Cave is one of the most impressive caves of the Greek islands.
The community of the village Chaliotata developed
the cave into a tourist attraction in 1983.
It is 60 meters
below the earth's surface with a temperature of 18 degrees
centigrade and moisture of 90% (which I felt immediately
when I entered). It was not until I
started the very steep descent down the steps that lead the
inside the cave that I appreciated
how far below ground I was venturing.
The myth told by the locals is that it took the name "Drogarati" as
it was once the home of a dragon. However, the cave was discovered
around 900 years ago, due the collapse of part of it as the
result of an earthquake, thereby revealing the whole cave.
Walking inside this large cave and being surrounded
by stalactites and stalagmites that are over 100 million years
old was an
amazing, magical experience. The creation of just one centimeter
takes 100 years, and they can only be formed in underground
Stalactites are formed by the movement of rainwater, which
starts at ground level and travels through the rocks above
the cave, soaking up the mineral components of the rocks
as they go, iron, copper, salt, calcium, and others. The
water then reaches the end of a stalactite as droplets and
dropping slowly from the tip, they are held to grow very
slowly. When the flow of water is stronger, and the minerals
do not have time to stay in the stalactite, the droplets
fall to the ground, and along with the rest of the elements,
they create the stalagmites. After thousands of years, stalactites
and stalagmites grow together to form a column.
A cave is the perfect place for this, as it's protected from
the weather, so erosion doesn't wear things down. The water
that leaks in has travelled through the ground picking up
minerals on the way. And of course, a cave is an open space
that allows just a little of the water to evaporate and leave
tiny bit of the mineral deposited on the growing stalactite
or stalagmite. No one disturbs things, so a steady drip can
go on for thousands of years in the same spot, making some
of the most beautiful formations found on earth.
amazing natural phenomenon is found in "Drogarati" cave
. . . I left with a feeling of wonder at nature's beauty!