Day 22 Krakow

Trip Start Aug 13, 2013
Trip End Sep 13, 2013

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Flag of Poland  , Lesser Poland Voivodeship,
Monday, September 2, 2013

A sleep-in was required as there was some revelry in the street last night which woke us a couple of times.
Breakfast under the old town hall tower in the square and then we sent of for Wavel, the castle complex. Some areas were closed at was a Monday but we had a good stick-beak. The Cathedral was an interesting hitch-pitch of designs and editions. Many bodies in the crypts and side chapels.
And of course there was a statue commemorating Pope John Paul II, hometown lad having been born 50 km away and studied for priesthood in Krakow.
Off we trotted then to the Jewish quarter, basically the old ghetto in the Kazimierz district. We visited a few synagogues, some active again but others only a shell of what they were. Nearby was the Old Cemetery and the much larger New Cemetery. Both were devastated with the arrival of the Nazis in the first months of WWII. Most of the tombstones and monuments were removed and used as paving stones or general building materials. Thankfully many of these pieces found across Krakow over the following years were returned and either restored to the cemetery as they were or iincorporated into some commendable composite structures around the cemetery.
We had lunch in a local Jewish restaurant. I had the most delicious beetroot soup. ( note for next dinner party) Peter had the gefilte fish followed by matzah ball soup - such a traditional boy.
Apparently in the restaurant, we were in the presence of a famous conductor - Leopold Kozlofsky - an old curmudgeon if you ask me but it turns out he is a 94 year old Holocaust survivor and passionate exponent of traditional folk styles. He is considered a living treasure.
I did a considerable bit of wandering for the rest of the afternoon and some queuing at the train station booking by tickets to Budapest too.
Peter found a gem of a restaurant for dinner on the outskirts of the old town. Lovely.
Safely tucked in bed now and hoping there will be less late night revellers to wake us up tonight.
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