The entrance to the salt mine.
This morning we had a tour of the historic Wieliczka Salt Mines—at one time salt was as valuable as gold that it was called White Gold. That is because salt was once the only way to preserve food.
Our tour started by walking down over 700 steps to reach a depth of about 100 meters or 328 feet—that’s a whole lot of steps which made me slightly dizzy going round and round! We descended even more steps to go down to a depth of 130 meters. Luckily to go up, we all crowded into a very small elevator limited to 9 persons each. That is 9 people crammed in like sardines in a box only a few inches higher than our heads! It was cozy, to say the least.
Walls made of salt
Everywhere we looked was made of salt: the ceiling, the walls, and the floor. Our guide dared us to LICK the walls to reconfirm this but I don’t think anyone in our group took her up on this.
The salt mine is an enormous complex with nine floors, galleries and chambers.
By far I found the salt sculptures the most interesting. Here are just a few of them for you to admire.
Pope John Paul II
The flight into Egypt.
The Last Supper
Holy Cross Chapel
Even the chandeliers are made of salt!
Apparently the air in the mine is so pure that legend has it everyone who comes out of it will come out looking five years younger! I wish!