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Posts tagged ‘Caves’

Norms in the Caves of Drach

Legend has it that the Norms have lived on the earth for many millions of years, although over that time, it is thought that their bean-like gelatinous form has gradually morphed and evolved. In fact some allege that these famous white blobs once started off as a mere circular structure, although the biological reasoning behind this theory is heavily disputed.

Nonetheless, there is nothing that Norms like to do more (well apart from sip on a steaming cup of hot white chocolate perhaps) than reconnecting with their heritage, and owing to their tremendously long history, this connection can be no better realised than in a good set of caves, themselves the products of millions of years slow limestone dripping.

Norms in the Caves of Drach (2015 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, pen and ink on paper)

Norms in the Caves of Drach (2015 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, pen and ink on paper)

It is no wonder then that on a recent trip to the Mediterranean island of Mallorca, the Norms were to be found happily visiting the famous Cuevas of Drach; gazing up in wonder at the multiple surreal forms created by the stalactites, and floating, awestruck, across the crystal clear lake, gazing at their milky reflection while a boat full of Norm musicians serenaded them across the water.

You could say they took to it like a Norm to water…,

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2001-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. For more information on the work of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, head to his art website at www.delacybrown.com

Discovering Mallorca: The Caves of Drach

The Caves of Drach, just outside Porto Cristo in Mallorca, sound like something out of a Count Dracula horror film. And in so far as they take the visitor far into the murky depths of Mallorca’s geological bedrock, they wouldn’t make for an inappropriate halloween backdrop. But the horror of visiting these sprawling caves on the East coast of the island was, for me, the fear of the tourist commercialisation which tends to haunt such sights. After all, the caves are widely publicised across Mallorca with a typically crass theme-park style poster of a westernised white-teethed family gasping in delight at the caves around them. My response to this vulgarity was consequently avoidance, and my preference, instead, was always to retreat to the idyllic solitude of the mountains. But when my mother came to Mallorca, and wished to relive the nostalgia of her 1970s holidays on the island, I was persuaded at last to visit the caves, tourists, tat ‘n all.

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As it turned out, those gaudy promotional posters were where the last of the horror ended, for once we left the autumn sunshine behind and made our decent into these extensive underground chambers, there was nothing but a visual sensation to be enjoyed. Words cannot express the utmost wonder I experienced when I entered the Caves of Drach, and nor indeed can these somewhat amateurish photos come close to capturing the most incredible sights with which we were met. For in these incredible caves, believed to have been formed over millions of years by the sea forcing its way into Mallorca’s harsh rocky coastline, we were treated to visions which ranged from the brilliantly magnificent to the utmost surreal, as sinister twisting forms grew from the floor and dripped from the ceiling, rocks appeared to grow like a thousand interwound trees or like wafer-thin starched material, and turquoise waters glowed like precious gems amongst velvet black shadows.

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And at the heart of it all, the Martel lake, which at 115m in length is believed to be one of the largest under-ground lakes in the world, provided the most touching spectacle of all. With the caves plunged into pitch blackness, we were treated to a floating classical concert of musicians floating on lit-boats, gliding along the water like a vision straight out of baroque Venice (sadly, photos at this point were banned). For an artist like me, obsessed as I am with ripples and the effect of light on water, this experience was truly startling, and with the tears of inspiration pricking at my eyes, those ripples seemed to refract and multiply as I entered a whole new level of multi-sensorial experience.

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So out of this experience, I emerge into the light of day an artist truly inspired, with a lesson learnt for the future: don’t judge an attraction by its promotional cover… the most visited attractions are visited for a reason!

All photos and written content are strictly the copyright of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown © 2015 and The Daily Norm. All rights are reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.