Our tour of Georgia included a visit to the Prometheus Cave, in the west of the country, but before setting off, our guide warned us there were a lot of steps and ensured we were up for the challenge. The total length of the cave is 11km with 22 halls, but fortunately only 1800m and six halls are open to visitors.
Tours set off every 30 minutes and we joined the tail end of what was a huge group of 30+ people, and the leader asked our guide to stay at the back and act as a marshall.
There were a lot of steps initially down into the cave complex, 80m below ground level.
Once inside, the guide gave a brief overview, but her English was hard to follow, particularly as we were so near the back.
Inside there were steps both up and down and a concrete path to follow but it was relatively well lit although the torch on my mobile was useful. Just in front of us was a group of three old ladies, one of them walking very slowly with a stick, and having agreed to act as marshall, we had to stay behind her as her friends abandoned her, and at one point, the following group were virtually on our heels.
The stalactites and stalagmites were huge, and we told our guide how we remembered which were which – the mites go up and the tights come down. Having given up trying to hear the guide as she stopped in the halls, we simply took in our surroundings. In each hall, music played and there was a mini light show.
At the end was an optional boat ride, but ironically the only members of our group taking it were the three old ladies. To exit we walked through a large tunnel and on reaching daylight found a wire model of a dog and man. This was of Giorgi Tkabladze, a resident of the nearby village, who for decades took care of Prometheus Cave and saved it from its inevitable destruction.
As cars were not allowed at the exit, we had to wait a short while for a minibus shuttle which was a complete and utter scrum down.