The salt mines were absolutely amazing. You first need to walk down 406 steps, which none of us enjoyed. Luckily Colin taped his ankle in preparation so that was not an issue. Iwanka (our tour guide) walked us through the whole process. There were all sorts of carvings of famous visitors to the mine from Copernicus to Pope John Paul II, along with various chapels and other rooms. Everything was carved out of salt and the hallways are held up using wooden beams. The older the beams, the more petrified they have become due to the salt exposure, so they are basically solidifying over time. In the main chapel they have services for all of the main Christian holidays (Christmas, Easter etc), you can even get married down there and host your reception. There were also models showing the various ways they mined the salt over the years and how they moved it to the surface. At the start it was “man power”, but eventually they lowered in horses. Since lowering the horse into the mine was really hard to do they built stables underground for the horses to live in permanently. Even when they started using more modern methods they couldn’t get the horses out safely, so they cared for them until they died (the last one only died 12 years ago). The best part was the elevator back to the surface. They packed 10 people into the elevator that was 1m x 2m. It was VERY cozy! I have never been that physically close to Daen in my life (even when I have hugged him). If you ever visit Krakow these salt mines are a definite “must see”.
After the salt mines we relaxed in our room for awhile since we were all tired from the miles of walking we did. Some cool drinks and a little time lying on your bed can do wonders for your energy levels. (Ok, we had a nap too).
We wandered around the square and some of the side streets until we found a great Georgian restaurant for dinner. It was interesting, tasty food! Actually it was probably some of the strongest flavours we have had since we got to Poland (please don’t be insulted Eva).
So now Vicki is writing the blog while Colin & Daen are snuggled in their beds chatting (I would tell you what they are discussing, but most of you would rather not know). Thanks for checking in with us!