Adventure in the Grotta del Vento

Apparently it is just a place to visit when the tourist goes to Toscana. In fact, it is an important centre for scientifical studies, and i had not idea when my feet first walked inside. It was such a claustrophobical feeling, if this is correct to say, such a feeling of being trapped, and not having enough air to breath, that it took me some minutes to take with philosophy the visit to Grotta del Vento.

The guide was a young italian woman who used a lintern and gave to the group several audio guides in our languages. The machine contained a record and a number, the number would be also written inside the cave.

The entrance was the number one, and the record was obviously number one. She did not speak at all the whole tour, just us and the machines. I guess that was also part of the fear inside. No communication at all.

I just was able to pass over the fear by looking at my friends and taking the hand of Hannes, from time to time. And using the intelligence, as much as i could.  I tried to had a clear mind to understand what was all this cave. Just the knowledge of the place gave me some peace of mind. I felt part of a creation bigger than my little and subjective personality. The world was again unknown, mysterious but understandable, cold and distant.

As the group walked through the cave, the lights turned on. A bear skeleton appeared there in front of us. It was really powerful, even dead. In this fantasy of mind that does not disappear, the bear was a guardian of the depth and the cave was Travel to the Center of the Earth, by Jules Verne.

Why it took so long to the cave to build those stalactites and stalagmites? why the cave was so mysterious? what it would be like to swim in that water? what it would be to be a speleologist?

The group arrived to the end of the visit. The guide announced that from there, the cave was another tour, so it was  double ticket, and only a couple of visitors would follow her to the end. I looked at the distance, and my legs got weak. The path was absolutely “highway to the hell”.

Another woman guide appeared from the Nothing and took us back to the outside…where the air is fresh and the atmosphere is not like being in a prison. But the best part came when Hannes presented to me a piece of cave.

By the way, it is called Grotta del Vento because the wind blows from two holes inside. There is a special door artificially built in the cave. The temperature is quite cold. It is situated in the near to Lucca. It is part of the Ruta del Aire.

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