We could have taken a tour from the hostel but chose to take a city bus for only $5 for both of us to and from the town which was hugely cheaper and more adventurous way to travel for us. We’d read about possibly huge long waits for the tours so bought tickets the day ahead at their office in
Speaking of money, salt was such a valuable commodity in the medieval ages that over 30% of Poland's income was derived from salt mined here in Wieliczka.
The mine has a labyrinth of tunnels, about 30 km distributed over 9 levels, the deepest being 327 m underground. A section of the mine, some 22 chambers connected by galleries, is open to the public as a museum. On the mandatory 2 hour tour, our guide led us through the upper 3 levels of the mine from 64 m to 135 m below ground, after walking down 53 flights of stairs. Each flight luckily only had 7 steps but, Mindy and Judy, I thought of you both with your bad knees thinking the trek down would have been impossible for you.
|Deeper and deeper we went!|
|From the Weimar Chamber; carved in 19th C.|
|Photos from the Chapel of St. Kinga below. It was mind boggling to me that everything in the chamber was carved entirely from salt ,including even the chandeliers.|
|Pope John Paul II's statue was carved|
in 1999 for his expected arrival at the
Wieliczka Salt Mine to celebrate Mass
on his last pilgrimage to his homeland.
Unfortunately he was too sick and
didn't visit the mine.
|Another highlight was the salt lake in the Baracz Chamber, whose water contains 320 g of salt per liter.|
|A shoutout to Colorado!!|