Our first day after the Segway debacle we were up early for the Wieliczka Salt Mines tour, it was a private tour so we had our own mini bus to take us the half an hour journey to the mines. We had to walk down 350 stairs to get to the bottom of the mine and it made you really dizzy, it was funny looking down and not being able to see the bottom and knowing how far you had left yet! We were 135 metres underground and walked 3km through all the underground corridors of salt, there were huge timber trunks holding up the walls and lots of different sculptures carved out of salt. The best was the hidden cathedral which had lots of carvings and ornate chandeliers it was really beautiful. I must say though we were all very happy to get above ground again and even more happy that there was a lift.
We had another lovely lunch around the main square, there is a trumpeter that comes out of the tower every hour and plays a turn north, east, south and west and then waves at everyone.
We then went back to the apartment for a nap before our polish food and vodka tour. We were picked up by our guide Kate at 7 and she walked us to the polish restaurant which was decorated like an authentic polish mountain restaurant. I was a little but apprehensive about the food, but not the vodka! The menu included polish dishes and five accompanying liqueurs:
Krupnik (honey vodka)
A normal polish vodka but it was 72%
Soplica (Cherry Vodka)
Slivovitz Plum Brandy
Żołądkowa Gorzka (a herbal vodka good for digestion)
Bread with lard and pickles
Oscypek (smoked cheese)
Zurek (sour rye soup)
Grilled polish sausages
Pierogis (polish dumplings three different flavours – spinach, cheese and beef)
Kaszanka (polish black pudding)
It was interesting to try the food but it was very heavy and unusual to what we are used to, it felt very strange actively eating lard! My favourite were the pierogis, I love dumplings and they were so tasty. The vodka was seriously strong the cherry one was my favourite, poppa Pete and Chris were the only ones who managed to shot all five and they both went a bit crazy for a few minutes after the strong one. It was a really good night to sample the polish culture.
We had a Schindlers List tour which was a walking tour, the guide took us around the Jewish Quarter telling us all the history and showing us locations from the film. She took us into a Synagog and explain all the religious rituals. It was a really lovely sunny day too, mother Jules bottle of fizzy water exploded as she opened it and terrified everyone it was hilarious.
The guide then took us too a memorial in the old Jewish Ghetto which is lots of metal chairs, which signifies the Nazis throwing the chairs and furniture out of the windows and everything they had to leave behind.
After some lunch we went to Schindlers Factory which was more of a museum to the whole of the history rather than what Schindler did (saved thousands of Jews, risking his own life) but it was a really good interactive museum. It showed the Ghetto flats they had to live in which were tiny, the Nazi rule that one window equalled four people in a room!
The afternoon was spent having a horse and cart tour around the square and then a tour of an underground medieval market!
I would recommend to anyone that Poland is an amazing holiday and very reason all price wise too. It is a beautiful country with so much history, and we had a brilliant time. I would like to thank my lovely family for coming out to meet us we had an great time with you and it was so fun catching up! Love you all.