Monday, 9 April 2018

Let's go to hell

Fortunately we can come back

A charming karst cave created by the Ponikvica stream running through limestone over several million years. Why Pekel cave? To get you out of the uncertainty with the name: pekel means hell. I have found several explanations why the name hell and I chose the most interesting ones. 1. It got the name by an interesting scene above the cave entrance. Well, we have to make some effort to see the image of the devil up there. 2. Local people were afraid of the cave because they thought that the black hole was the residence of the Satan. 3. The following I like the most. When there's lower temperature outside of the cave than inside in the winter, vapours are coming out of the cave at the entrance. It's the only cave in our country where human bones from prehistoric time were found, which is proof that people liked to visit it and even organized parties inside. I'm just wondering what it looked like in the dark but let's leave that for now.
In 1969 during the exploration, Anton Suwa lost his life in the cave and a memorial plaque in the cave is reminding us of him. The Tourist Association Šempeter in the Savinja Valley has illuminated and installed more than 1159 metres of secure routes. In the cave you can also find an underground waterfall. It's 4 metres high and is the highest underground waterfall in Slovenia. Diverse flora and fauna can be found in the cave. Of course you can't miss the bats. The cave temperature is about 10 degrees Celsius and the tour takes one hour. You can see live crib in the cave around Christmas.

Worth visiting here is another landmark. Through Šempeter the Roman road Oglej-Ljubljana-Celje-Ptuj was used for many years. In the vicinity many powerful Romans were living and part of them were burried in the tombs of the Roman necropolis in Šempeter. It's interesting how they discovered it. Almost 70 years ago they found a statue of a woman sitting during a work in an orchard. After the excavation they discovered the entire archaeological sitem, which is still considered one of the most beautiful preserved monuments of the Roman period in Central Europe where over 100 family tombs were found. Among them are also tombs made out of marble from Pohorje with depictions of the buried people.

From this part of Slovenia also come two successful basketball players, brothers Udrih. Now they train in different parts of the world; Samo in Spain and Beno in the NBA, USA. Each year in the summer they are co-organizers of the basketball tournament in the time of the local community's festival.

You can take some rest in the hostel Celje located in third largest city in Slovenia, in Celje, near the main railway and bus station. The rooms are thematically furnished, as the younger artists from Celje took part in the construction of the hostel. They furnished rooms on the basis of legends and myths of the local environment. The hostel also has a laundry room, a winter garden, a larger hall and wi-fi is available everywhere. You can rent a bike for free to see the city. Holders of HI cards have a 10% discount on their stay
I think that this kind of hell is the only one from which it's still possible to return. Especially in the summer it's lovely to freshen up in the satanic underworld. When visiting the Roman necropolis you get a sense of how much the Romans appreciated the afterlife or perhaps you'll get some idea of how should your future tombstone look like. Never mind the last part, it is just a harmless joke.

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