Les Grottes de Savonnières

The gloom and dark of the Petrifrying Caves at Savonnières made a stark constrast to the beautiful spring day outside. I went on a bike trip with a group of other exchange students to visit the caves. These caves were known and used in the roman times up to the middle ages, and then forgotten over the years. In the 19th Century, a group of spelunkers followed a fox down a narrow ravine and found themselves in a large cavern, in which mineral rich water dripped from the ceiling, creating thin stalactites and coral like formations. The caves were rediscovered.

Today, the caves are open for sightseeing, and the owner takes advantage of the petrifying process (in which the water slowly coats things in stone) in order to make delicate souvenirs. The texture of the stone is smooth when dry, but when wet it has a horrible flesh like feeling. The concept of turning things to stone is quite eerie, almost petrifying! That said, I had a great time visiting the caves, although I was glad to come back to the surface, sit under a leafy tree and enjoy my picnic lunch in the sunshine.

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