Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Ancient salt mine an unexpected wonder
The guided tours took in three upper levels of the mine, from 64m to 135m below the ground, an eerie landscape of pits and chambers. Some have been made into chapels, with altarpieces and figures while others are adorned with statues and monuments. The miners prayed at the chapels before and after their shifts. The mine closed in the 1990s when less expensive means of obtaining salt became available.
Feeling quite good with breathing all the pure air we decided to go to a movie near our hotel. The theatre was housed in what was formerly two mansions. We paid the equivalent of $6 and climbed up a majestic staircase to our little four-row theatre, in what was probably a bedroom at one time. The room was hundreds of years old with antique bookcases and an old lamp at the front of the room. Luckily, the seats were proper cinema seats. A perfect environment to see a New Zealand vampire movie!
Walking back around the square we stopped in to a jazz concert held in a basement bar. It was fun with people of all ages from many countries as well as local university students in attendance. Tired of some of the stodgy food we had had, I ordered a peanut butter and banana sandwich. I didn't think I could go too far wrong with that. The astonished server said that in her two years working there, I was the first to order that sandwich. All I can say is, it was pretty good.