Travelling enables you to see all sorts of unexpected things as it represents a break from the more predictable experiences of daily life. Acknowledging that, I never imagined I would be recommended a visit to a salt mine. It was the very strangeness of the recommendation that led me to a Panorama Tours bus and off we went across the border into Germany. The bus trip itself was interesting as the guide talked about the area we passed through, made infamous as the summer residences of Adolf Hitler and the German high command.
Arriving at the Berchtesgaden Salt Mine, you don a set of faded-blue overalls and board a small train that takes you deep into the mountain where salt has been mined since 1517. The salt does not occur in a pure form, rather it is encased in ‘Haselgebirge’. This composite rock contains an average of 50% salt which is released from the mountain using a ‘wet mining’ method. The main picture is the result of this process whereby an underground cavity is created by water pressure, the salt released and the process repeated. Over time, this creates large underground lakes. The tour of the mine includes a short ferry ride, which frankly, it is surreal to be 130 metres underground and travelling on a boat.
All this proves that my friend from the Tourist Board was right; a visit to the Berchtesgaden Salt Mines deserves to be recommended.
Address: Bergwerkstraße 83, Berchtesgaden | Web: salzbergwerk.de