Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Wieliczka Satlt Mine

This morning I took my parents to the Wieliczka Salt Mine in Wieliczka, Poland.  Wieliczka is an adorable town about 20 minutes outside Krakow.  The Salt Mine is a must-see if you travel to Krakow.  I know the term "salt mine" isn't the first thing you think of visiting when you plan a trip to Europe, but Wieliczka is amazing.  The mine is about 900 years old, and after a 2 hour tour we had only seen 1% of the mine.  But the size of the mine isn't what draws people to see this's what the miners did inside the mine once their shift was over.  Before I show you pictures from inside, here's a couple shots of me and my folks as we were waiting to go in....

My mother-in-law always tells me I need to get in more of the pictures, so I made sure my mom took one with me in it!

The pictures do not do this place justice, but here's a picture of a chapel that was entirely carved out of salt. Even the chandeliers are carved out of rock salt!  The mine is filled with sculptures the miners created after their work shifts were done.  They did it willingly, because they wanted to make the mine a more beautiful place.  They weren't professional artists, which makes this place even more amazing.

I think I'm going to tell Luke to get busy carving one of these for our dining room back home....

My parents standing in front of the sculpture of "The Last Supper."  This sculpture is only 17 cm deep, but the detail is amazing.

The area surrounding the mine was so pretty I made my parents stop another picture.  

Another fun outing...tonight we're all ready to stay home and relax.  I think tomorrow we're going to see Auschwitz.  I'm looking forward to that even though it's not going to be a happy place to visit.

Now I'm off to relax with the family!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Night at the Rynek

Last night (after Mom and Dad had taken some time to rest and recuperate from the loooong flight) we took them out for a night at the Rynek.  The Rynek is the Market Square in the center of Krakow, and it's an amazing area of history, architecture, restaurants and shopping.  The weather was perfect, and Mom and Dad were surprisingly energetic for their first day here.  I told them I was impressed....I usually don't have the energy to go anywhere after  a day of international travel.  Here's a few pictures from our night...

Mom and Dad standing in front of Wawel Castle.  We plan on exploring the castle this weekend, so there will be lots more pictures of this to come.

This is All Saints Church.  I tried to get the entire height of the church and Mom and Dad, which makes them look like tiny specks on the stairs.

In the center of the square stands the Cloth Hall.   

Caleb was a real sweetie, and bought Grammy a flower.  

I told Andrew he had to hold someone's hand, and he only wanted to hold Papa's hand.
We took them out to Babcia Maliny's, which is a Polish restaurant.  We figured they needed to try Polish food their first night here.

We like this restaurant because it has so much charm.  It's located underneath a university, and looks like an old cabin.  The aquarium in the middle keeps the kids busy while we wait on our food.

Isaac and Caleb have been asking to ride in a horse-drawn carriage since we moved here, and we finally did it last night.  We did this after we got ice cream ("lody" in Polish) as you can see in the picture.  It was the perfect ending to our night.

Everyone slept really well last night, especially Mom and Dad!  Now this morning it's off to the Wielicza Salt Mine.... more picture to come later!

We have some special visitors!

We had some very special people arrive at our home today....Grammy and Papa!  The kids were so excited for them to get here.  I caught Naomi watching for them out the window....

The kids waited for them to arrive out on the patio.  This was their "thumbs up" for grandparents who come visit!

I asked Naomi to give me her own "thumbs up" and this is what she did.  If any photo deserves a caption contest, it's this one.

They're here!!!!

Of course, Grammy and Papa came bearing gifts for the grandkids.  Grammy made Naomi and Andrew each their own "quiet books."  So cute!  They had fun playing with them and coloring in their books.

Caleb requested Rice Krispies cereal so Grammy brought him several baggies full.  (Ziploc bags are easier to pack than cereal boxes.)

Isaac got Ramen Noodles and Nerds jelly beans

Naomi also got a pink raincoat which she insisted on wearing even though it was 80 degrees outside.

Grandparents are so much fun!