Sunday, May 25, 2014

Wieliczka Salt Mine

On the 17th our optional for the Topdeck Tour was to go to the Wieliczka Salt Mine which is located in Wieliczka, a small town suburb of Krakow.  The mine was built in the 13th century and produced table salt continuously until 2007. It is one of the world's oldest salt mines still in operation.  They stopped commercial mining in 1996 due to low salt prices and mine flooding. It's one of Poland's official national Historic Monuments and 1.2 million people visit the mines each year.

We arrived at the salt mine after leaving the Old Town. I believe that there was 22 of us that decided on coming for the optional. I had seen it a few times on television so was interested in seeing it up close. I might never get the chance again.

We were all handed earbuds and a device to let us hear the female guide when she spoke.  It was very well organized. We headed down stairs and then more stairs and more stairs.  The wooden staircase we went down had 378 steps and we ended up down under ground 64 meters.

We followed the guide through the 3 kilometer tour learning all about the salt mine's history as well as the history of salt.

My favourite part of the tour was the salt chapel with its chandeliers made completely of salt. There was also another statue of Pope John Paul II made completely out of salt.

I also liked seeing the underground lake 135 meters underground! It was crazy to think that we were that deep in the earth.

I took a few photos but due to the darkness of the mine a lot of them did not turn out amazingly well. I have left them all below without descriptions. If you want any info about a particular one, leave a comment and I'll try to answer.

There was a gift shop and I picked up some nice bath salts that I'm really looking forward to using. They were also very cheap which was a nice surprise.

After getting our goodies in the gift shop we were shoved into a very tightly packed elevator and spirited up to the top of the mine. It only takes 30 seconds to go to the top.

Would I recommend going on this tour? Definitely. I was very glad that I went on it. The tour is very educational as well as interesting with all the sculptures carved from salt, the salt chapels and the interactive parts.

And yes, I did lick a wall.

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting Paige. I'm really glad you enjoyed the tour and the pictures turned out fine. It is hard to believe there is a lake that far underground.