The beautiful saltmines of Wieliczka
Wieliczka Travel Blog› entry 2 of 14 › view all entries
July 14th, 2008 – by: Pearl510
A bit disappointed we get downstairs for breakfast. This turned out really well. Yesterday the lady that checked us in told us "breakfast in cellar". That didn't sound too good to us, as we all promptly imagined a dark, dirty and dusky area. Yet this is not the case. In fact, the room is really well kept up and decorated. The food as well looks wonderful. Many things to choose from and everything really neat and clean.
While having breakfast we decide to catch a minibus to Wieliczka, a small town nearby. Wieliczka is (world?)famous for one and only thing: the salt mines. These are not only big, but also beautifully decorated by carved out sculptures. You'll even find underground chapels and ballrooms here. As the mines are so deep beneath the ground, there is no point in worrying about the rain there. So it seems like the perfect thing to do today.
The minibus passes by really close to our hostel, so there is no need to walk all the way up to the bus station or the post office (the main departure site of the buses. After a small half hour we get dropped of almost right in front of the salt mines entrance. For the occasion, it even stopped raining! Perfect.
We have to wait about 20 minutes after the purchase of the tickets, until the English tour started of. Our guide is a funny woman, I suppose around 30, and without a doubt no higher than 1,55 meters. She does a perfect job though, telling us everything we wanted to know. Her English is fluent, and she has well practiced all of her jokes. Yet she knows what she's talking about and is able to answer every question.
The tour starts with a long walk down wooden stares, after which we enter the first room. After that comes another and another, and another. There is much to be learned here about how the work was like in the mine, and what equipment was used, but the most impressive are the chapels and rooms carved out of the salt. These are simply amazing. The tour took us about 2 hours, after which we have diner in the underground restaurant.
After having spend such a long time deep under the ground we cue for the lift to bring us back up. This goes in groups of 9 people, but when you get to see the lift you might feel doubtful. We have to try really hard to fit all 9 people in, especially because some of them have backpacks with them. And when everyone is finally in, it turned out that the doors couldn't close so we needed to push harder to make some extra space.
Back in the open air rain was pouring again. At first it looked pretty much ok, so we opened our umbrella's and started of for a walk to the church nearby. Yet as soon as we were out of the garden, things got worse.
We get of the bus at the post office at the crosspoint of the Sienna street and the Westerplatte. We thought of having diner in a restaurant in Kazimierz, but we're all wet now and don't immediately find a nice place.
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