Salt Mine, and seeing the city with a new friend

Trip Start May 08, 2007
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Poland  ,
Friday, July 6, 2007

     I Got up early Tuesday morning and went on a
tour to the Wieliczka Salt Mine, where mining started way back in the
13th century. This mine is around 20 kilometers long, 2 kilometers wide
and more than 360 meters deep. We only descended through the first 3
levels at 160 meters, more than enough steps down.  I am 
most thankful for the lift that we rode back to the surface. The mine
is more like a museum, with its history, mining methods, salt lakes,
and sculptures carved out of rock salt.

     The highlight, for me was the cathedral, the
largest underground one in the world, all carved out of rock
salt.  Statutes and carvings, like pictures along the walls were
just breathtaking. Several where of the life of Christ, with, I think
the best carving being of the last supper. Also was the cathedrals
latest addition, the life size statue of Pope John Paul, without
question one of the most adored person in Polish History.

    

    After Auschwitz- Birkenau the mine tour was a perfect uplifting for me.



    So back to the Hostel from the mine, Skip was
getting ready for a dinner date with Magda, from the Hospitality Club,
a charming and sweet Polish local, who agreed to show me around Krakow.

   We met in the town square as agreed to and went to a
restaurant,  authentic Polish, and had dinner.  After stuffing
myself, my dinner and about half of Magda's  she took me to Wawal
Hill and the castle, the cathedral and residence of Polish kings. From
there we went through the old Jewish center, where we stopped at a pub
for a beer.

   From there, back to the Hostel, where I showed Magda, some pictures of the wildlife back home in Alaska.



   Yesterday, I got me a tram pass and went to the Hugh
shopping mall buy the train station where I spent hours walking around.
The place was as large as any mall I have ever been in.

   Around seven, Magda came over to the Hostel for dinner, I
had promised her, That i was going to make her Spaghetti. I think it
turned out OK, a little sweeter then I like, but not bad. So after
cleaning dishes we went to finda place for some coffee and chatted until
Magda went home.



   Today, I had breakfast at Rak's it is a eatery, popular
for student with very cheap and I think very delicious food I went there
today both for breakfast and lunch and spent less then $5 on the two
meals combined.

  
Again, met Magda, and went for dinner, Polish Pierogi, its a dumpling
stuffed with either meat, cabbage, potatoes with cottage cheese.
Delicious. Then went to little cafe for an interesting 
desert
   By then, we were ready for some more
walking. We walked around the city center. This is the old medieval
walled town that was surrounded by a moat. Planty, as it is called
today is a park, or rather a green belt that surrounds the city center,
was that moat.

We went to the Florianska Gate a 12th century gate that was the main
entrance to the city. A little more walking in the old town, then Magda
and I said our goodbyes and I was on my way back to the hostel.

  

   I had clothes to fold and pack, cause tomorrow, I am off to Warsaw!


  
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