Werfen Ice caves is something not to miss in Austria. Its really awesome art of nature which anyone must see before they die! Its that good!
Its the place I liked most in Salzburg. I was told that its one of the longest ice caves in the whole earth. We had to travel by bus till some distance before the ice caves and then we walked for around 2o minutes to reach the ice caves. Good that we planned for proper clothing and especially the shoes for going inside the caves. It was dead freezing inside! Of course, otherwise how else will the ice be formed?
We were standing in big queues to enter the caves. Once we were ready to enter the caves, the guide gave us all a lamp to hold in our hands. Its a candle lamp. No lights or camera flashes are allowed inside!
The guide was giving us some information about history and science of the caves. He told us that this cave is very long (around 46km) and deep inside but only 1 km of it is only open to visitors. And all the time the inside temperature of the cave is same and hence the ice stalagmites and stalactites wont be melting at any point of time in the year.
Stalagmite is a column of rock which rises from the floor of a cave which is formed over a very long period of time by drops of water containing lime falling from the roof of the cave and Stalactite is a column of rock that hangs from the roof of a cave and which is formed over a very long period of time by drops of water containing lime falling from the roof of the cave.
We were very much excited to enter the caves and were waiting for the door to open. I was surprised by the strong wind that blew on our faces and it was difficult to even walk against the wind to enter the caves. And of course, all our lamps went off and had to be lit again inside the caves.. The guide said that the strong wind (it was actually like a storm!) was because of pressure difference between the inside and the outside of the caves and that it will be like that in any cave for that matter. I enjoyed the thrilling entry to the cave 🙂
Once we were inside, it was all dark and we could nt see anything in the beginning. And then after our lamps were lit, we had to lift them up to see what was ahead! Soon we realized that we were walking on ice floor. Water, water everywhere but everything in the form of ICE! Slowly, everyone started feeling cold and we were hearing lots of hisses. It was really wonderful to see those huge ice shapes. In some places the stalactites were hanging from the roof where soo sharp that they could even kill someone! The guide took us through out to see various forms and shapes of stalagmites. We were amused by the elephant shaped stalagmite which was also looking like a polar bear from the rear side. There were many shapes and the interesting ones include the shape of swimming pool, fort, big caves of ice.
We even climbed some stairs on ice hills formed inside and went around the cave. Another interesting thing was that a guy (I am sorry but I dont remember the name!) who came in the early days to discover the ice cave, wanted himself to be buried inside the cave and his cemetery also exists there still.
Overall it was really an enjoyable trip inside the cave and it was very much exciting as well!
I was awestruck by the natures power and its abilities! A must see for anyone! Dont miss it if you get an oppurtunity!