Thursday, August 23, 2007

Soreq Cave, Judean Hills






Despite the summer heat and all, we trekked (read: took the bus) to the Judean Mountains to see the Soreq Cave. Considered a major tourist attraction of Israel, the cave simply imbues magnificence, especially to the first time visitors. When I got inside, I just found myself standing there and staring fixatedly in awe for a few minutes at the first stalactite and stalagmite formation that I came upon. All about the cave was breathtaking. What’s fascinating is that such formations actually took millions of years to be created.

Alvin Conchas III, my lone “guest writer” and instant Soreq Cave fan has more to say:

The Philippine Embassy took the opportunity to arrange an out of town visit to holy places or sites in Israel. It was just another exciting trip for a new comer like me. We visited the Soreq Cave, inter alia, where a huge deposit of stalagmites and stalactites are found. It was amazing since the discovery of the said cave was only an accident when miners began excavation and blew up a part of the mountain. Before their naked eyes, a new and wonderful world was unfolded.

At first, I felt an eerie feeling because it seemed that I have entered into an alien world. However, upon seeing the wonderful beauty created by the hands of God, I was able to accept the beauty and the art that lie within.

Fortunate enough since it was Friday, the only day when tourists could actually take pictures of these "sculptures". These creations were carefully carved millions of years before, perhaps even long before our ancestors discovered writing or even dominated the earth. We were forbidden to touch them since mere touch can actually alter the natural processes that make a wonderful formation.

Getting there from where the bus stopped was not quite easy for me. The weather is cooler since the cave is located at a higher altitude; nevertheless, the scorching heat of the sun seemed to have bested me, not to mention the long way downwards towards the cave. Descending was an easy task but the real challenge was going back from where we came from. The only consolation I had was that the stairs were solid rocks and were not too steep.

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