We've been away for a couple of days, traveling. Probably the most interesting and breathtaking place we visited is Prohodna cave in the beautiful gorge of the river Iskar.
The cave is actually a huge cave passage (here-from the name Prohodna in Bulgarian - passage), formed in the karst rocks, 262 m long. The enormous entrance of the cave is 45 m in height.
The whole rock formation is pierced with holes and passages like Swiss cheese. There are a few smaller caves near the big Prohodna.
The vastness of the hole is overwhelming.
The lime rock is rich in weirdly formed cavities.
However the most impressive feature of the cave are the two eye-shaped holes in the ceiling, called the God's Eyes. The first glimpse at those enormous bright holes, looking at you, is unforgettable. I had seen the pictures, of course, and I thought I knew what to expect, but it's different when you are there on the spot. The scale of the cave and the eyes is overwhelming, fearful, awesome. You can't help but get goosebumps and be filled with veneration.
The opposite entrance of the cave passage is 35 m high.
The light from the eye holes on the opposite wall makes the cave look like a giant animal, lurking in the dark. Spooky.
The opposite side of the passage. The automobile road runs just above the cave, between the two entrances. There are a few paths that lead up to the road.
We followed one of them to have a look at the eyes from the ground.
The whole area is covered with such corroded white lime stones, a bit like bones gnawed clean.
This is how the eye holes look from above - two giant chasms:
A grasshopper on the rocks, perfectly mimicking the color of the stones with the black lichen on them.
A view to the vast Danube plain. We came to the Iskar gorge from the east, crossing some 200 km of the Danube plain - flat arable land with a few rivers running across. Hubby was very skeptical that such a terrain could have a karst cave. And then all of a sudden there it was - the Iskar gorge - enormous white rocks and the Iskar cutting through them like a knife.
On our way back we passed through the cave once again.
A last gaze at / from the eyes:
A path leads from Prohodna to the other nearby caves all the way down to the Iskar river.
We didn't have time to go to the river, so we only examined the caves and went back to the National Caving House, where we had our late lunch and the best Heineken I've ever tasted. The view from our table at the small restaurant of the House. Beautiful!
Unfortunately, the end of our gorgeous day was not that glorious - the car broke down on the highway some 30 km from Sofia and we had to call a tow truck to bring us back home. A picture of a bug on the crash barrier, taken while we waited in the emergency lane of the highway. No more trips to great places in the immediate future :(