Our second week in Slovenia found us in the tiny village of Zerovniča, in the southern part of the country. We chose this little known hamlet for it’s close proximity to three different natural wonders that were beckoning us to do much more than just read about them. Surprisingly, but also much to our delight, this region attracts very few tourists, but consequently has very few accommodation options. We managed to find a small family farm that also doubles as a guesthouse, about 3 km from Krizna Jama (Cross Cave). Veronica, the mother of the farm, is a sweetheart who knew her way around the kitchen, and one evening she served us a farm fresh vegetable soup which may now stand as the tastiest soup I’ve ever had. Besides amazing food, the farmers also provided us with rental bicycles that served as our transportation for a few days while we explored the natural wonders of the region.
The first of those wonders that we visited , and the one that initially drew us to the area was the Krizna Jama. While not the largest, and surely not the most visited cave in this extremely cavern-rich country, this cave system has one of the most dynamic displays of stalactites and stalagmites, and as much diversity of cave animals of any cave in Slovenia. There are 45 different organism species in the cave, including several bat species. One of the truly unique features of this cave is the water that flows through it. Usually rivers are credited for eroding the land they run over, while carving themselves deeper into the earth. The water here is known as ‘flowstone’, and it’s calcium content is so rich that the cave surface under the water actually grows at a rate of 10 cm every 10,000 years due to calcium accumulation. This is also aided by the fact that the river only drops 1 meter over the 2 kilometers that we traveled, so the flow is extremely slow.