Two weeks ago, I spent the weekend with one of my friend living in Liège, and we visited a cave and safari park. In the Safari park, it was raining most of the time, so the animals were hiding under trees, and apart from the zebras, they were not very brave to face the bad weather. I thought monochrome would suit the animals better :-)
Close to the Safari Park, you can find the Caves of Remouchamps, where an underground river, the Rubicon, is flowing through it. The guide told us it was the longest uninterrupted underground river in the world (600 meters) !
The cave is divided into two different parts. During the first part, you can walk with a guide and visit what was first inhabited by Paleolithic hunters over 8 000 years ago then used as a shelter during WWII. You will cross several rooms, filled with geological wonders, including impressive stalagmites and stalactites that look like elephants or the Virgin Mary for example.
The second part is visited by boat, during roughly 20 minutes. Watch your head and your hands, because the little tunnel is quite narrow :-) It was really dark over there, and the boat was moving, therefore, impossible to take pictures of the river…. but I managed to take a few pictures of the caves.
On some pictures, you can see some green patches and even plants ! This is not a natural phenomenon for caves and this is known as the “Lamp Flora” problem. Mosses, algae and even plants colonized illuminated areas in caves visited massively by tourists. Some people believe it’s a major distortion of the cave ecosystem since people use chemicals to clean the walls that will often destroy or induce slow corrosion of limestone.
If we wish to preserve the caves in their original state, maybe we have to rethink the accessibility of them or try to find other way of lighting (maybe less aggressive, no continuous lightening, fewer visits). It was a nice cave, but I have mixed feelings about it.
Oh well, the most important thing is that I had a nice day out with my friend ! :-)