Salt has hundreds of uses. It makes food taste better, it makes ocean water more buoyant, it helps clean kitchen appliances, it melts the ice on driveways, it exfoliates the skin, the list goes on and on. You can never have too much salt.
Slănic, a town in the Prahova county of Romania, takes great advantage of the abundance of natural salt in the area. Home to the biggest salt mine in Europe, Slănic actually derives its name from the Slavonic word for salt. It is a famed salt extraction center and spa town, due to the presence of many salt lakes and salt mines.
Salt is still extracted out of the New Salt Mine, while the Old Salt Mine has been converted into a spa for public use, an amusement center, and a salt mining museum. Elevators take visitors down into the cool air that is high in sodium, which is therapeutic for people with pulmonary diseases and disorders. There is a sanatorium in one of the fourteen rooms for just such healing purposes. The cool temperature, low humidity, sodium-rich air, high atmospheric pressure, and absence of allergens all make for an incredible environment for those who suffer from respiratory problems.
Another room features sculptures made of salt. The amusement center consists of play and game rooms, a sports area, and a bar. A whopping 2.9 million cubic meters of salt has been excavated from the mine over the years.
Other notable attractions in this spa town include Salt Mountain, Bride’s Cave, and Pig’s Bath. Salt Mountain is a sparkling mountain of rock and salt that rises from the ground. According to a local legend, a young woman threw herself off of Salt Mountain into a lake below in order to escape a forced marriage. That lake is known as Bride’s Lake, and Bride’s Cave is just adjacent. Pig’s Bath is one of many lakes that offer therapeutic mud, with various health and beauty uses. There are also numerous mineral water baths, cold lake baths, and warm mud baths, which are all helpful for certain rheumatic diseases. Many, if not all, of these salt-based attractions have suffered damage due to weather and erosion, but they remain to be beautiful and intriguing nonetheless.
In Slănic, everything revolves around salt, from the economy, to tourism, to everyday life. They really know how to take advantage of the many uses and benefits of salt. With all the natural attractions scattered throughout this spa resort town, Slănic is a place like no other.
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