Caves in Vallorbe

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IMG_7595There’s only so much you can see at the surface.
Caves have always been one of my deepest fears (I mean what if you can’t come out and have to dive into those dark underground waters to find another way out…), yet I really wanted to go. As we walked onto a slippery bridge that was 10m above water, you could look down and see a greenish lake that continued into black carved holes.

All through our walk, you could see these carved holes made by nature. They were said to be profound of 80m. I never had fear of heights but that was it for me. They were very hypnotic to look at, as I wondered what forms of life survived down there. (Pictures below)

However, beauty and majesty soon took over fear. Everything looked like an artist had carved his weirdest dreams, something between Alien and Lord of The Rings.

Everywhere you looked, a gallery or a slim opening would make you wonder : « What’s over there? » « What if I went further in? »

 

To know that this cave took 500 000 years to form itself is truly humbling. The process is slow and yet so powerful: Celling rocks are moist, because the Orbe river runs beneath. This accelerates the dissolution of limestone. The water picks up carbon dioxide from the air and as it percolates through the soil, which turns into an acid. This slowly dissolves out the limestone along the joints, bedding planes and fractures, some of which become enlarged enough to form cave rooms!

 

Suddenly you arrive in a very big cave room called « The Dom ». Is it because it’s big enough to fit a cathedral? The Dom is so big and profound, it’s hard to believe you ever thought you were something… As we came out, I realized how impactful this visit had been: it made me question a view of humanity. If nature could do this on it’s own, who are we to think we can ever tame it…

 

 

How about you? Have you any places that have changed your ways of thinking?

Let us know!

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