Dateline: 11.03 31 Aug 1996
Location: Slovenia, Matavun, outside S^kocjanske jame 
Whoo! My first shot at hitchhiking, so what would be a better place to start than the village of Divaca, Slovenia? Onto the road's entrance ramp, thumbs up and wait. Unfortunately, every car heading in my direction seemed to be stuffed to the max: dogs, babies, grandmothers and various combinations of the above. Some people gestured "Sorry, but..." and pointed to whatever their car was filled with, one truck driver just gestured, most only stared at what must, admittedly, be a strange spectacle here in the heart of the remote Karst. I started to profile: new cars and old people were Out, old cars and truck drivers were In. Eventually, one affable fellow in a battered old Renault (Slovenia's national car, thanks to a factory in Novo Mesto) took mercy on me. Communication was rather limited since he spoke no English, but my "Is^c^em S^kocjanske jame..." was interpreted correctly despite my horrible mispronounciation. So here I am in the courtyard of the cave, waiting for the tour (in German - this'll be fun!) to begin.

I was going to say 'impressive', but I use that word too much and it's only a pale shade of my reaction to the caves: I was not merely 'impressed', I was STAMPED with a cylinder of red hot wax slammed on by a forceful hand. The tour started out dully enough, with a cute little cavern with with cute little stalactites. I paid 1000 SIT for this? But then came the first big room. And then came the BIG room. And then came the REALLY FUCKING HUGE room. The sheer size of these things was mind-boggling. Can you visualize a cave the size of a football stadium? Well, I was in it. Not only that, but all the caverns were filled to the limit with Nature's sculpture; not just your standard phalluses hanging down and pointing up, but massive formations, ranging from piles of cauliflowers to (literally) alien interior decorating to temple statues tens of meters high that rival the most intricate Indian sculpture. And the rushing underground river, roaring beneath my feet in a 100-meter-high cavern. 100 meters! That's a 30+ floor skyscraper, except it's underground! Oh, hell. Just go there. Trust me, you won't regret it. 
The day's budget 
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