Jonathan and I had two big adventures outside of the city of Krakow. If you watched my school Powerpoint, you've already gotten a preview.
First, we went to Wieliczka Salt Mine, about 30 minutes (on a very, very crowded public bus) outside of the city. The salt mine is one of the biggest tourist attractions Krakow has to offer, or so say all the travel guides and websites, so we figured we better go. Having never been on a mine tour in recent memory, and having never been to a salt mine ever, it was an interesting experience, and most of the other members of the English tour agreed. I paid the 10 zlotys (3 USD) to take pictures (I'm an educator, after all!), so here are the pictures from this very old, very touristy salt mine.
Note that everything in these pictures that's not made of wood or water is made of salt.
Nicolas Copernicus... made of salt! By salt miners!
A chandelier... made of salt!
A Catholic church... made of salt!
General mine picture. (Not entirely made of salt.)
The salt mine was really cool to see, and our tour guide had awesomely dry humor. Of course, it's the kind of place I'd love to wander and get lost on my own, but with 300km of tunnels, I'm quite sure I wouldn't have found my way out.
Trip Two: Zakopane
After a recommendation from a friend (thanks Carissa!), Jonathan and I spent a day in Zakopane, a little mountain town about two hours by (a less crowded but more teenagery) bus from Krakow. Because Jon's lack of health insurance did not go well with his snowboarding abilities, we didn't try to go skiing and just opted for sight-seeing. It's a good thing we weren't going to ski, because we went on an unusually warm (50 degrees Fahrenheit) day, and half the mountain was melting.
So we took a ride on the train/gondola/whatever-it-was up a mountain and took in the sights:
We also walked around the town for quite a bit, watching vendors trying to entertain and sell to anyone and everyone that passed. We even tried some of the local mountain cheese, but I think we picked the wrong kind, because it just ended up tasting like ham.
After the sun set and Jonathan and I had finished his birthday pizza and apple pie, we got on a very long, winding train back to Krakow (how the train takes twice as long as a bus, I will never understand).
And with that, I think, the blogging of my winter vacation to Krakow (nearly a month ago) has come to an end. Hope you enjoyed it!