Saturday, April 26, 2014

Kraków -- Rynek, Easter Festival, and nearby Salt Mines

Me in the Kraków Panorama
Rynek Panorama (click to see full size)
Dinner to celebrate Easter just before
at a restaurant like Ratatouille!

Dear Mom,

Sorry that I have like no time to write today! Yesterday was a holiday and so we didn't get to email. 

My new companion that I'm training is  Elder Remy.  He's from from Plain City, Utah . . . which is near Ogden.  I took a 3 hour train by myslef to Warsaw to meet him (while Elder Taylor rode to Lodz).  Then Elder Remy and I rode back together.

On Elder Remy's first day in Kraków, we met a young man while contacting with the white board (Amazing -- his FIRST DAY!) who agreed to meet with us.   He's excited and eager to learn the gospel and has already set a baptism date for May.  

I've got to go, but I'll send some pictures! From the Saltmines! and from the Rynek.


Together for Culture Night
Our district just before the transfer

Elder Remy and I
Easter Festival
With traditionally dressed Polish ladies
“Wieliczka” Salt Mine
Deep in the Salt Mine 
We went down 56 half stair cases to get to the bottom.  At the end, they SHOT us up a shaft to get to the top -- we could see the walls WHIZ by as we rocketed up super fast -- it was crazy!

The walls in the salt mine taste like . . . yep, salt!
Everything is sculpted out of salt
In front of the nativity sculpture (detail below)
There are dozens of statues carved out of salt
There are 3 chapels carved out of salt

And there's an entire cathedral carved out of salt -- all carved by miners hundreds of years ago.  The wood beams are 500 years old and are in perfect condition because the salt has preserved it.

P.S. from Renee -- There is a legend about the salt mine -- copied from Wikipedia:

There is a legend about 
Princess Kinga, associated with the Wieliczka mine. The Hungarian noblewoman was about to be married to Bolesław V the Chaste, the Prince of Kraków. As part of her dowry, she asked her father for a lump of salt, since salt was prizeworthy in Poland. Her father King Béla took her to a salt mine in Máramaros. She threw her engagement ring from Bolesław in one of the shafts before leaving for Poland. On arriving in Kraków, she asked the miners to dig a deep pit until they come upon a rock. The people found a lump of salt in there and when they split it in two, discovered the princess's ring. Kinga had thus become the patron saint of salt miners in and around the Polish capital.

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