Category Archives: Poland

Hi-Hooooo!! Wieliczkā, Poland.

Poland

Poland, it’s written in stone.

It’s almost time to leave Poland and I’m still not sure how I feel about that. On the one hand, it’s a cheap place to live, the countryside is very nice and flat, until you get down below Warsaw, then it begins to crumple. So far, the weather has been good to us too. On the other hand, the roads are generally terrible, loads of traffic, loads of unnecessary traffic lights on dual carriageways. Every spare road-side bit of eye-line is taken up with a huge poster advertising things a Brit would only occasionally buy, like building bricks and roof slates. It spoils the view and makes the place look cheap & tacky. I thought this would all stop at the border, but no, this contagious advertising bug has spread to Slovakia too.

Do you need it?

Do you need it?

We’ve had first hand experience of a MoHo being broken into here, so we are ever vigilant on the security front, but this could, and does happen anywhere, not too often thank goodness. The Poles seem to be an industrious lot, every town we’ve approached has a swathe of industry just sitting on the outskirts and the ratio of Lorries-to-cars is inexplicably stacked against the car. Polish history can get you down a bit too, along with the Baltic’s above them, the poor sods have had it hard.

Wieliczkā Salt Mine.

What do we do when the weather turns a bit wet?… go down a 109 metre salt mine. The Wieliczkā salt mine stopped producing sodium chloride years ago, but has slowly been switched over into a tourist attraction. The scale of the mine is breath-taking. We had a good 2 hour walk around the tourist route, which took in all the vacuous caverns, underground churches, cafe and gift shops. The guide informed us that if you were to walk around down here and visit all of the chambers, it would take you 7 months, 24 hours per day, 7 days a week….it’s huge!

Map of the mine

Map of the maine & surrounding area.

Tourists get to see just 1% of the whole mine. I think they’ve a bit of a cheek charging an extra £2 for a ‘Photo licence’, I didn’t buy one and nobody checked me over on the way out. This mine has also been criticised in various media for allowing too many people down there at busy periods, we got our ticket for the Sunday morning, 08:30 English tour, there were a few people down there with us, but it didn’t detract from the tour, but I can see the problem, all those stairs and hordes of folk, could cause a problem. All-in-all, a great tour, I just can’t help thinking of all that back-breaking hard work with picks and shovels that went on down there. Cost 84 Pln each (£17.50 + £10 for the car park) Ho, nearly forgot the best bit…there’s a lift to get back up.

Fantastic carvings in rock-salt

Fantastic carvings in rock-salt

Decent into the mine

Decent into the mine

Just need Snow White

Just need Snow White

The great hall, 90m underground

The great hall, 90m underground

Map of the Tourist bit only.

Map of the Tourist bit only.

Sleep spot:

n49.98536 e20.05345 Salt mine guarded car park 50Pln (£10) quiet.

Time to drive over to Slovakia.