Wieliczka Salt Mines - Krakow, Poland

Trip Start May 18, 2007
Trip End Jul 18, 2007

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Hi all-

We visited the Wieliczka Salt Mines about 30 min outside of Krakow. While waiting for the tour bus, we stood and chatted with some folks: one couple was from Chandler, AZ and lived less than a mile where Ryan used to live! Small world! The couple was traveling with the mother who was coming back to visit her homeland of Poland. She was a beautiful woman and very happy, yet sad, to be back. Lots of tough memories for her.
The salt mines are 700 yrs old dating back to the 18th century. We walked down 800 steps, followed with 2.5 miles of touring the mine, stopping to see salt carvings that the miners did of different religious figures. We both licked the walls of the shaft, and it was really salty as the mine is constructed of salt.... And a little wood to keep it from collapsing. (Sammy and Jilly - you would not have liked this one bit!).
We were a little disappointed with this tour as it was too commercialized with souvenir shops and kind of a cheesy way to spend 4 hrs. We made up for it though....
The tour dropped us in the heart of Krakow where we stopped for a fresh Kebab sandwich followed by a much needed nap in the Planty, a green belt which surrounds the city. Thunder was heard so after an hour nap we grabbed a cup of coffee near our hotel and watched the hard rain come down but stayed dry and warm.
We had 6 hrs before boarding the night train so we strolled all around the Jewish Quarter, stopping to enjoy the sites and smells of the small city.  Since the original cemetery was destroyed we found the "new" Jewish cemetery with thousands of grave stones, and the oldest one we found before we were kicked out was 1842 - 1929.
Off to the train station...

Today's miles: 8.23 miles
Total for the journey: 45.83 miles (8 days)

Ryan and Laurie
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