Saturday, April 3rd, 2004

Saturday, April 3rd, 2004

I was told about my nocturnal activities by and sundry all the next morning but it was all in good jest. Anyway the Jewish girl was heading to Warsaw that morning and then onto Tel Aviv.

I was feeling brutal and didn’t feel with having company. All the others were back in bed so I decided to make my way to the Salt Mines in Wieliczka. I walked to the bus station. In front of the main entrance small mini buses take you to the Salt mine for 2 Z. I didn?t eat breakfast and felt like the living dead. Three nights on the beer were taking their toll. I was there at 11.30am but had to wait until 12.30 until an English tour would be setting off. It was 45 Z for the tour. You cant wander around my yourself.

The mine is only a 30-minute bus ride away and Wieliczka is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a definite must-see. The tour takes you through chambers full of carvings, statues, and chapels, completely made of salt. There are salt lakes, and the largest of the chapels performs concerts, balls and even weddings. The end of the tour takes you to a restaurant and shops, and then it’s up to the top in the elevator.

At about 12.30, about 20 of us were led (walking) down to the 3rd level of the mine. I was not in the mood but I took interest in the many chapels that talented miners sculptured over the years. There was one amazing chapel, which two miners had built over 30 years of their lives. It took about two hours for the tour to visit the various cambers, lakes and chapels.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Salt Mines in Wieliczka – Krakow – Poland (03-04-2004)

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Salt Mines in Wieliczka – Krakow – Poland (03-04-2004)

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Salt Mines in Wieliczka – Krakow – Poland (03-04-2004)

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Salt Mines in Wieliczka – Krakow – Poland (03-04-2004)

Once we completed the tour we had to wait 30 minutes for a real mine lift to take us to the surface. There are three levels on the lift (about 8 people per space) and we were left in the dark as we waited for the other two compartments to fill up beneath us. It was pitch dark all the way up as well.

Once up there I took a mini bus back to down and headed back to the hostel for a nap. I got up around six and met with the others. We then headed back out. There was the Norwegian, the Australian; the two English girls and the English guy and wishy-washy American girl who had got here last night. For some reason she dressed as if she was in LA. Her attire included high heels, beret and long cashmere coat. High heels on cobbled streets. No very bright idea.

We decided to head for dinner and found a restaurant in the former Jewish district. I hadn’t eaten anything all day and did not find the fish I ordered very appealing. After dinner we headed to a real nice cellar pub with was just lit by candles. The beer was good (5 Z) and we had a good time.

Alchemia

Lurking in the blackness you’ll find everything from drama students studying by candlelight to advertising sorts swallowing shots of vodka. Full of steps and wobbles, scabby rugs and fading photographs, Alchemia is classic Kazimierz at its best. Staff though appear to have trouble spotting anyone through the fog.

After that all went home (about 1.00am) while the English guy, the two English girls and myself headed off to a nearby club called opium. Eureka, four rounds of Tequila. Nasty and was again blind drunk (but not as bad as the three others) and I remember walking home with them around 6.00am. We had difficulty getting the English guy to sleep in his bed and not the kitchen floor.

Opium

Dark and atmospheric, Opium comes bathed in erotic red hues and moody tunes. Attracting a trendy crowd of thin girls and media twits the latest “bar of the hour” has low sofas and a splendid courtyard and rooftop terrace. Drink cocktails and effect a look of studied indifference, and bingo, you’ll fit right in.

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