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Wielickza Salt Mine – Incredible Polish Underground Amusement Park

January 30, 2015

Visiting famous places has always been my line while thinking of ‘what to do in a place I’m new to!’ So a  legendary place visited by Nicolaus Copernicus, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Alexander von Humboldt, Dimitri Mendeleev, Boleslaw Prus, Ignacy Paderewski, Pope John Paul II and Bill Clinton with a tinge of adventure is exactly what we had opt for, and what we did!

Me and my gang decided to go in for the unbelievable centre of activities located
 
The tour required pre-booking and provided transportation. Basically, they let you know about the details over booking. A perfect pick up and drop in facility to your hostel (for students) and hotel (for tourists) is complimentary with the trip. The duration of the tour is 4-5 hours (excluding your departure from your hotel to the entrance of the shaft). We paid for a professional Salt Mine Guide to enjoy a pristine and complete trip, and he did an undeniably good job!

Wielickza Salt Mine Poland

Wielickza Salt Mine Poland | Image Resource : fineartamerica.com

The Wielickza Salt Mine or Kopalnia soli Wieliczka as they call it is supposedly the oldest salt mine, functioning from 13th century until 2007, though the commercial mining was discontinued in the year 1996 due to flooding.
 
About 1000 feet below the earth, stretching for nine levels, I literally felt an Eiffel tower and more could be accommodated in the happening place. The chilling descents into the salt mined caves involve winding down 800 steps, and trust me, the trek’s worth it!  20 historic chambers, all carved out of salt, are worth a 380 steps (the first level) after which we were shoved up through the Danilowicz shaft up to the ground level! Inside the Mine itself, we had spent 2 hours of pure bliss. The best part, according to me, were the salt carved sculptures; one of them weighed reportedly as much as three elephants.

The complete rock salt make (or evolution, I shall rather say) is overwhelming to look at, an when I say complete, I mean it till the last breath – including the chandeliers casting the place in a soft glow.

There were a few catches here and there, like buying permission to take photos, etc. But all in all, we enjoyed to our fullest and in the end, all we could say was – who needs the sunshine when it’s so shiny under the ground?

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