Trip Start Jun 29, 2012
51Trip End Aug 07, 2012
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
When we got there we were given white coveralls to wear while on the tour. First we rode on a little train-thing, straddling the seat and sitting each person behind the next (like when you ride the Matterhorn in Disneyland). It took us into the mines. Then our smartly dressed guide would give us information in both German and English. We would watch a segment of video about the history of salt mining and it's effect on the wealth of the nearby town of Salzburg. Then we got to ride the slides (which apparently the miners used to get to the lower levels of the mine easily.) This was fun
We kept walking through the dark, faintly damp tunnels until our guide shared with us something unexpected. We would now be crossing, underground, the border into Germany. :)
As we went deeper into the mine we learned how they used to fill large leeching chambers full of fresh water, and after some time (when the salt from the cavern walls and floor had gotten into the water) they would pump the brine out and heat it up to evaporate the water and get the salt. Then we got on a boat to ride across one of these chambers that was full of brine.
At this point, another unexpected thing occurred, and I am hard-pressed to describe it here. As the boat started across the small lake, colored lights began to shine, playing about the cave walls and the fun mirrors placed (inexplicably) to the right of us on the wall. And the music they played... yeah I have no words. Bryan and I were dumbfounded at the cheesy turn our tour had suddenly taken as we crossed back into Austria. Bryan felt they had maybe wanted to make the boat ride "epic" and then had to admit, "Well, it is the most epic underground cruise I've ever been on."
With that oddity behind us we continued the tour
All-in-all it was a very amusing way to spend an afternoon. After looking at our pictures in the gift shop, we got on the bus and then the train back to Salzburg.
This was another of those Rick Steves things. We had seen him take a salt mine tour on his show and we thought it looked like fun. It was. Although the cheesy light show has to be seen to be believed.
Going to Germany kept being a running joke for us. We found ourselves unexpectedly across the border from Austria to Germany on several occasions. Corssing the border underground was worth quite a laugh for us.