Hallein Salt Mines

Trip Start Apr 20, 2011
Trip End Jul 21, 2011

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Flag of Austria  , Austrian Alps,
Friday, May 13, 2011

The next morning we made our way to the famous Salz Welten (salt mines) of Hallein. It was something my Grandmother's husband’s daughter, Marianne (figure that one out) suggested we do while in the area and so we thought it might be fun. We were given white pants and a white shirt to wear over our clothes (note, much fun wearing oversized pants over a poufy skirt…try it sometime) and we proceeded with the rest of our 10 person group looking like a bunch of odd scientists to embark on our great 75 minute adventure. The guide guided us (no kidding) to a wooden bench with wheels which she instructed us to sit on with legs on either side (let’s call this a straddle) and had us hold the person in front of us. This 'train’ took us deep, and very quickly I might add, into the cave’s belly. We learned about the backbreaking work the miners did while they worked the mines during from the Celtic Era for over 7000 years and the treaty between Austria and Bavaria. We watched cute little videos and tasted the brine water (80% salt). We slid down miner’s slides made of wood in pairs deeper into the tunnels of the cave. We took a boat ride across the underground salt lake and heard about the two dead bodies discovered in the cave (both started to disintegrate as soon as they were brought up into sun light). At the end of our guided tour we were each given a small salt shaker and given directions to the Celtic Village atop the plateau. It was an awesome start to what was going to be an altogether awesome day.


Love, Lilly
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Naomi George on

WOW!! It is so neat to hear about stuff like this because I don't think I would ever personally go into a cave, I get panicky in enclosed spaces, or the thought of them, especially underground. But the "straddle" ride seems cool, almost like a mini-rollercoaster haha. I was wondering if you knew why the bodies found in the mines disintegrated in sunlight? Also, are the skeletons in the pictures, ACTUAL skeletons or is it decorations? I'm very curious!!

92.days.vagrant on

@ Naomi - it was really cool. Unfortunately the skeletons were not real. I think the rotting in sunlight had something to do with oxygen and bacteria but i'm not too sure and they had note explained it. Probably best to ask someone like Cory or Jess about these things. If you do, let me know.

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