Monday, July 2, 2007
Salt Mines and Schindler's Factory
On the 20th, the cousins Wilebski decided to stay close to Krakow. The plan for the day was to visit the Salt Mines a few miles outside of the city, and if time permitted the Oscar Schindler Factory of Schindler's List fame. We made both of them. Sheila and Jim on the other hand took a day trip to Dachau, which we understand was quite moving.
The Salt Mine tour was pretty incredible. We went down about 400 steps into the bowels of the mine. As we made our way down, every few hundred yards was another stop to see a shrine or something carved out of salt. Perhaps the most impressive of the lot was a giant room about 40 feet in height they called the great hall. It was entirely carved out of salt and had multiple salt chandeliers, statues and pictures. Again, all out of salt. Even Pope John Paul II was immortialized in salt via a free standing statue.
After the Salt Mines, we caught the bus back and dropped off just before the river at what was termed the Jewish Ghetto. This is where we walked about a half mile to visit the site of Oscar Schindler's factory. The place is currently undergoing construction, but a limited amount of historic information is available. Like Dachau, as you read about the factory and the holocaust, it is difficult not to be moved recognizing that each life that was saved most likely spawned several hundred current descendants.
Prior to heading over the the Schindler factory, we stopped at a "po po" physician for one of our travelling members. This was followed by a Pivo stop, which also had some pretty tasty perogis.
Upon hooking up with the other 2 members of our group, we again went to the Vulcano for dinner and followed up with Pinochle.
One small side note was that during our stay it was quite humid and we needed fans. One of these was on a stand and rotated. I cautioned my roommate about being careful when moving it, since it seemed like it was very precariously perched. These cautions were for not, since upon the breakup of the pinochle game she decided she wanted it moved. The inevitable happened. But, since it was still warm,the fan had to be used. Unfortunately it looked much like one of those jokes about what you call a person with no arms and no legs. It kept rolling from side to side on the floor. Not to worry, on the day we left, Jim took out a roll of duct tape and pieced it back together again.