Sunday, February 5, 2017

A Day at the Salt Mines

It is not as bad as the title sounds. As a matter of fact it was just amazing. We were not put to work when we arrived at the amazing Wieliczka Salt Mines, a UNESCO World Heritage site. We did do a LOT of walking around this mine. One does not usually think of a mine, any mine, as being a place of beauty. This historical mine is indeed a place of beauty today. But a while back it was an important working mine.

Miners, over the years, carved statues, sculptures, full scenes all from the salt. In addition, as the walls have changed over the years they have become their own form of beauty. I must admit that while my travel mate loved the carvings, as did I, but the textures that formed along the walks were truly my favorite part of the old mind. You do not just walk along pathways while exploring the mine. Suddenly you enter large rooms that have been carved out or the salt walls.  The images I am including here do not do the amazing experience of following the tunnels filled with different kinds of artwork. All of it created by miners over many years.

Some of the carvings are really very modern looking and may have been carved more recently than others. Walking through we also passed equipment from years back as well as new walkways that allow for admiring so much that is in the mine. In the picture under the two smaller carvings you can see the handrails of two stairways that lead into this massive room that has been carved out of mine walls. The room is HUGH. There are small shops there as well more information about the mine itself. In the lower picture you can see some of the really detailed and exceptional group or single person carvings that walker to just stop and stare. This is not a place that you can rush though. Below the carvings of persons you can see just two examples of what nature has added to create a different kind of art to enjoy.

If reading about this amazing place has whetted your appetite for more a visit to Wikipedia might be just the thing.

After out visit in the mine it was really pleasant to spend the afternoon wandering the old city plaza and going out for a leisurely dinner before moving on to the next part of our trip.

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