Skocjan Caves was possibly one of the most awe-inspiring places we’ve ever been. Unfortunately, pictures were not allowed. These are a few we pulled off the internet that were available for reposting, to just give you an idea. They totally don’t do it justice though.
For another homework assignment (Mom is on a mission!), this is Ella’s creative writing homework prompt for our experience there:
“This is ridiculous.” I say, “You’re lost, and you’re too proud to admit it.”
“I am NOT lost, nor have I ever been. I know exactly where we are.” Cole declares.
“Oh really,” I say crossing my arms, “then where exactly are we?”
“In the dark,” he replies quietly.
We’d been following the river for miles, and everything was going good until Cole decided to go in the big black hole. Don’t ever follow your older brother into a black hole, it just won’t end well. We weren’t forced to explore, we chose to because that’s what we do. We’re explorers. Not exactly a safe and well-paid profession, but if we find something then it could be. But we haven’t found anything. For five years we’ve been looking, but still nothing. Everyone says everything’s already been discovered. It’s 2028, the world’s still here, shocking right? Lately, I think everyone might be right. We’re in the wrong century, but whatever. We’re still here.
I trip over something, I have no idea what it is because I can’t see. I haven’t been able to see for a couple of hours now. My stupid, cheap flashlight is lighting nothing.
“Do you have another light?” I question.
“Don’t you think I would be using it if I did?” Cole asks.
“Maybe, maybe not,”
I can’t really see, but I think he’s rolling his eyes. Then he falls. He was just walking and then boom, man down. Me, being the charming person I am, start laughing hysterically.
“Where’s the sniper?” I joke.
“Shut up,” he snaps. I just laugh.
He pulls himself up with something, and I don’t know what he hit; but whatever it is, it’s a good thing he did.
Suddenly, the whole room is illuminated and my jaw drops to the floor. We’re in a cave. Not just any cave, but a massive chamber. We’re still following the river. It roars and rushes past us to the left. I look up and down to see stalactites and stalagmites protruding from the ceiling and ground, some so long they form giant pillars. The ceiling of the cave is at least a hundred and something meters high.
“What…” Cole’s voice trails off as he looks ahead.
He stares forward, and I can’t help but do the same thing. We’re on a pathway. A paved pathway, there are remains along the sides that look like they used to be railings. Giant spotlight type things are against the walls of the cave every 10-20 meters. This is weird. How are the lights even still working?
“We’re definitely not the first people to come here,” he says.
“It looks like a tourist attraction,” I laugh.
I meant it as a joke, but maybe I was right. Railings, pathways, lights, there’s even a plaque on the wall. I have no clue what it says.
“Let’s keep going,” Cole suggests.
We walk along a path on a cliff in the cave. If I slipped right now, I’d die. I am a very clumsy person, this isn’t good for me.
Cole comes to an abrupt halt and I slam into him, knocking him off the side. I scream and grab his arm. I pull and he slams into the side of the rocks.
“Hold on!” I yell.
I get down on my knees and use my other hand to hold on to a seemingly stable rock.
Cole puts one knee back up on the path, and after one last pull, he’s safe. I roll over on my back and stare at the ceiling.
“I’m so sorry, are you ok?” I ask, concerned.
“Been better,” he groans.
A rumbling sound fills the cave. Oh crap. A tiny rock falls and hits the ground next to me.
“Get up!” I demand.
“What?” Cole asks confused.
“Move!” I scream.
I jump to my feet and run. Right as Cole gets out of the way, a stalactite falls from the ceiling and slams into the path. It hits so hard the ground breaks.
“Let’s get out of here,” Cole says.
We walk quickly, and then BAM the path ends. There’s a giant gap between this side of the path and the other. I stare down at the river and the rocks at the bottom of the drop.
“What do we do?” I ask frantically.
Cole examines our surroundings and grabs something on the side of the wall. A rope.
We exchange looks and just like that we unpack our bags. We brought rock climbing gear, that’s what we were planning on doing originally. We slip on harnesses and attach our rope to this tightly drawn rope that runs all along the wall of the cave. Then we climb up these sort of nature made steps.
“Ok, this is fine. Just don’t look down,” Cole says, more reassuring himself than me.
I fit my foot into an almost perfect foothold and push myself up higher, higher. I’m legitimately gonna throw up, I don’t do heights. A bridge. There’s a bridge to the other side of the drop, not even far away. I look over to the other side and see more rope. I don’t know where we are, but we are obviously not the first people to be here. I slide my hook thing-a-ma-jig along the rope, climbing higher until we reach the bridge.
“That is not meant to hold human weight,” Cole mumbles.
“We don’t really have a choice,” I say.
“Alright, ladies first,”
“Ha! No.” I laugh.
Cole steps cautiously onto the bridge. If you can even call it a bridge. It’s basically a few pieces of wood and some rope strung from one side of the chasm to the other. Slowly but surely, Cole moves across it. Another stalactite falls not far behind me.
“Hurry up!” I screech.
“I’m going!” he snaps back.
I didn’t even realize I wasn’t breathing until my heart starts back up once Cole makes it across.
My turn, yay. One foot in front of the other, I step onto the bridge. I’m stupid so I look over the side, and have to steady myself with the ropes.
“You can do this, just don’t look down!” Cole calls over to me.
Another step. Then the rope snaps and I fall.
To be continued…”
We gotta keep things interesting, right?