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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Wieliczka salt mine

We started from Birkenau at about 12noon for the Wieliczka salt mine. We reached there around 1pm. Philip our driver parked the car in the parking and we walked up to the ticket office to buy our ticket for the English tour which started at 2pm. Its not possible to tour the salt mine unguided. The family ticket for the tour cost us 222zl (1 polish zloty =Rs.20/-).

Our driver suggested that we buy the tour tickets before having lunch, which was a good suggestion. He showed us a cozy place to have lunch in, Karczma Halit Restaurant
We had goulash soup, Herring fish with cream and cheese. Chicken breast with cranberry sauce. As rice was separately available as a side dish, we ordered for two plates and shocked the waitresses by having soup with rice.
10 minutes before 2pm Philip came to remind us that we should proceed for the tour. We reached the place from where the tour was to start. We were all given receivers with earphones and we tuned to channel 44. 
We went down 53flights of 6-7 wooden steps each. It was a long way down.
The salt mine tour was interesting with a lot of exhibits, multimedia presentations, we visited three chapels inside the mines. We walked around 2 km inside the mines. And our guide told us that there were around 200km of walking trail in the mines. Several rooms of which we visited only a few. The miners had carved a lot of statues from the salt, and since the place got air conditioned they were now preserved in good condition. The humidity was detrimental to the statues. 
Everything is made of salt. The floor, ceiling, walls, carving, chandeliers.

This huge Unesco heritàge site has almost 6000 to 7000 visitors everyday. There were many school groups. The exit is the most time taking part in the tour. The exit is through two narrow lifts.
It took us an hour to reach Krakow. 
Mercedes Benz vito with Philip. We had a comfortable journey.

We were in our aparthotel Stare Miasto, at about 5pm.
After a shower and tea and some snacks, from home, in our apartment which had a functioning kitchen also. We had some Maggi (also got from India, because it tastes different in different countries). Then we just walked down to the main market square, Rynek Glowny.

The square was huge, much bigger than that of Prague. And not so crowded also.

We sat under the umbrella of The Vintage. Few musicians came over and played. 
A couple got up and started dancing. We sat till late in the night.

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