On Thursday last week, in the Loire Valley, we were driving along when we saw some caves in the hillside and mum said something like “ooh look here we are”. We were at the TROGLODYTE caves at Bourre, near Amboise.

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There was a tour starting at 2pm so we went up as quick as we could.The man who was taking the tour asked us where we were from so we said New Zealand. He told us that he had spent some time in England so he knew a bit of English, which was good because I understood absolutely nothing that he talked about. You could actually really hear the Englishness in his voice.

In that particular cave dwelling community they produced silk. They used to use it as a quarry but it is now a silkworm farm. It’s actually a really complicated situation to get the silk of the silkworm. I’m not going to say all the different steps because I cant remember any of them.

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2 thoughts on “Troglodytes

  1. Stephen Christie

    I can’t remember all the steps either, but it was basically this: Feed the worms their favourite leaves till they are very big. Let them climb a branch and make a cocoon. Cook the cocoon to kill the worm. Unravel the cocoon in warm water to get a single thread of silk about 1 km long. And don’t cook all the cocoons, as you need to keep some for the next generation.

  2. Grandpa

    Those troglodyte villages are fascinating. The first one I ever saw was also in the Loire a long time ago but it wasn’t the one you saw. It’s amazing that people used to live in houses set right into the cliffs (actually, some people still do). Grandma and I walked up to some at La Roche-Guyon in the Seine Valley not far from Paris a couple of years ago.


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