Thursday, 3 October 2013

Eastern Europe Part Three, Krakov

 We had pretty much the whole day on the coach again, as we travelled to Krakow, it was broken by a 2.5 hour stop at Auschwitz. As we had spent a whole day there last year, we didn't take our camera in.  
On our arrival in Krakow we saw a great citadel which we recalled from our last visit.
Other sights seemed familiar too. We were sat right at the front of the coach, just behind the driver, a great place for taking photos!
 After a good rest overnight, we set out on a walking tour with a local guide. I really can't remember the names of all the places she took us too, or all of the stories she told us.
I do remember that she took us to the citadel.
 We got to go inside and have a much closer look.
 We could even see the remains of much earlier buildings on the site and this bronze told the story.
 After lunch we got on our coach and headed to the Wieliczka salt mine.
We had to climb up some steps from the coach park.
That's where I fell and dislocated the very tip of my pinkie finger! Earlier in the day I had treated myself to a little scarf to keep my neck warm, I tucked my sore hand in that and went into the mine for the three hour tour!
 It was amazing down there.
These horses are not real, they stopped using horses down there in 1990s.
 Tony took dozens of photos. I won't bore you with all of them.
The great halls were amazing and stood within them any Lord of the Rings fan could easily imagine herself in the Mines of Moria. The halls were so vast.
 Everything is carved from the rock salt.  Even the chandeliers.

 Our guide Olga told us the story of the dragon.
 In places the salt steps were so steep or worn away, or just too precious to walk on, so great staircases had been built for the feet of the thousands of tourists.
 As well as grand halls there were many small chapels.
 We went down over 600 feet, our guide told us that the mine goes much  deeper than that.
She was amazed when at the end of the tour, while waiting for our turn in the lifts Tony spotted something on our drivers shirt.
Olga said that this was the only living thing other than humans she had ever seen in the mine.
 Tony managed to take it back to the surface where he let it go on some rose bushes.
After a very long visit to Krakow University hospital, (4 Hours) where they put a huge cast on my arm, Tony and I got back to the hotel at nearly midnight! Our companions had been out for a Polish folk evening.
 At least there was some quilty inspiration at the hotel, look at the beautiful runner which lay over our bed.
Next stop, Budapest.


Ali Honey said...

Love that snazzy runner. Bad luck about the finger. ouch! I hope it doesn't hinder the rest of your time away.

Margaret said...

The salt mine sounds amazing. Hope your hand is getting better.

Chookyblue...... said...

great photos from your trip...thanks for sharing........