Greetings, world travelers!
What does that title say to you? What is your first thought when you read "More Expensive Than Gold"? Platinum? Diamonds? Technically, you'll be right but that isn't what I mean today.
Thee most of you know that in the past, the salt was indeed more expensive than gold. My visual traveler story today will bring you to one of those places, where salt was mined in the past. Now-a-days, this impressive place has been transformed into a recreational and medical facility.
I have to admit here, this is really the top breathtaking tourist destination I have visited so far in Romania. It is strange to me that it isn't very popular among the many other European travelers I have spoken to. Even some Romanians don't know it and this is a complete surprise to me. As you are going to see from my photos below, this place really looks if not extraterrestrial, at least extraordinary!
It's called Salina Turda.
Or simply the salt mine of Turda, a town in the Western part of Romania, in the famous region of Transylvania. I guess I don't have to tell here what it is famous with ;) As those legends are not part of my story today.
Now let me start with two of my favorite pictures I took there, deep underground:
That first picture above is a long exposure photograph of the biggest "room".
The entrance to this site is, of course, not for free, but as far as I remember, the ticket wasn't expensive at all, just few EUR. I was very pleased to be allowed to use my tripod, after I asked the lady at the ticket desk.
So you may notice that in the left part of the image there is the blurred circle of a Ferris wheel :) Yes, this was one of the big underground attractions.
The second big attraction and the second big "room" is actually a lake! With boats to rent!
Ops, once again, I did it. I didn't started with the photos in chronological order but I started with my favorite one :) Let me try to fix that "problem" now :)
Once we entered the salt mine, there are a long tunnel bringing us down:
I really have no proper words to describe you how beautiful are the layers of different colors of salt, polished by the water and the human hands, extracting the salt:
You will see those amazing, almost black and white curved layers in many of my photos today. It was interesting to see some of the old tools and equipment used to collect, process and transport the salt. Wooden tools, conserved by the salt and the humidity for the eternity:
At the end of the tunnel and after the "museum" room, there is a waiting line for an elevator, bringing the people down to the large room. It was a bit scary here, seeing what we were walking on. Beams, stuck inside holes in the walls of salt :)
I looked down and these were some of the views:
It's probably something like a ten-story building, I would say. It felt quite weird. Underground heights? :)))
Here you can see the stairway, for those who don't want to wait for the elevator. On our way back, we took the stares :) Also, you could see the amphitheater on the left-hand side and the ping-pong tables on the right-hand side.
Generally, the idea of the place from the medical perspective is to spend more time underground as the air here, saturated with salt and considering its purity and high humidity, cures a wide range of lung deceases and problems. There were special modern medical rooms for therapy in a separate room but they are available only to people with prescriptions.
I loved the way the whole place is lighted. Under certain angles, it really looked like something out of this world... Do you agree with me?
Once we got out of the elevator, I took few minutes to create another long-exposure of this beautiful device :) Everything around looks so magical between those beautiful layers of salt, doesn't it?
What a ceiling! I guess this is another proof that Nature is THE best artist!
From that level I could view the "bottom", lower room where the lake is. I have no idea who the designer and architect of the wooden "houses" is, but I deeply admire her/his work. It fits the place in a perfect way.
Wow indeed! See the scale of this place, the yellow boats and people - those tiny dots around. I was impatient to go down and see all these wonders from a closer distance :)
I loved how there were several, enough places for everyone to sit and have the time necessary to rest and enjoy the views. Yes, the more time spent, the better, for the health, that's the motto :)
Looking up, another huge WOW:
That place was giving me huge shivers, in a good way.
The few hours we have to see and feel this place passed like in an instant. We decided to use the stairway back up to the surface:
How do I know this was the ultimate Romanian destination for me?
Well, I could write many things here but I'm gonna tell you only this one now. Whenever I meet someone from Romania, that is usually the first question I ask them:
"Have you been to Salina Turda?" :)
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