The Moravian Karst

I’ve been told that no trip to CR would be complete without a visit to the caves in Southern Moravia.  Having never been to Carlsbad Caverns or anything cavey before, I didn’t really know what to expect beyond some vague memories in my elementary textbooks of stalactites and stalagmites.  Turns out there’s more to see than confusing vocabulary…

Let me admit that the pictures of the inside caves are not my own, but ones I found on Google because we weren’t allowed to take pictures inside.  It’s not my fault that the pictures don’t do it justice at all, so here’s a big reason why you should go there yourself.  We started by taking a mini-train (very Key West) to the entrance.  Once inside, the temperature dropped to 40 degrees F, which felt pretty darn cold after being outside in the 90 degree sunshine.  (Side note–it’s either feast or famine here when it comes to weather!)

Our guide did a great job of explaining the names of the formations, most of which are simply called what they look like (angel wings, crocodile, snowy tree, etc).  What I wasn’t  expecting were the politically incorrect ones, but racism is a subtle presense everywhere in the CR.

After walking through the caves, we ended up at the bottom by the lake.  The best way to describe it is to think of that moment in Wizard of Oz when everything is suddenly in color–we exited the dark, drippy tunnels and–POOF!–we came out in another world.  As I mentioned, you must try it yourself and experience the wonder and awe of feeling so small. 

We toured the remainder of the caves by boat.  On a funny note, we were told to duck while drifting past some very low overhangs.  As obedient American tourists, we did, but our 6-foot-4 Fulbright guide, Martin never did.  He left the caves unscathed, while my friend Gail (maybe 5-foot-3) managed to bump her head on the wall. 

Then Martin Number One, who is not so tall but also a Fulbright guide, told us in his characteristic style, “The climb to the top is not long and not hard at all.”  So you can guess the rest of the story here.  Still, it was quite worth it to see the view from the top.  Plus I finally was able to buy a little stuffed mole, (Krtecek), for my pictures in CR.  He’s quite the sensation over here–and very cute.

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