Dobsinska Ladova Jaskyna Stratena Reviews
Freezing cold in Summer Jul 03, 2008
The Karst area in Slovakia has its deep hidden gems: flowstone and ice caves - a must see for the visitor to Slovakia. The caves are on the Unesco list of World Heritage.
We decided to visit an icecave, they are not as common as the flowstone ones, and from the 2 possibilities we choose the Dobsinska Ice Cave at the Slovak Paradise, for the simple reason this one was close to a trainstation, however it is said that this is the most beautiful one.
Ice caves usually have their entrances quite high at the mountain, the cave space goes down from there. Cold air is heavier than warm air, this way the coldness stays in the cave; together with the stone mountain around it a constant temperature is maintained all year around.
The Dobsinska Ice cave was formed inside Middle Triassic limestones by the river Hlinec. It has its entrance on the north slope of Duca Hill at an elevation of about 1000 meters. Temperatures in the cave in the ice parts are always belowe zero Celsius, range from -0 to -4, the non ice parts are a bit "warmer", from 1 to 3,5 Celsius. So we put on extra clothes and firm shoes as recommended, a bit odd because it was over 25 Celsius outside.
After you climbed up to the entrance of the cave it is wise to take a rest before entering, for easier acclimatization.
We got up at the entrance 40 minutes before the last tour started so we had plenty of time to take that rest.
We bought our tickets, as well as a permit to take pictures and waited for the gate to be opened. There was a wooden door, and when that finally got open we felt the cold creeping towards us, despite the actual cave entrance was 10-15 meters away from that gate.
The tour takes about 30 minutes, the length of it is 515 meters, you need to climb (off and up) a lot of stairs.
Thick layers of ice and ice sculptures are in the cave halls, and ice skating for public was permitted all year around up to 1946.
The cave is also a hibernation place for two species of bats.
Unfortunately the guides only spoke Slovakian, but we did not need to understand the language to be impressed by the beauty of the natural ice sculptures. However, my camera was not impressed at all, the cold caused an instant shutdown, so I had to use my sisters camera, and that one has its "moods", so not many pictures came out :(
Part of the Train trip 2008 travel blog
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