Porto Cristo

Trip Start Apr 16, 2009
Trip End May 01, 2009

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Flag of Spain  , Balearic Islands,
Monday, April 27, 2009

This morning started out cold and rainy so I got a slow start.  Wandering around in the rain wasn't what I wanted to do.  It cleared up in the afternoon and I headed out to Porto Cristo.  I went via some back roads and got a couple of windmill pictures.

My primary reason for going to Porto Cristo was the caves there, the Coves del Drac (the Dragon's Caves).  These are truly beautiful caves with impressive stalactite and stalagmite formations.  They are very commercialized, however and don't allow any photography whatsoever... with or without flash.  To no great surprise, as you exit the cave there's a stand selling post card collections, CDs and other goods with all the pictures they wouldn't let you take with your own camera.  So... I have no pictures of the cave interior.

The cave is about 1.2 kilometers long (about half-a-mile) with four very large chambers.  In addition to the truly impressive stalactite/stalagmite formations which absolutely cover the cave for its full length there are underground lakes that are crystal clear.  The largest of these lakes is in the last and largest chamber.  The lake is 177 meters (580 ft.) long by 40 meters (131 ft.) wide by 30 meters (98 ft.) deep.  That makes it one of the largest subterranean lakes in the world.  For the entire length of the cave the stalactite/stalagmite formations are dramatically lit to highlight their beauty.

They bring visitors into the cave in large groups and in this last chamber everybody sits while the guide gives a multi-lingual speech about the cave.  Most of the lights are then turned out and three rowboats appear on the subterreanean lake with lights all along their gunwales.  The chamber is lit primarily by these lights and their reflection in the lake.  One of the boats has a group of four muscians in it - two violins, one cello and a small organ - that play classical music as oarsmen very slowly row their boats around the lake.  When the 10-15 minute concert is over the lights are turned back on and the group is invited to either walk out of the cave or you can get in one of the rowboats to be rowed to the other end of the lake where you get out and walk the rest of the way.
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