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Helen Betts | all galleries >> Special and Miscellaneous > The saga of us and the Wieliczka Salt Mines
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The saga of us and the Wieliczka Salt Mines

The saga of us and the Wieliczka Salt Mines

This picture is being posted to prove to all who recommended we visit the Wieliczka Salt Mines in Poland that we really did try to go, twice.

The first time we set out for the salt mines, which are reported by everybody to be fantastic, we ran into heavy traffic that didn't move an inch for 10 minutes. So we got off the highway and were trying to find an alternate route when suddenly there was a very loud, very distressing metallic scraping coming from one of the wheels of our somewhat new BMW. We stopped at some shopping center in the middle of nowhere and tried to figure out where we were and what to do as we were afraid the car couldn't be driven in that condition. We looked for the BMW dealer in Kraków online, which turned out to be way outside of town, like a half hour's drive from where we were stranded. So get a tow truck (in Polish, a language neither of us speak)? Try to drive there and ruin the car? Finally, we started up the car and the noise was gone, so we again headed towards Wieliczka, only to have the noise begin again. This time we drove to the BMW dealer, which naturally was closed, but the manager happened to still be there. He took our poor car for a drive and said the handbrake was corroded but that it was safe to drive back to Budapest, just be sure to get it cleaned when we got home.

By this time it was too late to go to Wieliczka, so the next morning, on our way back to Budapest, we stopped at the salt mines and paid for a tour, which the woman said was two hours long. We could barely manage that at that late hour, but decided to go for it anyway. Until the tour guide announced that it would last a minimum of three hours. Unfortunately, that was just too late to be starting a seven-hour drive to Hungary, so we dropped out and got our money back.

We're planning to return to Kraków in winter, and I promise everybody who recommended this place -- and that was a lot of people, Poles and foreigners alike -- that Wieliczka will be the top place on our itinerary to visit!

Nikon D700 ,Nikkor AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED
1/400s f/13.0 at 48.0mm iso200 full exif

other sizes: small medium original
Lennart Waara11-Jul-2012 17:45
A fantastic photo, great story too.
Isabel Cutler11-Jul-2012 16:05
What a frustrating day! Glad you could at least get home safely.