Monday, July 23, 2007

June 2007 - Arbus, Sardinia - Prehistoric Caves

At the recommendation of Tomasso from our B&B, we drove to the Grotta Su Mannau, a series of prehistoric caverns carved into the mountainside just outside of Arbus.

This underground cavern (grotta in Italian) believed to be 500 million years old is covered in stalagtites and stalagmites.
The rock formation was created by 2 small rivers which run through the hills in this western area of Sardinia.
Thus far 1 km of this grotta, which is over 8 kms in size, has been explored and reinforced but only 500m of that are visited by tourists.
The stalagtites and mites were created by the slow dripping of water rich in minerals, particularly calcium carbonate.
This accounts for the whiteish, translucent nature of the formations.
The grotta still contains small, crystal clear ponds where the dripping water collects.
The stalagtites and mites form very slowly growing at a rate of about 1 cm every 500 years.
We spent a wonderful afternoon creeping through the cool and magnificent cavern listening to water drip slowly off the rocks into the ponds below.
This was a wonderful off-the-beaten-path recommendation made by Tomasso.

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