Wieliczka salt mines
Trip Start Feb 28, 2010
5Trip End Mar 05, 2010
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Mini bus to Wieliczka, a fairly drab area outside Krakow. Passed a big Tesco, and a Lidl. Same all over the world, I guess. The salt mine is just off the main road, and we were met by a pre-booked guide, Christopher. He was very good, spoke good English, and was very ready to answer questions.
The tour of the salt mine takes around 2 hours, and first you have to walk down 54 stories of wooden steps. You see, I think, 3 levels of the mines, and it is a pretty impressive place. You are inside a world of rock salt, and the tunnels and carved-out chambers are supported by wooden poles and planks
There are lots of huge chambers carved out, where the salt was excavated (the mine stopped working a few years ago) and some have been made into chapels and sightseeing areas with examples of the primitive machinery used. It was a very hard life, but the workers earned good money and there was competition to work there - you got a big free salt ration each week, worth a great deal of money then. The mines started back in the C12th.
The trip ends at about 320 metres down, by which time you will have seen less than 1% of the mine! The end part is a conference and entertainment area, very plush, and even with WiFi - at 320 metres down. Not bad. There's a lift up, though pretty primitive and small. We saw a brand new glass lift being worked on, though.
Good trip, worth doing, only around £25 each all in with travel, and they'll drop you at various places on the way back.