Salt mines

Today we spent more or less the entire day under ground, in the Wieliczka salt mine just on the edge of town. We started with the classical tourist rout which, by the looks of it would be very crowded considering the one hour que for tickets and a further half hour wait to get in. Down below it was not as bad as all that due to a limited group size.

We decended down a seemingly endless set of stairs. Before setting off on our walk through long, wood lined corridors and chambers of pure rock salt. The special thing about the place is not just the vast landscape of tunnels and chambers dug out under ground but also the decorationsn. Here and there were statues huen from the salt and the miners of old even made chapels and churches. The guide was good as well, ending each presentation with a joke. The pace was a bit off though, especially since I was trying to get good photos.

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Statues made from salt

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I did not go licking alll the walls but it really is salt.

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The spectacular chapel with salt Crystal chandelieran

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Yes, it is a copy of the last supper

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Although beautiful, and very nice, this mine was not all that I had hoped for so, I left Yini to wander areound the mine museum and headed to the second shaft. There I joined a second tour called the miners rout. They equipped me with some coveralls, a hard hat, emergency breathing apparatus and miners light then me andy guide (there were just us two) set off down the dark tunnel.

The miners rout was absolutely fantastic, no lights except the ones we carried, no crowds and no frills, just bare walls and a muddy floor. The guide even gave me some hands on experience, letting me try my hand and pushing a salt car along the track, pumping water and even hacking away at a piece of salt with a pick axe. I was so onto it o didn’t even bring my camera but I would, without a doubt,  recommended it for the slightly more adventurous. It is likely as close to a real mining experience one can get without actually working in one.

Just to top it off, we got back to the city centre just in time to see this magnificent sunset:

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