As I had written in my earlier posts about our London trip, one on Kew Gardens and another on a Small English Town, we continued to explore the rare locations in the U.K. My niece and her husband had planned to take us to the much unheard of, The National Showcaves, in Wales.
The National Showcaves, named Dan yr Ogof, means, 'Beneath the Cave', the Morgan brothers, who explored the cave, have named the cave after their farm (Welsh).
The 17-kilometre long cave system in south Wales, was first explored by two local brothers in 1912, Tommy and Jeff Morgan, using candles and primitive equipment. Completely unsure of what they would discover, they armed themselves with a revolver. Read further...
These caves are mainly famous for their stalactite, i.e. limestone deposits which hang from the ceiling of the caves. We saw this type of cave for the first time here. Later on, I came to know from Swaram's post, that these types of caves are here in India, in Vizag, called Borra Caves.
We started from home early in the morning after breakfast with our lunch packed (Tengaai saadam (coconut rice), lemon rice, curd rice and sandwiches and fruits!). I think we drove for around 2 hours. Both sides of the road to Wales were full of greenery and apart from one car overtaking our car from the wrong side, the ride was smooth and event less. They follow the road discipline strictly, so it is easy to drive in the U.K.
Now, let me write about our exploration of the caves with pictures! The door to the entrance was quite small. We had to bend our heads and enter, though I was lucky because of the height, I went in straight! They gave us some flash lights also because the inside of the caves was quite dark with some small spot lights at some intervals.
The entrance to the caves.
This opening is not in use and covered by bricks, now.
The Morgan Brothers!
Stalactites (type of speleothem - secondary mineral - that hangs from the ceiling of limestone caves. It is a type of dripstone).
This is called Stalagmite (same like stalactite but forms from the ground)
This looks like a family, mother and her children, don't you think so?!
These drops are chemical drops and they stand like stone strings and it was wet everywhere and a bit skidding too! If people are not around and if we are alone, the eerie feeling will make us get scared! I was worried about the dripping water, for it might contain chemicals too, but my niece said that if it was, the authorities would not let us in, in this area!
These green growths (moss) were found inside the dark caves, near the area, where the spot lights were kept...the heat from the lamp must have helped them to grow!
Morgan must have explored this cave like this, with a lamp in his hand (with suit and hat!).
This area is called 'cathedral cave' (you can see some wedding pictures in the link, click on the name of the cave!) and real weddings take place behind the water fall!
Myself and my relatives stood there in couples and took pictures and drenched ourselves with dripping water from above us! It was fun! My niece said that a wedding took place behind the waterfalls according to the bride's wish, just a week back here and came in the newspapers!
We also took some pictures here, but they are not this clear. So this one is from the Caves link.
We came out of the cathedral caves via this route (the picture above). The water from the lake is flowing inside the cave and it was wet and cold. The border to the 'water flow' is artificially made. My brother in law was saying that we could conduct our grand nephew's wedding here and then use this border as table and have wedding lunch and wash our hands in this water, like typical Indians!
By the time we came out from the cathedral cave, all of us were hungry. The above dining area in the picture was very inviting for us to sit on the wooden tables and eat, while enjoying the green surroundings. We had our tummy-full of our Indian lunch and had English Tea from their canteen, later!
We saw many tourists on that day, though it was a week day. Baby Thomas, a small boy, entertained us during our lunch! All of us played with him. My brother in law gave him an orange. He gave it to his father to peel and ate the fruit happily. Then his father gave him a tissue to wipe his face, he did it and walked upto the waste basket and dropped the tissue in it! We were really astonished at the nature of the small child...even we, elders are not particular about throwing the dirty things in the waste basket!
This is our Thomas:
The toilets also were clean like other places in London! Our ticket included the 'Iron Age Village', the 'Dinosaur Park', the 'Farm' etc. The Shire Horse Centre also was included in the ticket but it was closed on that day. This post seems to be getting looooong, so let me write about the rest, in the next post!