Cave of the Lakes and Vlychada Cave

Is there anything new?

The thing that hath been , it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which will be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said , See this is new? it has been already of old time, which was before us.

Ecclesiastes 1:9,10 ( Written by Solomon in his old age, after he had proved that all the pleasures earth is able to give are empty and unsatisfying. His conclusion is that it is wise to enjoy with gratitude the good gifts of God and to do right; for all our works will be brought into judgement.)

These caves in different parts of the Peloponnese in Greece are alike and different . Let us look at what they have in common first.

They both are deep in the mountain and both still have substantial amounts of water both in the Cave and dripping down.

The water dissolves limestone and then deposits it as Calcium Carbonate along the ceilings or the floor.

Stalactites hang from the ceiling.

( I mentioned to our group guide that I had forgotten which was which. She gave an explanation. A lady in the group with a ‘sparkle’ in her eye said very quietly: ” Mispronounce the end of the word stalactites and you know they always hang!”)

Stalagmites have a ‘g’ they grow up from the floor.

Cave of the Lakes Castria.

A postcard only .
No photographs allowed.

A world of bats, an untouched skeleton of a buried 35 -year-old man and then bones from a hippopotamus amongst other artifacts were found in 1965. These lake caves have very little lighting and groups are always guided. They are precious in every way, smell of bats and you can hear them too. The stalagmites and staligtites are vast in size and not broken. There are three lakes but due to lack of rain the fourth lake is dry.

The middle picture in the postcard shows a lip like divide between the lakes. I asked the reason as the air is very still and the water just as still. The guide said there was no answer. The natural entrance is high up in the mountain with the sea nearby. The water is fresh mountain water.

There is a myth with this Cave of the lakes. Here it is: some young girls lived in the area. Lyssippi, Ifinoy and Ifianassa (what about these names for girls?) who said that they were more beautiful than goddess Hera. Hera upon hearing this was so angry she took their sanity. She made them believe they were cows. These three girls then ran wild round the area and persuaded women to kill their children.

One day they came to the Cave of the lakes where god Melambodas lived and were healed !

Their happier lives were lived in the nearby Loussoi village.

Now for the other set of caves.

Vlychada Caves on the West Coast of the Laconian Peninsula in Doris Bay.
The visit is by boat.
The oarsman is not a guide.
It is tranquil and you need to keep your head down in parts.
The passages are well lit so all the shapes and reflections in very deep water are enchanting.
To date 14,700m of routes have been mapped and most of the Cave is below water.
We spent about half an hour in quiet admiration of this underground world.
Some of the stalactites and stalagmites were broken but it was a much appreciated experience.

Here is a quote:

The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.

Joseph Cambell

Then Martin Buber says :” All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware. “

I hope all is well.

Sandy šŸ™‚

4 thoughts on “Cave of the Lakes and Vlychada Cave

  1. My pleasure! The caves with the boat ride were quite unexpected I thought that at any moment it would open to the sea but it continued in its room ,passage fashion. Hera was one unusual goddess.


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