Antics Down Under: A Salty Exploration Through the Mines

You know what I love most about this group of Americans in Poland?

They are as crazy as I am. Just disregard the fact that I’m the one in back making the crazy face, while they all smile nicely.

The Wieliczka Salt Mine tour guide really set the tone for us when he immediately began talking about how salty everything was in the mine (should have been obvious, right?).

He was all like, “Go ahead and lick it, it’s salty.”

Challenge Accepted.

And, see? They are just as crazy.

And before you worry about germs, salt has excellent antiseptic qualities. And, apparently, healing powers for respiratory illnesses. So we absolutely had to lick things in the interest of health.

 

 

Every gift stand in the mine also offered salt scrubs for exfoliating purposes. Who doesn’t love smooth skin? I wasn’t into the whole commercial scrub thing, though, so I just went straight to the salty source.

Rinsing off with a little (salty) water.

 

 

 

 

It wasn’t all fun and games. Aside from the occasional terror of remembering you are somewhere around 135 meters underground, the guide put us to work a few times to demonstrate how things were hauled back when the mine was functioning at full capacity.

I had been skeptical about the mine tour (please refer to aforementioned terror), but it was truly a unique experience. The mine is absolutely huge. It contains several chapels, a ballroom (weddings, parties, etc), a restaurant, and several gift shops. The ball room has a huge number of salt sculptures, including this recreation of Da Vinci’s Last Supper Painting.

There are sculptures throughout the entire mine, not just the ballroom. It’s impressive what you can do with a little salt. And given salt’s transparent qualities, if you light the sculptures, it’s even more impressive. The only rule was no licking sculptures. Turns out, saliva dissolves salt . . .

On the third level is a spa of sorts and you can come to the mine for day-long healing treatments. There are even musicians who regularly play in the mines; it adds a whole new meaning to the phrase, “I’m off to work in the mines!”

Both the people and the place made for a great afternoon and we successfully made it up the rickety elevator, sans cave in, in time for a traditional Polish dinner.

And now if anyone ever asks if I licked the wall of the salt mine in Krakow, I can wholeheartedly say yes. And then some.

 

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3 Responses to Antics Down Under: A Salty Exploration Through the Mines

  1. Cousin Anne says:

    Heh heh. I decided not to mention the scary elevator in advance. Glad you had fun! and finally some traditional food

  2. eRIC says:

    The guy in blue in the top picture looks like “Bud Bundy” from Married With Children. Please ask him if he was in that show.

  3. Cousin Pam says:

    Salt mines- another Detroit -Poland connection.

Thoughts? Bueller . . . Bueller . . . ?

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