Geocaches are powerful. One rough DNF can ruin an otherwise pleasant day, while completing a complex Multi can give you a high that lasts a week. Event caches spark lasting friendships, and EarthCaches allow you to marvel at the majesty of mother nature. This kind of ‘geo-power’ is palpable at Turda Salt Mine GC70CZQ, an awe-inspiring EarthCache deep in Transylvania, and our Geocache of the Week.
The remarkable depth and expanse of the Turda Salt Mine (Salina Turda in Romanian) is the result of hundreds of years of work, dating back to at least the 13th century. Generations of miners extracted salt from the ground until 1932, when it was shut down.
In 1992 the mine was reopened as a tourist attraction and spa center, and in 2010 work was completed on the mine’s amusement park. Today visitors can spend an entire day in and around the mines, playing a game in the underground ping pong courts, taking a dip in the natural salt-water lakes at the entrance to the mines, and feasting their eyes on stalactites and salt deposits.
Some parts of the mines have been preserved to show what it would have looked like when it was operational. If you look at certain sections closely, you can see parallel streaks in the surface of the walls, evidence of the careful work of miners from long ago.
Visitors not only have the chance to take a ride on a Ferris wheel or glide across a subterranean lake in a paddleboat, but also to learn fascinating facts about the mine’s particular geology. Although historical documents date the mines back to the 13th century, geology enthusiasts will appreciate a longer timeline by looking at the rock strata. The absolute age of the salt deposits is between 13.4-13.6 million years.
An EarthCache like this reminds geocachers of how impressive our global game board can be. With its long history, other-worldly beauty, and geological significance, it is no wonder that the Turda Salt Mine is the most Favorited EarthCache in Romania!
Continue to explore some of the most amazing geocaches around the world.