Ithaca Cave of Nymphs

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Location: Vathy

The Cave of Nymphs in Ithaca Greece, Ionian: The Cave of Nymphs (or Marmarospilia) is known by several names. Originally the name derived from the ancient Greek mythology. Legend has it that the Phaeacians abandoned here Odysseus while he was asleep. Marmarospilia is located at an altitude of 180 meters above sea level and it is a rather cumbersome process to carry all the wares so far. A cave that is located in close proximity to the shore is a much safer bet. Recent findings of twelve tripods in Loizos Cave which are quite similar to the ones where Odysseus is believed to have received gifts from the Phaeacians makes this cave a much wiser bet.

The cave extends to an area of 2.5 Km and one has to encounter a rough road, but fortunately, the signposts aid greatly in navigating. The assertion that this cave found mention in Homer's Odyssey wherein the returning Odysseus is believed to have hidden the gifts offered to him by King Alkinoos, is further enhanced by the nearness of the cave to the Dexia bay. However, there is some indication that the original cave was located just beyond the beach and was unfortunately ruined by quarrying a few years ago.

The entrance to the cave is through a narrow path that extends all the way to a perfectly leveled chamber of 7 meters wide, 4 meters deep and 3 meters high. To the left is the balcony that literally overlooks a massive chamber of 5 meters. The Great Chamber has numerous grimy colored speleothems. This chamber is hazily lit up by a miniature Karst window on the ceiling which makes for a truly haunting ambiance. There is also a smallish passage and needless to say one would be well served by a powerful torch to find his way out of the cave.



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