Better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times. -Asian Proverb
I had yet to do some of the more touristy things around Kraków despite living here for almost a year. As I learned with this trip, it is important to take the time to become a tourist in your own home.
The Wieliczka Salt Mine is located south of Kraków and a train ride is needed to reach the mine. I highly recommend booking tickets for your tour online in advance. Once your tour begins you are taken down into the mines. It is so important for me to say that you walk all the way down. There are so many stairs. So many stairs! I cannot emphasize that enough. You wouldn’t think it is exhausting to walk down tons of stairs but it is very very boring. As I was spiraling down I looked up and realized that we were only halfway down! Only half way! My immediate thought was, “I never knew walking down stairs could be so dull.” The reward is well worth the spiraling stairs.
Here is the entrance where the stair journey begins. We were in a really small group of about 10 people. I don’t know if it is normal or if it is just because we booked the first tour of the day.
One thing you might not expect at the salt mine is that all of the salt isn’t white. Most of the salt is black and darker. But can you believe that this statue is made out of salt? The whole thing? This blows my mind. Before I went to the salt mines I didn’t really realize how salt could be sculpted and carved into different things. I guess salt is much more versatile than I had thought.
What?! All of these are made out of salt too?!
Can you believe this? King Kazimierz right here is totally made out of salt!
There are so many chapels in the salt mines. This chandelier is so beautiful and it is made out of salt! I really liked this one. I like how it is simple and not too over the top-although I do love the over the top ones too!
WOAH! Now, when you get to this point you do have to pay 10 pln in order to take photos. 10 pln is about $3. It is well worth it! Well worth it! This place is gorgeous and the whole flipping thing is made out of salt!! Even the floors!
This is a nativity scene made out of salt. Little baby Jesus even glows! Very sweet but the lighting makes it difficult to capture a good picture on your phone.
Look at this chandelier!! I want this in my future home one day!
Look at these floors made out of salt!!
Look at these two enjoying themselves in the salt mine! One of the best parts of this family trip was seeing how much fun my parents were having.
This last supper carving is totally made out of salt! What is life?
Here is a salt statue of Pope John Paul II!
I should also mention that there are some parts of the tour where the tour guide encourages you to lick the walls to taste the salt. While I was super curious about it, the thought of licking walls that lots of other people had licked and touched and rubbed up against as they were walking did not appeal to me. I don’t actually think that anyone on our tour did lick the walls.
This picture kills me!
If you’re visiting Krakow a trip to the salt mine is worth your time. The whole trip was about half a day long which is not too bad.