Today we met Zbigniew Stettner. He will be our tour guide to drive us to the Wieliczka Salt Mine. He will also be our genealogy guide to Sucha on Wednesday and Thursday. The Salt mines are amazing.
To imagine that the workers taught themselves to leave the legacy of statues and cravings is amazing. Then there were the carpenters that built the supports to hold open the caves. The chandeliers made from salt are amazing. The floors that the workers carved look like salt lick blocks and others look like thread spools.
The fact that one could touch the walls and then taste the salt on your fingertips were different. Much different than our table salt. Also when light is shined on the salt you can see the light down in the salt as the light is absorbed. The chapel where Sunday morning mass is held also hosts weddings.
The altar and everything in it is constructed from salt. Because there is no humidity the salt will last forever. They have installed a very intrigue air system to help with ventilation and the removal of any humidity. All and all a very amazing tour.
After the salt mine tour, Zbigniew brought us back to the hotel. Ewa arrived at 2pm and Walt and I went out with her. Ewa took us to the oldest synagogue in Krakow. We toured it and the cemetery that dates back to the 1500’s. It is amazing to see these gravestones standing.
There is wall that contains broken pieces of gravestones from when the German’s invaded and destroyed almost everything in sight. We walked through the Jewish quarter and over to the Ghetto. We saw the chair memorial and it reminded us of Oklahoma City. This is a bit more austere.
Then over the pedestrian bridge that is covered with locks. Lovers come and put a lock on the bridge.
Ewa said she thought that they have had to take some locks off already since the weight of the locks gets too heavy. We visited a few more churches and almost every church has a memorial to Pope Paul II.
We were very tired and happy to get back to hotel to rest before being picked up by Michal. We arrived at Michal and Ela’s flat and walked up to the fifth floor! What a wonderful time we had with Michal and Ela and their family. We were served typical Polish food – We had stuffed peppers and there were plates of different types of sausages, cheeses, cakes etc.
The food was wonderful and the company was great. We are so blessed to have Michal, Ela and their children in our lives. Michal has given so much of his time to help me with my research and I truly hope we will find that somewhere back in time that we are related. We arrived back at the hotel at 10 pm thoroughly tired. We will need a vacation from our vacation.
Tomorrow at 9 am we are off to Sucha to start another adventure.