We did something bizarre today. A visit to the Turda Salina (salt mine) – which has been operational in various forms since the 1600s.
It has since diversified – now you can inspect the mine works, then head on down to the bottom level for some billiards, ten pin bowling, table tennis or take a boat out for a ride. There is even a Ferris wheel, and an auditorium for plays and concerts. We just had to take the boat out, no matter how much my dignity suffered in the embarking/disembarking process (my normal level of elegance suffered somewhat).
In order to descend you have the option of about 15 flights of slippery stairs, or you can take an elevator. The downside of the elevator is that the first one will carry 7 people, the second one 4. It will also insult you by sounding an alarm if the fourth person is too hefty, which happened to Steven. (thank god I was already in). We descended to the sound of him defending himself, whilst the Romanians (none of whom are that slight I might add) threw in some jocular insults about fitness…
The mine also offers treatments, and people will stay at a special hotel and take treatments for a week, as apparently the salt air is beneficial. When you emerge from the mine there is a fine patina of salt coating your skin.
I’ve put some photos up, the interior reminds me of something out of Star Wars. When you look up, the face of an owl stares back at you. That is where the salt blocks were winched up to. The patterns on the walls are incredible. The physical endeavour that went into creating this cavern is mind boggling.
Turda is in Romania, where we spent a few weeks roadtripping.