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Wiles Family’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 13 May 2007

Location: Paris, France

MapThought we should tell you a bit more about our cave/mine experiences. The train ride into Postojna Cave would have our friends Paul or Mark permanently hunched over as Mike and I were ducking quite a bit to avoid hitting our heads; even Georgia (although she wasn't in danger) felt she had to duck; and the train driver? He was OK as he sat lower than us and he had a roof. When we got off the train we were split into language groups, English was the smallest group by along way. The other languages were Slovenian, German, Italian.
At Skocjan Caves they also split the group into languages but the two guides took two languages each so our guide spoke first in Slovevian and then again in English. The groups here seemed more even in size. You had to walk a lot here and some of the groups had come off tourist coaches. It was quite slippery in parts in this cave because of the river, so we walked very slowly. We caught a cable car for a short distance at the very end.
In the Salt Mine at Hallein, in Austria, we had to put on protective pants and jacket over our clothes. We also caught a train here, this one you sat astride; however as it is a man made tunnel you don't need to worry about losing your head! When you get off the train you walk through a very narrow tapering tunnel, you wouldn't want to be much broader than Mike. This tunnel has got narrower over time apparently due to compression of the earth, that's a bit freaky! However when it's absolutely bucketing down outside with rain being underground is quite sensible. We also caught a barge across an underground salt lake, but the really fun part was sliding down the wooden slides. The first one about 25m long and we were clocked doing more than 15km/hr literally by the seat of our pants! The second slide was 42m long but there was no radar on this one, we definitely felt we were going faster. While we were underground here we also walked from Austria in Germany and back again, cool eh?