www.whyville.net May 30, 2003 Weekly Issue

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Far-Flung Reporter

The Nerja Caves

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The Nerja Caves and little known in the United States, but are famous in Europe. They were discovered in a fascinating and realistic way, not long ago. The out of the ordinary caves with their tremendous beauty draws many people. One of the most gorgeous settings ever to a festival is the Nerja Caves. Even people who were not interested in caves at all, like me, would still be amazed at the Nerja Caves.

The Nerja Caves were discovered in 1959 by teenage boys who lived in Maro, Spain. While playing and looking for bats, they came upon a small opening. They had no idea how much they would discover. The boys kept the caves a secret for a year, playing in them and exploring them. In 1960, the boys told the public about their discovery, and people started visiting. The boys named the cave the Cave of Wonders, but its name has since changed.

The caves now get more than 500,000 visitors a year, and have been proclaimed a National Monument. They are the third most visited monument in Spain.

Other caves are very different that the Nerja Caves. The Nerja Caves have huge openings and are not at all like most imagine caves to be; small and claustrophobic. Most of the ceilings are above two hundred feet. Inside the caves, there are paintings on the wall that historians have calculated to be from 25,000 BC. The caves have the third biggest merge of a stalactite and a stalagmite in the world.

One of the coolest things about the Nerja Caves is that every year on July 28th, there is a ballet, music, and singing festival with top notch artists. It is called the Festival of Dance and Music. The tickets are very expensive, and can be bought years in advance. The "theater" is for eight hundred people. The background of these wonderful performances is very beautiful. It is the majestic caves. Throughout the year, there are other, much smaller, concerts. The music in the echoing caves is wonderful, and I know from experience. An opera singer sang while I was in the caves, and everyone stopped and listened. I???m sure a big part of why everyone listened was because she had a great voice, but also because it sounded so beautiful in the caves.

I decided to do my report on the Nerja Caves because I had been there myself last year. I admit, I thought a cave would be boring and ugly, but these caves are amazingly gorgeous. I loved hearing the true story about how the caves were discovered, and often wished I had a cave of my own. I only dream that I could have been there during the Festival of Dance and Music, but at least I had a mini-performance. For anyone who gets the chance, I highly recommend visiting the lovely Nerja Caves.

Jomact, C. (2002) Spain 2002. Minneapolis: Fromers Publishing
Warner, L. (2002) Narja Caves (Online). Excursion to Narja. Available: http://www.almunecar.com/Visitors_Guide/Excursions/Nerja_Caves_and%20Frigiliana.html
Gomez, R. (2001) Cueva de Nerja. Nerja, Spain: Patronato Cueva de Nerja


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