Salt Mountain and the Salt Canyon!

Salt Mountain and the Salt Canyon!

The history of mining, the Iosef mine:
The Iosef mine was opened in 1762, the first deep mine built in bell shape in Praid. The salt blocks were uplifted in buffalo skin by a lifting rotation device drawn by 4 pair of horses. The miniature model of the device is exposed down in the mine museum. At the crashed top of the mine the salt mass is visible, covered by the thin layer of soil. The natural light arrives at the 90 m deep bottom of the cavity, and makes possible the panorama view. The surface village of miners around the mines consisted of 25 buildings, and functioned as a separate settlement until 1953. Under this ugly surface all the old galleries are present, thus the infiltrated waters have to be diverted and drained not to cause troubles in the visitor and active mining levels.

Salty springs and the crusts:
The infiltrated water rises on the foothill of the slopes as saturated springs. These waters are flowing in small channels and are gathering in small ponds. Due to the sunshine water starts to evaporate, thus the solution becomes oversaturated, and the salt precipitates on every adjacent surface, like soil surface, branches, rocks, etc. Along the small channels peas-shaped forms and crusts o amorfic salt are precipitating. During the sunny days, the whole area is whitening out, a white desert of salt is appearing. During the rainy days the crusts and peas-like shapes dissolves, and the surroundings gats its natural darker colors back. With the next sunny moments the precipitation cycle begins.

Salt cauliflowers and curtains:

If the soil cover is eroded from the surface, the salt rocks appear roughly, being exposed to the rain. On the rock surfaces directly exposed to the raindrops a dense system a channels and small ridges is forming called karren (ridged cliff) surface. On the surface of the salt rock not directly exposed to the raindrops a nice cover of salt cauliflowers is forming. On the vertical parts of the salt cover where the running water is on the limit between flowing and free falling, the salt curtains are forming.

Sinkhole and disappearing waters:
One of the most spectacular form of salt in the Canyon is the funnel-like shape cavity on the surface of the salt, which is called in the professional literature dolina. The funnel shape leads all the fallen waters to concentrate at the bottom of the dolina. This dolina is a special on, because it has hides on its bottom, so the waters disappears in the underground thus it has sinkhole function too.

Ridged cliffs, weather forecast:
The raw salt cliffs on the surface interact with the precipitations. Highly soluble, the salt is eroded easily by the flushing waters, thus a dense network of channels and ridges are forming. This strange exo karstic surface is called karren surface or ridged cliffs. It is strictly forbidden to step on these surface, they are dangerously sharp.

Salty clayish Mud Bath:
The curative mud could form in two major ways: one is the organic origin, the other is the mineral origin. The occurrence of the mineral mud is much lower, thus this place has an increased natural value. The mineral based mud is forming very slowly, due to the simultaneous presence of the salt, salty spring water, fine sand from the river and clay from the slopes.

Please follow the traditional way of mud bathing as follows:
- Do some steps barefoot
- Cover your body part with a thin layer of clayish salty mud
- Stay at the sun till the mud dries out: this is the time of clay to having the deep effect
- Scrub back the dry mud from your body to the mud pond: this is the time of salt crystals to peal your skin
- Wash yourself in the salty, then in the freshwater

Odorheiu Secuiesc - Lupeni - Corund - Praid (about 45 km)

Have a nice trip!

Yours sincerely,
Arpad Nagy

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Salt Mountain and the Salt Canyon, Transylvania, Romania, program offers, options, nature, Praid, traveling, tripping, mountains, accommodations, guest houses, family programs

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