When I heard salt mine I switched off. This wasn’t a tourist attraction that would suit us I thought to myself. I didn’t even read about it. So when I was talking to a friend about Krakow, the first thing he said I must see was the Wieliczka Salt Mine . This surprised me but still I wasn’t really interested. But again weeks later he said go to the salt mine you’ll be amazed.
Realising there must be something good about it we made the 30 minute journey to the attraction. We started the tour going down 380 wooden steps…enough to make you dizzy by the time you reach the bottom. Once you’re 135 meters below ground, you’re ready to start the tour.
Between each long corridor within the Wieliczka Salt Mine is a chamber. You’ll see how the salt mine used to work in some but in others you’ll see very impressive carvings. They’re impressive because they’re made entirely from salt…by hand. You don’t believe it’s salt because it’s a dark grey colour but when a torch is shining very closely on a patch it becomes clear.
Because everything is made of salt (even the floor you’re walking on a lot of the time), you’ll see people licking the walls. Sometimes you’ll see cauliflower salt, which is where the water has dripped through, and it’s re-crystalised the salt. This easily breaks off so you have a taste. But be warned, you only want a tiny bit…it’s strong!
Wieliczka Salt Mine Grand Chamber
Towards the end of the tour you’ll come into a huge chamber and its the most impressive.
There were many churches in the mine, this is the biggest. Everything again is made of salt. The floor looks like tiles but its actually salt with tiles carved in. The big chandeliers are made of salt crystals. Stories from the bible are carved on the walls and there’s even a carving of the former Polish Pope. Luckily they save the best until almost last because nothing can really compete with this chamber!
At the end if the two-hour tour, you don’t need to climb the hundreds of steps back to the top. Instead, you’ll go into a tiny lift that fits 6 people. If you feel uncomfortable, don’t worry because it’ll get you back to the surface in less than a minute.
So if you hear salt mine and instantly switch off, don’t judge it. It’ll probably be one of the best tourist attractions you visit. To find out more visit the official website website of the Wieliczka Salt Mine.