Once the Corpus Christi procession and boat ride was over, we had an hour to eat lunch, and then we rode up this funicular to Salzwelten (our hosts are also masters of logistics and scheduling).
We got suited up in the reinforced pantsuits and met our guide. She went through the rules, and chose Rob to be the "last man", which meant that he was hanging back and letting anyone out who couldn't handle the tour. That would be me. I'd never gone before because we've always had somebody too young to go. So this time I tried it, but I got claustrophobic while reading _The Silver Chair_ from the Narnia series. I made it a ways in by not looking ahead, but then I realized I just wasn't going to be able to do it. So I turned tail and ran back out.
Everyone else had a great time. Including this chap.
He had a wonderful time on the slide.
In fact, they all did.
This was only Sebi's second time on the tour.
Even Will, who has had his own concerns about claustrophobia thought this was a walk in the park compared to his slithering through a crevasse in the West Desert.
They talked about the mining traditions in Hallstatt. They saw a wooden staircase that is about 2500 years old.
I learned that St. Barbara is the patron saint of miners. She converted to Catholicism when she was 26 and her father locked her in a tower, where she lived for 3 years. Somehow she arranged for her baptism while she was in the tower, and when her father found out, he chopped off her head with his own hands. He was promptly struck by lightning.
This is why the miner's outfit has 29 buttons on the jacket and the top three are always kept open, to remember the 3 years she was shut up in the tower.
After the tour, they all jumped on this little train and headed out of the mine. THIS is the part that would have had me frothing at the mouth. It gets very close in there.
Thankfully, I was outside enjoying this view.