As dutiful information purveyors regarding Katowice’s wealth of beguiling tourist destinations (ahem), we like to spread the wealth, making sure visitors to this modern metropolis have plenty of escapes from city life as well. In this installment, blindfolded as always, we pin the tail on the Silesian donkey (or ass as it were) in Jaworzno-Szczakowa, a city lying less than 20 miles east of Katowice.
Like so many of Silesia’s wonders, Jaworzno’s prime attraction is the result of yesterday’s drowning industry. Literally. In the mid-90s the financial viability of Jaworzno’s Grodek dolomite quarry seemed to hit rock bottom; the electric company cut the power, the mighty drills stopped drilling, the excavators stopped excavating and the lifts stopped lifting. The quarry was in the pits. What to do, what to do. In a stroke of entrepreneurial ingenuity, the crater was flooded with water and instantly became Poland’s premier scuba diving destination. Now rented by the Orka diving company (based out of Bielsko-Biała), the Grodek quarry offers a world class facility to fans of Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparati. The maximum depth of the chasm is 18 metres with visibility in its clear waters varying from 5 to 12 metres.