It was about an hour bus ride from Poprad, even though it's only 32 kms (19 miles) away. It's on a twisty road getting there, and with the stops it's slow going. Cost was €2.00 ($2.50) per person, each way.
You have to hike up a hill to get to the caves, about 1 km from the road. They do tours every hour on the hour at this time of year, and we had to wait about half an hour to get on the 1:00pm tour.
Entrance fees are expensive by area standards. Cost is €7.00 ($8.75) per adult for the 30 minute tour. Then, if you want to take pictures, it's another €10.00 ($12.50)!!! So of course there's no way I was paying that kind of money for a few photos. I figured I'd be able to sneak a few pictures, and I did.
Heading down into the cave. You feel the cold air right away!
You don't have to go very far to see the ice. In fact there was snow just inside the entrance.
Due to the orientation of the cave and it's entrance, it allows cold air in the winter to fall down and thus cool off the inside rooms. In summer, the warmer air is lighter and cannot get into the cave, thus keeping the average temperature in the summer at around 0C (32F). This cycle has been repeating itself for many centuries and so the build up of ice just grows and grows. It's actually like an underground glacier.
This column of ice is about 3 meters (10 feet) high.
And that's it for the pictures. I could have taken more, it seems like with everyone having camera enabled phones and the like, the staff would have been a little overwhelmed trying to stop people from taking photos. It's actually a stupid way to run things and they should change their policy. Charge everybody a euro more, and let everyone take pictures. The tour was over far too quickly, and they don't let you linger very much. It was neat to see, but had we known what we know now, we probably wouldn't have gone. Especially with the $12.50 in bus fares, the total cost for us to see it was $30. We both decided it wasn't quite as good as we were expecting, although there sure was a lot of ice in that cave! One wall was said to be 26 meters (85 feet) thick!
When we got out of the cave (and warmed up!) we took a hiking trail back to another village because we were going to have to wait a couple of hours for the return bus anyhow.
Found another small cave along the hiking trail! We like caves.
This trail had some neat obstacles too! Here's Ruth climbing down a steep ladder.
And across a bridge. The gorge was about twenty feet deep.
And almost back to the town.
We made it back to Poprad around 5:00pm and had only had snacks throughout the day so we were pretty hungry. We headed back to the same restaurant for the third day in a row!
Including a beer, a glass of wine, and the tip, the total was €13.00 ($16.25).
So we were a little disappointed with the ice cave, but we still had a good day. Ended up hiking another 6.2 kms (4 miles) even though we thought we were done with hiking for a while!
Today, we are going to make our way towards Budapest, Hungary! We are about 300 kms (180 miles) from Budapest, so we're going to break up the journey. We're headed for Banska Bystrica today, and then we'll carry on to Budapest on Monday morning.
Posted August expenses this morning as well. Find out how much money we spent here...