Discovered by a school teacher from Skelya Village (now Rodnikovoye Village) in 1904, the Skelskaya Cave belongs to the most recently opened to public caves of the Crimea. Though enthusiastic adventurers with hat flashlights have been visiting the cave already for hundred years, it was re-opened for tourists with the essential security measures in 2003 only. For better viewing and safety reasons, nowadays the cave is equipped with staircases, handrails and lighting. Total length of the Skelskaya Cave passages is 570 m. Narrow and rough entrance of the cave leads to the several roomy interconnected halls. Limestone icicles of stalagmites and stalactites shape bizarre figures, some of which are quite recognizable, e.g. a guardian face, dolphin, monkey head, etc. A gigantic 7-meter stalagmite stands out in the second hall. The walls of the cave are decorated with flowstone draperies, “stone flowers”, “laces” and niches forming tubs filled with the transparent water. Deep vertical wells lead to underneath younger galleries, with a subterranean lake and rivers forming pure glittering surface. It is a relatively “warm” cave but be prepared to have warm clothes for caves’ normal temperature of 4C.
I am back in Austin after a wonderful visit to Odessa. In reflecting after my trip, I want to thank you for all of your help in the process for obtaining the visa, for your hospitality and the professional way you dealt with me. I also want to comment about the wonderful service you offered through Julia, our translator.