Poland
Wieliczka

Here you’ll find travel reports about Wieliczka. Discover travel destinations in Poland of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

11 travelers at this place:

  • Day7

    Salt mine

    May 20 in Poland

    We went to the Wieliczka salt mine, home to the world's largest underground cathedral. Salt miners carve amazing statues and reliefs from solid salt. Apparently this salt mine is so immense that it would take you something like 24 DAYS to walk through the whole thing!!

  • Day249

    Day 250: Wieliczka Salt Mines

    October 22, 2017 in Poland

    After a day off it was back to the world heritage sites! Today's stop was the royal salt mines at the town of Wieliczka, about 20 minutes south-east of Krakow. We left home around 9 under rainy skies, hoping to make today a half-day. After arriving, parking, sorting out Schnitzel in the car and so on, we just missed the 10am tour, so had to wait for the 10:30am tour in English.

    Surprising number of people around, lots of Poles but also other nationalities as well - I wouldn't have expected a salt mine to attract so many people!

    The tour itself was great; about 3 hours worth of wandering around the mines in semi-darkness. Lots of high-quality salt was mined here, and at one point in the 16th century the mine's output was around 30% of the Polish kingdom's GDP! It was founded in the 13th century and still in operation, though salt production these days was done by boiling salt water leaking into the mine, rather than actual mining per se.

    Lots of sculptures down here surprisingly, and an enormous cavern room that still gets used for concerts, church services, weddings and so on. Not sure I'd want to get married 100m underground in a mine, but apparently some people do!

    Back to the surface where we had a quick lunch in the attached cafe (sausages and Polish dumplings), then drove back to Krakow. It hadn't quite been a half-day as it was approaching 3pm when we got home, but close enough. More work in the afternoon and evening! I also ducked out to buy new jeans from H&M at a nearby shopping mall, and a hair cut since I was long overdue - my last one had been in Strasbourg, so mid-August!
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  • Day74

    Vier-uurtje

    March 30, 2016 in Poland

    Bijna klaar om aan het derde en laatste deel van de uitstap te beginnen maar eerst de innerlijke mens even van wat lekkers voorzien... Champignonsoep gepresenteerd in brood... Speciaal en mooi-ogend maar bovenal superlekker... Alleen jammer dat er weinig tijd was om alles rustig op te eten want enkele tientallen minuten moet er al afgedaald worden in de mijn aan de overkant van de straat...

  • Day74

    Wieliczka zoutmijn

    March 30, 2016 in Poland

    Iets voor 17:00 mogen we bij de laatste groepen van de dag met de trap 380 treden afdalen tot een diepte van 64 meter (niveau -1) van dit UNESCO-Werelderfgoed waar de eigenlijke rondleiding begint... over een periode van de volgende 2 uur dalen we geleidelijk trap per trap verder tot 135 meter (niveau -3) onder de buitenwereld waarbij we ongeveer 2,5 km afleggen over trappen, door gangen en zalen... (Het totale mijn-complex uit 9 verdiepen, verbonden door 300 km aan gangen!)
    De 20 zalen welke we doorkruisen zijn veelal gevuld door prachtige, over de eeuwen heen door mijnwerkers gesculpteerde, beelden en voorwerpen... In sommige zalen vertoef je in een wondere sprookjeswereld terwijl andere je alle besef van het onder-de-grond-zijn doen vergeten door hun imposante uitstraling...
    De tocht naar boven verloopt gelukkig per lift en duurt amper een half minuutje...
    Na twee aan-de-ribben-klevende onderdelen van deze morgen is de zoutmijn een mooie afsluiter van de 3-delige trip... Mede dankzij een erg sympathieke, gepassioneerde en zeer bekwame gidsen, voor Auschwitz/Birkenau en Beata voor zoutmijn, kan ik niet anders dan deze bezoeken warm aan te bevelen indien jullie in de buurt zijn...
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  • Day128

    Krakow

    August 9, 2017 in Poland

    I finished my book before sleeping last night and Will must have been tired because we fell asleep before me and when I woke around 12 he was still snoozing.

    The other guys in our room are totally grots. Im interested to know what their houses looks like if this is how they look leave an area shared with strangers.
    Half empty beer cans, trodden on biscuits left on the floor, undies flung everywhere... now I know I am an extraordinarily messy person but these people are insane.
    Me and Will are so clean in hostels. It's in private rooms our bags spread lol.

    We went to hard rock for breakfast cause Will wanted a burger. The burger I got was so bad. I don't know what type of meat that was...

    We walked to the station and got in line to buy tickets to the salt mines. The line room so long, I don't know what people were doing - when it was our turn it took us all of 30 seconds.
    Only $1 each woo!

    Got an email from dad - I'm getting an estimated $2000 back from tax WOOOOHOOOOOO!!! 🎉

    Ok so turns out my excitement about our train tickets was premature - WHAT AN EVENTFUL DAY.

    So we bought our train tickets at 2:50.
    At 4:20 we still hadn't got a train. Our train was meant to come at 3:10 and then got delayed twice then cancelled. Our second train just didn't show up.
    We just kinda stood there like oh crap because our tour was for 4:50 and the supposed next train wasn't until 5.
    Everyone on our platform started going onto the train on the other track. I asked a lady inside if it went to the mine and she said no. A man behind her said no but he was going to the same place so we could follow him going a different route. So we jumped on.
    We went up one stop and got off with the man.
    He was not the only one with this plans and so many people just looked stumped because there was no trains available.
    He came over to me and said he had just called a taxi because he had to go to his job so I asked if we could jump in - he said yes.
    The taxi came and we drove for 10 mins (it's now 4:50 at this stage) we got out where his car was parked and paid for the taxi and for it to take us further up the road to the mines.
    A truly beautiful man.
    I was so beyond grateful. He didn't even give us a chance to pay but I felt a little guilty until he then handed me his business card saying if we ran into trouble to call him. He is a PROFESSOR of surgery.
    Holy cow.
    He can probably cover the $7 bill lol.
    I've stapled his card into my journal.
    His kindness was appreciated 💕💕
    I sent him an email this email thanking him again.

    So anyway,
    It was 5pm
    And we assumed our tour had started but we planned to ask to possibly join another one explaining the train situation only IT HADNT STARTED 🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉
    Not in a million years did I think we would actually make it to our original tour.

    We were given a headphone and radio thing so we could hear our guide.
    It was much cooler in the mine.

    It's called the Wieliczka salt mines. It's a UNSCO site and frankly, pretty bad ass.
    We first went down to the 1st level taking one million stairs to get there - the last number I noticed was staircase 41 so it was at least more than that. It just didn't end.

    Ok so,

    Stop 1.
    She told us about the wood at why it was painted white - to reflect the light because they obviously didn't have candles.

    Stop 2.
    One of many galleries that had cool
    Sculptures made from salt. They looked like they were made from marble but when you put your light up to it it became transparent - same with the floor. It was pretty cool.

    Stop 3.
    Another chamber with statues where our guide told us a tale about a Hungary engagement ring and a princess. I didn't see the relevance...
    she said the salt in this chamber has been approved by grad students as going well with tequila hahaha

    Stop 4.
    Some statues (non salt ones) that showed some of the workers and how they transported things e.g. Cart and horses etc

    Stop 5.
    Work stations for the horses.
    It makes me sad. A single horse was down in the mines for 20 - 30 years. The last one only left in 2002 😒it hadn't been a working mine in many many years but things still had to be done apparently.

    We then went down to the second level.
    Some gronks brought their newborn infant and a pram? They held up several groups.

    Stop 6.
    Was a crappy presentation about methane gas. It was silly, I didn't learn anything other than it's dangerous in mines.

    Stop 7.
    A section that had dwarfs carved from salt and a little one at the front. We threw coins in and made a wish.

    Stop 8.
    A chapel - which was nothing compared to....

    Stop 9.
    Europes largest underground chapel and 2nd in the world (Columbia has the biggest) Crikey it was impressive!
    All up there are over 40 chapels in the mines - some just little rooms with a painting though.

    So in the big ass chapel were wall carvings, salt crystal chandeliers, and space, lots of space.
    You were meant to buy a photo permit but I chose not too lol. #badass.

    Stop 10.
    We listened in the near dark to noises of the workers and a piece by Chopin.

    Level 3 was 135m underground and our last stop. The mine does have 9 levels.

    Stop 11. A water section that boats use to cross.
    The mine has no records of deaths but I'm sure the talks is quite high.

    Thinking back I didn't learn overly to much about the mine and it's history but I still really enjoyed the tour.
    The gift shop had some great items but I'm on stick orders to not buy things haha.
    I really wanted a salt bunny rabbit statue lol

    The mine was really impressive and so friggen big.
    We had to catch a suspicious lift back to the top. Will didn't fit of course.

    And so began our journey home.

    We walked to the station and bought our ticket and the train came - everything was looking great until a worker said we had to get off at the next station 😭😭😭😂😂😂😭 REALLY?!?

    So we got stranded on the platform for 30 minutes in the dark with a bunch of just as confused people.
    Fun times.

    Another train came thank the heavens and we got home around 9.

    Longgggg day.

    We had Indian for dinner again because the place was delicious .

    Happy to be home.
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Wieliczka

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