Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Krakow Continued....

We went to the salt mines yesterday, they were amazing! I had no idea what to expect, I hadn't really heard anything about them. What it is, is an ancient mine carved from rock salt. The floor was smooth and shiny, the walls looked like stone, but they were all really just salt. Our guide challenged us to lick them and see. It took me a while to get brave enough, but eventually I moistened my finger and tested it out. Yep, salt. The earlier shafts were carved in the 1500 and 1600s. Copernicus, the something to do with science guy, visited there. So did Goethe. The neat thing is, that these miners were very religious, and carved chapels in the salt. Some of the most ancient carved figures were smoothed and blurred by moisture, but it was all there, altars, pillars, statues of Mary and Christ. There were several chapels, each more stunning than the last. The tour ended in a breath-taking one that is still used for weddings, concerts and parties. All around the room are carvings depicting the life of Christ. It was a really long tour, and we were up by four that morning to catch our train, so by the time our tour was done, I was one spent chicky-babe. My lips were numb, my throat was sore, and all I wanted to do was crawl in bed after a nice, hot shower. Let me tell you, the Polish know how to do showers. Hot, strong, all-enveloping ones. I stumbled into our room, feeling very cold and grouchy and undressed ready to be transported by hot steamy bliss. I stuck my hand in the water and got an unpeasant shock. Freezing. Cold. No hot water. I almost cried, I think I might have whimpered a little. I shivered there, reluctantly pulling on the clothes I'd just cast off with such relief. I looked at the unfamiliar bed: thin, lumpy-looking, unpromising. I whimpered some more. Cradling my freezing, dripping hand, I pulled back the surprisingly heavy covers and found something almost more amazing than the salt mines. A cozy, warm, feathery womb of a bed! Soft beyond soft, and heavy enough to stifle any aches and twinges I picked up during the long day. I woke up again, at 9pm, ready to face life again.

2 comments:

The Bloxham Bunch said...

I love ready about your trip. Your writing is awesome (I write like a 10yr old)Thanks for the updates and the excitement your giving to the rest of us here.

Alicia McIntire said...

Hi Missy,

I love reading your blog, especially about your current trip to Poland. I was actually in Krakow for a few days, about 4 weeks ago. It really is an amazing city. As I read your accounts of the city, I am smiling with my memories. Krakow is so beautifully preserved, Kazmierez was really amazing and the Wielezcka salt mine was unbelievable! I love the chandeliers made of salt! I am glad that you and Lewis are having such a wonderful trip. I look forward to reading even more. -alicia