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Published: October 1st 2017
Geo: 49.1661, 20.2813
Leaving Krakow, we drove towards the Wieliczka Salt Mines, and, for once, the signage of was very good -- or, at least, our following of the signage was efficient. We intended just a morning stop, but the lines were very long; we had to wait an hour and a half ... but at least we got an English-speaking tour. The tour talks very little about salt mining, though there is a demonstration of how the machinery worked, but one visited the mines to see the strange salt sculptures -- statues of the pope, Queen Kinga, Copernicus, and many, many gnomes. It was a little weird but entertaining nonetheless. In the final room, a band played ... apparently, a band has played here since the 19th Century.
Lunched near the mines then began drive to Slovakia. It was a very pretty drive over the mountains, but the traffic in Poland was terrible due to road construction. We thought we would never make the border. Then, for the first time, we had a very slow border crossing. No problems, it took a while.
But we reached the hotel before dark. It is a strange hotel -- very 1900s meets nouveau-riche chic --
giant black loungers and banquets in the main lobby; wide, dimly-lit and musty hallways (I was convinced the hotel is haunted; the chandeliers swang every so gently in the still air); large rooms, with green wall coverings. But it was comfortable, and we enjoyed the pianist while we had dinner in the lounge.
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