Where in the world is Michael Sandiego?

Clue: Crime Net says it’s somewhere you can spelunk…

I (and several school field trips) visited two of the four caves open to the public in the Moravian Karst region of the Czech Republic. First up was Punkevní Jeskyně (Punkva River Cave). The Punkva river travels submerged through the cave system and in this cave you can explore via electric boat. The cave opens up at the bottom of the Macocha Abyss, a 138m gorge formed by the cave roof imploding. Macocha means step-mother in Czech and there’s a macabre legend involving a stepmother throwing her stepchild into the abyss before jumping in herself (every retelling I heard is somewhat different).

Next was Jeskyně Balcarka (Balcarka Cave). Evidence has been found that humans from the stone age lived in Balcarka but today there are only funny plastic models remaining. This cave is best described as a Mathew Barney wet dream (a triple entendre when you see the photos). No rivers or boats on this one, just crazy cave features.

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