Yesterday we went to the Wieliczka Salt Mine. It's astonishing. We walked down 400 wooden steps just to start the tour of this vast underground mine that began operating 700 years ago, and 400 more steps during the tour. The whole thing is a little like the Pirates of the Caribbean ride in a salt mine -- an awesome combination of history and camp. Maybe the cast-offs from Madame Tussauds or Macy's discarded mannequins were given new lives as salt mine workers with the actual tools used 500 years ago. The reliefs, chandeliers, and statues, all carved out of salt by miners, were beautiful, and inspiring.
Alas, I'm not here to tell you about the museum tour. If you're interested you can get a far more accurate picture from Wielickza's own website. I'm here to tell you about the video segment we tried to shoot at the museum.
We are traveling Europe with enough electronic gear to fill a Yugo so that we can document this journey of ours, and I carry half of it on my back most days. After finishing the two hour long mine tour we decided our guide was so funny and charming that we asked her to shoot a little interview segment with us, telling us some facts about the mine. This was a sort-of-big-deal to us, because it was the first time we'd ever done this, and the first time Brenna ever played the role of interviewer. Brenna and Kate, the guide, were wonderful. I got several minutes of Kate telling Brenna about the history of the mine and that her father was a miner for 25 years. I was picturing how I was going to inter cut the interview with the mine tour footage I'd just shot. It was going to be a Vimeo tour de force. You'll never get to hear it though, because the mic on my video camera wasn't plugged in all the way. Yeah, that's right, I've been a sound guy for 22 years, have three Emmy nominations to my credit, and of course I screwed up the audio. I couldn't have had the video settings fouled up or have terrible lighting -- I had to screw up the sound. That's a confidence booster for you.