Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Stalactite Cave

We met back up at the Stalactite cave, with a panoramic vista of Beit Shemesh.
Unfortunately, the hike was much more difficult than expected, so the group was slowed down. Because the group was slowed down, we weren't able to miss the heat of the day as the sun rose higher and higher in the sky. At one point it reached 94 Fahrenheit, which really wiped everyone out. Some stopped in the shade and waited. Only about half actually made it to the cave.
Note to future coordinators: when you hear it's going to be a hot day, don't be afraid to ask to have the route shortened. There's no shame in changing plans.

Another note to future coordinators: When some people who have hiked the route or read about it say it's an easy hike, but the guide goes and hikes it and tells you it's difficult, take the guide's word for it over the others.

The stalactite cave was fantastic.

The cave was discovered in 1974, blasted open during a quarry. It's about an acre and a half of fantastical, bizarre rock formations formed over the ages.
Looks like brains.
These tendrils of stone actually grew up, defying gravity. Scientists think that this may be caused by magnetic fields, but nobody is sure.

A stalactite and stalagmite reaching towards each other, almost touching. There's only a once centimeter gap, which will only take a few centuries to fill. They call it, "Romeo and Juliet."

Overall, I'd say the cave was spectacular, and would definitely recommend it for anyone in the Beit Shemesh region.

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