When you think of the word “walks” what vision comes to your mind? Probably one where you are strolling in a lush green park, with tiny little flowers peeping out from behind bushes, nodding their heads to the chirrups of birds frolicking on the branches above. God, that is beautiful imagery! Well, we are about to take a walk, but not one that’s going to be above the ground. On the contrary, like Alice in Wonderland, we are going to go down a rabbit hole and spring into a whole new world some of us never even knew existed under our own.
No, no, no, we aren’t talking about the more popular underground walks that one is familiar with in a general way – the Underground City in Quebec, or the 1,300 miles of Paris sewers, or the famous catacombs in Rome. These are some of the little known wonders hiding away in the belly of the universe, but they are steeped in history nonetheless, making for fantastic expeditions for adventurers as well as cultural enthusiasts.
Wieliczka Salt Mine, Kraków, Poland
The idea of exploring a salt mine might not strike some as being the best idea for a fun outing, but then, this isn’t just any salt mine that we are talking about here. The Wieliczka Salt Mine is a UNESCO-listed site and it takes you on a journey that showcases what man can achieve in 9 uninterrupted centuries of mining.
In this case, the results are nothing short of amazing as this mining museum features lakes, statues, chambers, concert halls, corridors, sanatorium, caverns, and galleries totaling over 200 kilometers in length – all under the ground! The most remarkable structure here is a chapel, carved entirely from salt, which includes even the chandeliers hanging from the ceiling.
Aktun Chen Eco Park Caves, Yucatán, Mexico
In the Mayan language, Aktun chen, means “cave with subterranean river”. Just south of Akumal is the Aktun-Chen Cave and Cavern system, a place where you come face to face with breathtaking rock formations, waters that glisten like crystals, spectacular stalagmites that rise from the floor towards their partners sprouting from the ceiling, and fossil remains going back several hundreds of years. The caves are illuminated with a soft light that add further to the magical quality of the place. The most spectacular of all the caves is one that is 5 million years old and over 600 meters in length.
The Cu Chi Tunnels, Vietnam
The Vietnam War has served as a backdrop for several movies, books, and television series but the Cu Chi Tunnels show you a side of the conflict you could never have imagined. What was once a very important battleground during the war has, today, become a leading attraction in the realm of war tourism. This entire underground village woven together with the help of 125 miles of tunnels was used by Viet Cong guerrillas as a place to hide, communicate with fellow fighters, transport weapon and food, and seek medical help. Although this underground citadel was bombed several times it was never captured. It’s nothing like you’ve ever seen before and it’s guaranteed to excite your imagination ten times over.