The hidden cave of Gradenc
As I wrote before, Slovenia mainly consists of a lot of rock and stone. That means there are caves as well, and a whole lot of them. There are currently more than 14,000 caves registered, and hundreds more are discovered every year. Now of course I could write about the Postojna and Škocjan caves, but I think that almost everyone who has ever been to Slovenia or has read about it, already knows about these caves or has been there. Postojna in particular is one of the main tourist attractions in Slovenia. Years ago the smaller caves of Škocjan were less known and therefore less touristy, but nowadays, these caves are also visited en masse. I’ve been to both and love them both.
But in addition to these large caves that are open to tourists, there are so many smaller caves everywhere. And even our village Gradenc has its own »cave«. One that is always filled with water, summer and winter. It never flows over and the water never freezes. It is therefore a good place for drinking water for the wildlife in the area.
It is hidden between the bushes on the hill, between the village and the vineyards above, and there are always many deer and other game walking up and down. We could never have found this place ourselves, but we heard about it from a neighbor and then went looking for it.
Some time ago, Bine was visiting at a villager’s house and this cave came up in their conversation. The man then pulled out photos from years ago when the cave was cleaned once. I didn’t understand it at first. A cave full of water being cleaned?? As it turns out, they had drained the water by means of a hose and then started with shovels and wheelbarrows to remove the thick layer of mud that was at the bottom. The water always seeps through from the rocks but, of course, that goes very slowly, and so they had enough time to remove all the mud after which the cave slowly filled up with water again. Bine also thought it was interesting to see and took pictures of those old photos with his phone. Unfortunately, they are therefore of very poor quality, but you can see what it looked like.
When looking in the cave when filled with water, you see that there is an opening that continues further, that is the hole on the right that can be seen in the photos. On the left is another smaller opening, but it doesn’t lead anywhere. The opening on the right continues, and a few men went in to look, but they couldn’t find the end and did not want to go too far in. So no one knows how far the cave extends. On the back wall of the cave, you can clearly see a line to where the water normally stands and because someone is standing in it you can also see how deep the front part is. The strange thing is that the times we went to have a look, there were always fish swimming around in it. No idea where they came from.
I think it’s just a weird idea that there are so many holes and caves in the ground here. A year or two ago we took a walk through the woods on top of the hill past the village and Bine accidentally discovered a quite deep hole there. Just like that, along the forest path.
As I wrote before, we have already discovered three such holes on our plot of land. One of them is three meters deep and one and a half meters wide that we now use as a water drain for when it rains heavily. I think it would be interesting to know how far such a hole extends and where it eventually ends. But, of course, we’ll never find out. As long as everything stays where it is, I guess it will be fine :).