Every Polish person I know living in South of Poland went on their first, big school trip at the age of 7 to Wieliczka Salt Mine
. From Zakopane it was a 100km drive on an old bus, I remember going 380 steps down with my school mates, licking the salt walls while following our guide and then buying souvenirs made of salt which we continued to lick all the way back home..
Wieliczka is only a short drive from Krakow’s Old Town. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site (since 1978), one of the most popular Polish attractions and the oldest (since 13th century) functioning until 1996 salt mine in the world . When i was in Poland over summer I asked around who went to Wieliczka recently. My grandmother said that last time she visited in 1954, Mum in the 60’s, my brother, Ania and all friends back when they were 7 years old. None of us remembered much. I booked tickets online and persuaded my family that 8am tour was a great idea.
It is not an ordinary mine, more like a small, underground city with chambers, magnificent Chapel of St. King, several small chapels, ballroom, statues, sculptures and art works carved out of salt. Tour took us as deep as 135m through a few kilometers of passageways, several hundreds of steps, next to underground brine lake, through several various chambers (out of 2400) to stunning cathedral.
There was no wall licking this time.
You can buy your tickets here.