Motorcycle ride to Paiania's cave.


Fancy some underground world? Follow me on this ride up to Paiania's cave, the largest one of this region. We're both first timers on this one so let's go!

The ride up to the cave which lies on the East side of Ymittos mountain 500 meters above sea level is not a motorists heaven but the last couple of km riding up the mountain offer nice view and could be an enjoyable route if the tarmac wasn't so bad. I bet this thing has never been repaved and it's in absolutely terrible condition hence I was chickening on the corners (as you can see at the video I'll post in the end which also is rather shaky for the same reason).

Here's a few pictures from that part:
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Pictures can't tell for how bad this road is (neither the video does) until you drive it (or read the cave's reviews) but the view from the top is rewarding. Not that much on a hazy day like this though:
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The location is great but I didn't like the amount of tasteless concrete used for the cave's infrastructure neither the way some guys "decorated" it:
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Of course the view remains nice regardless:
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Here's the entrance to the cave looking like a huge fridge hungry for people:
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And it can actually feel like a fridge during a heatwave as it's got a steady temperature through the year of 19C. Nice eh? Well, it also has a steady humidity of 90%. This is not as nice but absolutely expected.

This entrance was opened in order to make the cave accessible. It's natural opening is at it's roof (more on that later) and the cave was discovered by a shepherd around a century go as one of his goats fell inside and started screaming. Today you don' need such drama to explore it, you just walk through this concrete hall,
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which leads you to this much more natural looking hall that gives you a first idea of what follows:
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Nice as it may look, I wasn't prepared for the beauty waiting for me inside. Literally feels like nature focused in sculpturing there for a whole infinity:
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Just to give you an idea about the "infinity", a single cm of those creations can take a whole century. And it's all done just by the water that sneaks into from the top causing a chain of chemical reactions with the rock that is very rich in Calcium (hence its whitish colour). I was the only visitor accompanied by a very kind guide who works there and during our pauses I could hear a few drops inside this perfect silence. It's an absolutely unique feeling to experience that I can't really transfer to you neither the clip I recorded really does (check video at the end) but I will tell you this: I am not religious but if I will ever be one it will be due to a thing like this.

At some point I get a wider view to the cave's room where "wow" is not enough to describe it:
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Also "wow" is a detail I spotted on the cave's roof with the help of the guide. You see this black web?
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It's actually roots from a tree standing above us. Isn't this impressive? In my book it is.
Not that the rest of the cave isn't as I continue walking:
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Curious to see a few fresh drops on their way to create natural art? There you go:
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As if I wasn't impressed enough already by this nature's majestic top art here's what follows:
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It's really a challenge to find the right words for something like this.

Remember I told you about the cave's original opening on its roof? There you go:
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That poor unlucky goat that accidentally helped us to discover this cave suffered a 30+m fall. Now imagine the first guys who went down inside to save the goat only to see all this insane beauty for the first time. Speechless? Probably.

And it's not over yet!
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It doesn't require such a stretch of imagination to see that many of those natural pieces of art look as if they were intentionally made to look/represent other things. I don't wanna be a dick and give you a spoiler about the following one but oups...I think I already did 🙂:

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I definitely didn't expect this cave to be so jaw dropping but I also didn't expect it to feel so large. There's even more to see:
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There's a few exceptions of marble in this rock where water cannot make the art it does with Calcium hence those pieces still look bare and have been supported with metal parts for safety:

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A few meters before the end I take this last one:
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Goodness me! What a treat this cave is! For just 4 euros you can enjoy your walk escorted by a kind and helpful guide. What more can you ask for?

Here's a video with parts of the ride (shakiness speaks for the terrible road) plus a small clip shot inside the cave (not allowed):


I really hope you resonated with my excitement.
See you on the next one!

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This is majestic. Thank you for taking the time to document and share your experience. It really is amazing how nature can slowly make art like that, which looks like it was designed. Some of those formations look like statues. And some look like... other things. It is also truly amazing that it takes 100 years for just one centimeter to form! Nature is patient.

I had to look up the names you mentioned to realize this is beautiful Greece (unless I am mistaken). I have always wanted to go to Greece, but have not yet had the privilege.

I am not fully physically mobile, so it is very lovely to have a window into places that would be challenging for me to physically visit. I enjoy online museums and that sort of thing, but this is special because it is unique and not easy to access online.

I imagine you have to strike a balance between taking amazing photos and video for those of us who can't go and being in the moment, just soaking in the magnificence of it all. Thanks again. So many beautiful photos!

(Maybe you had already considered this, but, there are magazines that accept and welcome photo submissions. I am thinking of National Geographic, but there are many others also. I don't know whether that is something that would interest you. They used to be listed in the Writer's Market guide, which was a book published yearly and then available by online subscription. I have not looked into this for a while.)

It really pays back to read comments like yours - every time I explore a place I feel the eyes of my readers behind me :) It's so true that keeping a balance between recording and enjoying the place can be a challenge. Especially in this case as I was escorted by a guide (I didn't book him that's how the cave works) so I also had to keep a balance in listening to him and not delaying the tour too much for my photos and videos. I have developed a good ability to get decent images on first shot which also serves the purpose of not spending time in deleting the bad ones later. The vast majority of the images in my posts are 1st shot. Few but good is my approach but some places are so exceptional that no amount of pictures can be "enough".
Thank you for stopping by!

Well, they are amazing photos, and even more so if they are a first shot. I think magazines might really be interested in several of them, but I could be wrong. Then again, these days, it doesn't cost much to find out. When I was younger, we had to send a self-addressed, stamped envelope with every submission of writing to every magazine, and, since most replies tend to be rejections, the proposition gets costly. (I did get a few publication credits, though, so if your heart can handle the rejection, it can be worthwhile.)

On the other hand you have done very well just posting here! It's amazing. Well done.

@tipu curate

Thanks once again. Most of them are totally unedited too.
Hope you will also like my latest harvest that I posted yesterday.

Tbh, this is amazing 😮 😮. Thank you

It really was, glad you liked it.

✌ 😊

This cave looks so cool. I will probably visit one myself in some days and I can't wait to go 😁 Nice post btw

It really is. Thanks a lot - glad you liked it.

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That's an awful lot of cave photos!!!!!!

Not being a native speaker I hope that doesn't imply anything awful about it :). Many pictures indeed though I left a few out but believe me, the amount of detail this cave has makes this collection look poor. Glad to see you here.

ha ha!!! I can see how my comment could be have been interpreted now 😃

It was supposed to be neutral, more of a surprise than anything else over the volume of photos, I know the temptation to add a lot of photos to do the place justice, I do it all the time and have to pull myself back as too many photos may make it difficult to load for some people if their network isn't good, and personally I'd leave out the blurry ones to keep the quality up.

You've definitely shown the beauty of the cave, and for me how claustrophobic it can be inside

No worries - I know your intentions are always good. It might look claustrophobic to you from the pictures but compared to those catacombs I visited around Cappadocia this one feels like a luxurious catamaran in real.

Uhmmm no thank you, my claustrophobia would get the better part of me😫