Scenery at the town of Uelzen, Germany .
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Hamburg, Germany.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? North to Denmark!

Saturday, December 11, 2021

It doesn't matter if it's raining out if you are inside a cave!

Pouring rain again all day yesterday, just as they forecast. So we drove the short distance from Ioannina up to the Cave of Perama.

We've been in a lot of caves in our travels. It's actually one of the things that we try to seek out. But we've kind of become "cave snobs" over the years, and try to do a lot of research before spending the money to visit some caves, because quite frankly, some caves are not worth visiting!

For a fairly small cave system, the Cave of Perama is worth the €7 ($10 CAD, $8 USD) entrance fee. Even for cave snobs like ourselves! And, it's a great thing to do on a rainy day, because when you're inside a cave it really doesn't matter if it's pouring rain outside.

Ruth at the entrance to the caves.

This is normally a fairly popular tour, and during the busy season there would be 30 people in each tour group going through once every hour. So we felt lucky to have an almost private 45 minute tour with a couple about our age from Israel, and younger couple with their 5 year old son who are originally from Greece but now live in the Netherlands. They were back here visiting family.

Our tour guide was really good too. The tours are done in both English and Greek. He was quite informative, and he didn't rush us along at all. Also, they normally don't allow photography because the larger groups don't pay attention and people trip and fall because they're too busy taking photos and not paying attention to where they are putting their feet. This time, because we were such a small group, he said we could take photos when we wanted.

That black diamond shaped thing in the center of the picture is a tiny bat.

Even at the beginning there were interesting shaped formations.

The Cave of Perama is different in that it has 19 different types of stalagmites and stalactites. Most caves have between 10 to 12 different types.

It's hard to get perspective in the photos without people in them.





Looking up!

We did have to wear masks during the tour, but Ruth took it off for the photo opp.


Looking up at the ceiling.

Another ceiling shot.

Look at the small cross right in the center of the photo.
A piece had broken off at some point and got wedged in making it look like a cross.

There is only one section that they used colored lights, and it's actually quite pretty.

Some cave systems that we have been in are overdeveloped. They use lots of different colors, and color changing lights. But we think that's too much. This one was nicely done, with just a little blue light in places.

These formations take about 100 years to grow one cm.

This one is spectacular.

They used this formation to date the cave.
They think it has taken 1.5 million years for this formation to grow!

Wow. Spectacular.

The cave system wasn't discovered until World War II, and it wasn't extensively explored until the 1950's. Far inside the cave, they found the remains of a cave bear... an extinct species of bear that hasn't been around for maybe 25,000 years.

I took a short video for you...







They call these cauliflower formations.

And this is a broccoli formation!

Some of the formations have different colors because of the many different minerals in the cave. The color can be influenced by the copper, iron, and manganese.



These hanging formations look like jellyfish, or octopus.



Stairs heading up to the exit.

The underground pathway is 1.1 kms (0.7 miles) and the temperature is a constant 18C (65F). The tour starts at the natural entrance to the cave, but they have built a man made exit at the end to keep the tours moving during the busy season. Quite a few steps, so you have to be in decent shape, but they do give you time to take a rest if you need to.

The tour exits on the other side of the mountain, and you have to walk on a path outside to get back to the entrance.




Views from the cave exit.

We stood and talked to our fellow tourists for about a half an hour after the tour ended, so that was kind of nice. The Israeli couple had been to the same cave as us when we did a wild cave tour in South Africa back in 2014. And the young Greek couple gave us some pointers about our future travels and Greek food! So that was kind of nice.

And then we walked in the rain back to Max.

We decided there was no benefit to moving on, and just stayed parked in the lot near Perama. To our surprise, when we opened the blinds this morning there were 4 other vans and motorhomes who had also spent the night.

A chilly wet evening, so Ruth put the oven on and made a delicious roast pork dinner!

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And in Canada...

10 comments:

  1. We have explored a few caves and always find something mystical about them all. Keep on having fun guys.

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    1. Yes, it seems that every cave is a little different in one way or another. This cave was definitely up near the top of our list of our favourite caves, lots to see and certainly some different formations. :-)

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  2. Wish my claustrophobia allowed me to enjoy caves as they are fascinating. Was able to tour Wind Cave in South Dakota, but while touring a cave in Forestville,MN, the guide, with no warning, turned out the lights so we could experience total darkness. That did it for me.
    Hope you get to the area of Greece that your fellow travel bloggers “thunder panda” are in. Their photos are full of sunshine!

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    1. Yes, we can see where that could be a problem for some people. This cave system had some very big open areas but it also had some very squeezed in areas that I am sure you would not have enjoyed if you are claustrophic.

      We are looking forward to getting down to the area where Katya and Yves are, it certainly does look like much nicer weather although Katya has told us that they have been having a mixed bag of weather down there as well just not as bad as what we have been experiencing.

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  3. Loved the cave tour and your dinner looks delicious.

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    1. We really enjoyed the cave tour, it had lots of interesting formations to look at and there was always something that caught our attention everywhere we went in there. It was definitely one of the better caves that we have been in.

      I love cooking in Max, his oven works really well. :-)

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  4. Absolutely beautiful, but my claustrophobia made me scroll quickly. Could literally feel the ceiling lowering like in an Indiana Jones movie. Liz, at least you made it into the cave - I would totally be on the outside in the rain.

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    1. Wow, that is such a shame that your claustrophobia is so bad that even looking at pictures of caves makes things difficult for you, we find caves so interesting and would hate to miss out on not seeing them. We will try to find some other nice things for you to enjoy as we explore Greece.

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  5. Yes cave's are cool to visit, this looks very nice indeed!

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    1. We love visiting caves and this one was definitely a good one to see if you are ever in the area.

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