|Image: The entrance of Peştera Meziad.|
|Location:||Near the village Meziad. Follow road from Oradea to Deva, in Beiuş turn east 18km to Meziad. Turn right in Remetea. Road through Meziad leads to cave entrance. 1,5km walk.|
|Open:||All year Tue-Sun 9-11 14-16|
|Fee:||Adults 10.000 Lei, Children 5.000 Lei.|
|Light:||none, bring own light, as bright as possible!|
Short tour D=60min.
Long tour: D=120min.
|Bibliography:||SpelSpec#2, AGCM, Trav.ISER(T) 1974|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|Image: after the entrance hall, the show cave begins with a wall and a gate.|
The road from Beiuş to Meziad gets narrower and narrower, in Meziad it is only a gravel road, but behind Meziad it is just a single lane dirt road. Not very good for a sports car, but normal cars should have no problem. Behind Meziad the road winds up a picturesque limestone valley, along a brook. Then the Meziad Cave cassa is reached. Here you can park and buy your tickets.
The dirt road continues up the valley, becoming more and more uneven. It is about a kilometre walk up the valley until you reach a wooden bridge, or better: a wooden plank or gangway looking horribly unsafe. Then the path goes up along a (mostly dry) tributary stream to the cave entrance. To see the first glimpses of the enormous entrance portal is really thrilling.
Entrance portals are often much bigger than the cave behind, as the cave entrance is widened by weathering, especially by frost. Not so in this case: the cave behind the entrance is nearly the same size and stays so for several hundred meters. The first huge hall has enough light from the entrance and from a side entry. It is about 25 m high and 40 m wide. For a small passage at the end you need an electric torch. The main passage turns right and is now blocked by a massive wall. The 4 m high wall looks a little lost in the huge passage.
|Image: survey of the cave. red: path of the show cave. blue: temporary cave river.|
The huge first part, the entrance hall, is accessible without a tour, so if you visit the cave outside the open hours, it is still worth a visit. At the wall, the real cave tour starts. The cave has no electric light, everybody should bring a very good torch. The guides provide several old carbide lamps for visitors without a torch, but it is a little tricky to use them.
The cave has three levels, the main passage is the middle level. The first thing on the tour is to leave this level and climb up to the top level. A massive dripstone flow to the right is climbed on a rickety ladder, a rather good argument for some visitors, to quit the tour at this point. Fortunately this is the most difficult spot of the tour, although there are not the paths a show cave visitor is used to. The path is more like a hike in the alps and visitors should wear good shoes. But if you managed this first ascend, the rest of the tour is a rather comfortable hike.
Climbing up a steep passage the visitor reaches the upper level, which has numerous flow passages, nice erosive profiles, and bats. The huge dripstones are impressive, but dead. Some of them might be reactivated in times with more water, but most of them are absolutely dry. Still, they look bright white as does the whole cave. The limestone seems to be very pure and the are very little remains of previous centuries.
The path follows the main passage from chamber to chamber, a big tour group is usefull, as torches and carbide lamps have probems to light the enormous halls. From time to time a dark abyss gives way to the middle level below. After some time the first descend is reached. Here the short tour goes down a steep slope, the long tour continues in the upper level. It goes down another connection.
The descends are the second difficult parts of the cave tour. They are steep and wet, and tend to be slippery. But anybody who made the ascend should also make the descend.
The cave has numerous huge stalactites at the ceiling of the main passage. They are tilted towards the cave entrance, some if them are tilted and curved. It seems, at least while water flows in the wet spring, and the stalagmites grow, there is a constant air stream out of the cave.