Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Wieliczka, Poland

well, as you may probably know, I spent the New Year holidays in Poland, Kraków in particularly...so it is safe I guess to post this, without ruining a surprise :) though in case you get a card from Kraków with only an address label and a stamp, and everything else is blank, not even a signature,  know that it is from me...believe it or not, one like that ended up in Croatia...I just hope there are no other cards with the same destiny...really embarrassing!
My initial intention was to actually send cards from here...but fortunately i decided to send them from Kraków instead, coz here i only had like 5 min. free, and it would have been impossible to send anything, and I would have ended up sending nothing...erm...i just managed to send one to myself...ok ok, dont shoot me..sorry...but i had to enrich my UNESCO collection among else

well, ill give you my impressions about Kraków some other time...this time im gonna present you the Wieliczka Salt Mine...a place you MUST visit in case you have the chance! A really fascinating place, built in the 13th century, believe it or not and producing table salt until 2007. The depth goes beyond 300m (visitors are allowed until 110m below ground), while the total length of its tunnels is over 300km...can you imagine?
The choice of cards was rather poor, but i got two....above you can see the Kunegunda shaft bottom (depth 90.8 m.)...where there are rock sculptures showing a group of gnomes who are believed to have helped the Wieliczka miners. You have no idea how real these sculptures are portrayed..
The shaft was used to transport the produce from chambers situated on the Upper Level II to Level I. The figures depict, among others, a crusher, a carrier, a cart driver and a carpenter.
btw, you are allowed to lick the salt off the walls....though i would recommend the ceiling...out of hygienic reasons ;)

this second card shows the beautiful timber of St. John's chapel (135m underground ) which is considered to be the mine’s most beautiful wooden chapel. Unfortunately, we didnt get the chance to see it...though with what ive seen i was more than impressed.

it is funny, but inside the mine they organize weddings, parties, new year celebrations....luckily the guests can use the elevators...otherwise i can imagine a bride on high-heels and a long veil, going down the stairs made of salt :P

probably the most impressive to me was St. Kinga's Chapel...after moving through dark narrow halls, this grand area appears in front of you...you cant not be fascinated with it! Too bad I have no postcard of it to show it to you, but feel free to browse the net....

now, the special thing about this mine is that you can actually mail a postcard from down there, using a special postmark...and i just had to sneak one in, in those 5 minutes i had available...as you can see, im not very savvy at placing postmarks properly but at least it is there :)  Funny fact - i mailed the card on 2 January...there is a second cancellation above, dating from 16 January.... i dont know if they maybe empty the mailbox every fortnight or this card has gotten stuck somewhere, but those two weeks will definitely remain mysterious. Once I mailed it I actually wondered why i hadnt just taken the card with me instead risk sending it, but you know it always feels more special when a card has travelled :)

and unlike at the post office in Kraków, here they didnt sell the famous 3zl stamps (which are considered as priority stamps), but here you get the economy 2.40 zl ones...and this one was issued in 2011 as a Christmas stamp in a set of two.

Thanks a lot to me, myself and I for these cards :)

1 comment:

Leugim said...

I'm going there in March :D I'm really exited to visit!