When the guide
locks the massive steel door behind me, I feel the claustrophobia creeping like
an iron band around the chest. It ceases, however, immediately when she
knowledgeable and committed invites us in an amazingly beautiful world with
stalagmites and stalactites from floor to ceiling. 13 km caverns and halls in
different levels and only one who has the key to the doors – I know who I will
hold in, if the light suddenly goes out!

We got during
our drive through southwest France the opportunity to visit the Grotte de
, something that can really be recommended. It is an amazing and
unforgettable experience. There is forbidden to photograph, therefore I borrow
here some of the resort’s image and hope for forgiveness, given how they are

There are
more known caves, such as Lascaux, where the paintings are of a totally awesome
and unique quality. But if you are content with simpler paintings, so is the
Grotte de Villars a good option. Plus, you get to see the originals, at
Lascaux, you make do with copies. Because of e.g. fungal infestation are
caverns with paintings closed; only a few researchers are permitted to visit
them. The visitors are now referred to the caves with cave painting replicas.

Claw marks
after cave bears that once scratched out a sleeping place from the soft clay.

man painted with manganese oxide mixed with animal fat. Paintings, that still
remains 19,000 years later. With time, however, they will disappear because the
calcium deposits slowly covering them. In the Grotte de Villars is the famous
“man – bison” picture, one of the very rare pictures where man
depicted in pre historic art. (One of two sites in France) I have no good
picture of it so it got to be a small horse instead.

There are
no photos available in the souvenir shop, which nearly describes the experience
that rests in my mind after our walk in the cave system. It must be
experienced. Both my wife and I agree the visit to the cave to one of our
absolute greatest experiences so far in life.