Central Europe: Poland - Wieliczka Salt Mine

By Cubie - January 08, 2015

We reached Krakow early in the morning. I had a good night's sleep on the train from Prague, all thanks to the codein. The train conductor came by and taught the rest on how to lock and unlock the door but I was already fast asleep at that time and missed all that. It came back to bite me in the middle of the night, because I do not know how to unlock the door to get to the toilet. = ="

Anyway.... back to Krakow. The room we booked in Let's Rock Hostel was a 6 person mixed dorm located in the Main Market Square (Rynek Glowny). After a little rest and feed ourselves with the complimentary breakfast provided, we walked to get a bus to Wieliczka Salt Mine armed with directions given by the friendly reception staff at our hostel. There is also direction to get to the mine on the website.

We decided to start off with a day trip away from Krakow as we have checked the weather forecast prior. We were rather lucky that even though it was cloudy but it didn't rain till night when we were back to Krakow again.

We initially wanted to do the Miners' Route but given time restriction, we went with the Tourist Route. Entrance fee cost 79zł (appx €18 , AUD 30) and we paid additional 10zł (appx €2.50, AUD 3.50) for camera. However, to be honest they didn't really check even if you didn't pay for camera. All entrance inside the mine is accompanied by a guide, of course, we took English speaking tour).

Wieliczka Salt Mine (Kopalnia Soli Wieliczka) is a salt mine about 16 km southeast of Krakow. This salt mine has been producing salt since at least the 11th century. The mine is filled with sculptures that miners carved out of the salt. It was a very informative tour, though there were certain part that I feel a little cheesy or too touristy (the second picture) I won't describe it to spoil the surprise in case you have intention to visit the salt mine. :P

From the lobby, the guide led us many steps down in a winding staircase. We were also given an ear piece to listen to the narration from the guide. At this time, there was no narration yet. It wasn't a very good radio system, maybe because it was underground so one would need to stay close to the guide to hear it.

Some of the chambers were really impressive, in particular Chapel of St. Kinga where there is a salt-relief carving of the Last Supper. In the same room, if you look up to the chandelier lights, these were also made from salt.

The tickets include entrance to the mine museum which is optional. Once the initial tour finished, we had our lunch at the cafeteria and decided that we might as well have a look at the museum too.

My lunch - Gołąbki (cabbage rolled stuffed with minced meat and rice filling)
We were given private tour to the museum as we were the only two person wanting to see it. Halfway through our private personal tour, a couple came and crashed our tour. The guide was a little apprehensive about them running after us and quizzed them a little before allowing them to come along though. The museum route was also with a guide as one would easily get lost underground.

Side note: Have you found your Li Da Ren?

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