Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Descent Into The Hall of The Mountain King

Day 2: New Braunfels (Part 2)

I think I may have to record a metal album.

I wouldn't have thought of this normally, but inspiration strikes in weird places. Like, say, underneath the surface of the earth.

A visit to the Natural Bridge Caverns in New Braunfels turned out to be the highlight of the trip so far. Apparently for tens of thousands of years, water has been dripping through a fault-line and slowly carving away at the earth beneath the Texas soil. What's left is an undeniable natural beauty that is best left to pictures (below). What's truly impressive, however, is the fact that whoever named these formations inadvertently (or maybe very advertently, I don't know) gave these formations names that would make for incredible metal songs, including "The Hall of the Mountain King", "The Mount of the Landlord", "Grendel's Canyon", "The White Tower", and, of course, "Cave Bacon".

The caverns are nothing short of breathtaking. The air below the surface of the earth is strangely humid. The water collecting in various pools of the cavern, despite having run over earth and mud, is just about the cleanest and most clear, potable water you could hope to find. They even have water fountains pumping cavern water for you to try (It's good! Despite the protests of the little girl scared that she would get "H2FB/Salamander Flu").

The most impressive aspect of the visit, however, might have been the descent into one of the first rooms of the cavern. I was fortunate enough to get a video, which reminds me of a descent into Hell itself. Just add scary music.

After leaving the caves and returning to the air above (which was surprisingly refreshing), Fabian and I decided to call it a day. We started to head home, only to get detoured by the largest flea market in Texas. I'd be happy to post pictures, but I doubt you want to see something that combines the words "Texas", "flea market" and "largest" in any order. Suffice it to say, there are only so many places where you can buy a used slot machine, a Nazi War Helmet, and wristwatch walkie-talkies all in one fell swoop (outside of Walmart, of course).

After a full days adventure, it was time to wrap things up. We headed back to Fabian's house and I prepared to say my goodbyes. It had been a great visit to New Braunfels, but it was time to head back to San Antonio to catch up with some old friends before leaving town. Or so I thought.

Fabian- again, a big thank you to you and Erin for your hospitality. I will look forward to seeing you soon, my friend.

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