On the way back from North Carolina to New Jersey, my husband really wanted to visit Luray Caverns in Virginia. Our trip from North Carolina to New Jersey was easily a 12 hour drive without stops. No one in the car really wanted to visit the caverns and just wanted to get home. There would had to have been a tornado right by the caverns to dissuade my husband from seeing them. So, my kids grumbled into the museum expecting to be bored to tears . (Not a pretty sight. Honestly, I thought I would be bored too.)
We were all given hand held small tape recorders for our self-guided tour. Once, you are in the caverns, it is hard not be amazed at Mother Earth’s handiwork. It is one of the most beautiful, solemn places I have ever visited.
During the guided tour, one of the speakers mentioned how clean the air is and most people with sinus conditions do not have any problems in the caverns. In fact, a house was built above the caverns, and air was pumped into the house as air conditioning. My son turned to us, who normally breathes through his mouth, and exclaimed that he could breath. Mind you, this is a child when he breathes you think you are near an 80 year old man. He is always stuffed up.
I took lots of picture while I was there that I would like to share with you. Unfortunately, I may not be able to tell you what you are looking at since I did not take notes while I took the pictures. Just admire the beauty. Words like “stalactite” and “stalagmite” formations were words that were often repeated but to be honest, I don’t remember which ones were which. Readers, if you know, chime in.
If I recall, the bottom part of the picture is a pool of water reflecting the top of the cavern.
The formations play music. It is hard to see, but look at the small mallet near the top of the formation. There are mallets like this on many of the formations tied to an organ. As the mallet hits the formation, a sound is emitted. Due to the careful placement of mallets, a beautiful song is played. To see a professional picture of the organ in the great hall, see here.
Throughout the caverns, there are structures similar to this. It may be the bottom half of the double column which is 47 feet tall. To see a better picture here.
These formations resemble drapes with their smooth lines.
This is known as the “fried eggs” formation.
There is a wishing well in the Caverns which is full of money. Every year, the staff donates the money to charity. The above sign shows visitors where the money has been donated.
The green haze is from the pennies in the water.
I would highly recommend visiting the Caverns if you are near Virginia. For more information about the Caverns, see here.
The Shenandoah Valley, where the Caverns are located, is absolutely breath-taking. Makes you want to stop to realize just how beautiful this world really is.