house in Kompolje. These rare cave dwelling vertebrates live, eat, sleep and breath in the subterranean waters of the karst caves, and are an endemic species of the Dinaric Alps. They are only found in Slovenia, specifically at the Postojna caves, and occasionally in neighbouring parts of Italy and Croatia which share the same karst characteristics. In this case, it was carefully captured and collected by the relevant cave experts who could ensure a safe return to its habitat.


Also in last week’s blog I mentioned the arduous task facing me(!) of visiting the remaining restaurants which have now joined the Taste Radol’ca collaboration, and which I have yet to review. This week then, it was the turn of Hotel and Restaurant Krek in Lesce. The hotel is situated just off the motorway at the exit for Lesce/Bled, next to the services, a casino and a coupe of supermarkets. It is a particularly popular destination for those transiting through Slovenia, as well as those looking for a mid-priced, convenient hotel close to Bled, Radovljica and the surrounding areas. The hotel’s restaurant is particularly popular at lunchtime with locals who pop in for daily light lunches (malice) and it’s large function area also regular hosts business events, seminars etc. Lesce Sports Airfield, from where panoramic flights across the Julian Alps can be taken, is just a few minutes from the hotel.

Aerial view  dec jan 10 11 013

Having lived here for over 7 years now, I have been past the hotel hundreds of times, on my way to the shops and/or for petrol. However, I will admit, that it never occurred to me to go there for lunch or dinner. Having met and had a similar discussion with the management, I realise this is perhaps a common misconception as one wouldn’t necessary think of going to a hotel restaurant for dinner, thinking of it as being merely for hotel guests. However, this is certainly not the case and by joining the Taste Radol’ca collaboration, Krek hope to further spread the word among locals and visitors about their restaurant and fortunately I also now know and can contest it is worthy of a pit-stop.

A friend and I had the special ‘Taste Radolca’ menu, which is available for the whole month of November at 15 euros for 3 courses (the same price applies at all the other participating Taste Radol’ca restaurants during November). However, the restaurant also offers a full menu of other typical Slovene, and non-Slovene, dishes.

The food was beautifully presented, tasty and excellent value;  mushroom soup to start (although I requested pumpkin soup as having tasted it at last week’s opening event, I knew just how delicious it was!), followed by the main course of roast pork with honeyed-apples and a trio of struklji, for dessert triple-chocolate cake which was rich and chocolately enough even for me!
JUHA  IMG_41280000 PECENKA IMG_414600000

The Slovene television programme Na Lepše, about tourism in Slovenia, broadcast a feature about Taste Radol’ce (Okusi Radol’ce) in last Friday’s edition. You can watch it here, with a thankfully minor appearance by me, here –

Of late, Slovenia seems to be cropping up increasingly in articles published in the press and online, and in various ‘Top Ten’ lists. Many of the articles are inevitably about Bled, which is indisputably picturesque, however it has all kind of been said before. So this week it was nice to see Slovenia’s only national park, Triglav National Park, featuring in one of these lists. Despite it being referred to as ‘Solvenia’, the Park appears at number 9 in this list of 24 awe-inspiring National Parks

© AdeleinSlovenia 2014