Krakow Arrival

Trip Start Sep 11, 2005
Trip End Dec 13, 2005

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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Arriving in Krakow, Poland

We took a night train last night to get here, which is an experience in itself. This was a new adventure for us, so we weren't sure what to expect. Charlie keeps telling me to have no expectations so that I won't be disappointed, when will I ever learn?

The idea is to get from point A to point B without wasting a day of sight seeing and so you don't have to pay for sleeping accommodations. It was a rough night though. I have always heard rumors that people steal your stuff while you are sleeping, so I was nervous and on my toes all night. Basically that means, I couldn't sleep. I thought a night train would have some kind of sleeping accommodations, ha ha ha. It was just a normal train, just like a night plane is a normal plane, where do I come up with my crazy ideas? Oh well, we survived and there were no thieves roaming in the night. We locked our little cabin door and I sat and watched everyone passing by. Border patrol woke everyone at least once and the ticket folks woke everyone up at least twice. So, don't plan on a relaxing night of sleep.

We arrived in Krakow at 5:30 in the morning, exhausted. Nothing was open and we couldn't get into our room until 1:00. So we walked around the town, sharing it with only a fellow backpacker who was on the same itinerary. We thought we could grab breakfast at the McDonalds opening up at 7:00. That was enlightening. People were lined up at the door, but they don't serve breakfast food. People were getting burgers and fries for breakfast. Charlie opted for coffee and I found a bakery later on in the day which had some delicious pastries. I will say that as far as McDonalds goes, the one in Krakow is nice. Head downstairs, there are several floors just aching for you to sit and hang out a bit. We didn't realize this until after the coffee was gone. They have a wireless hot spot so we might go back and try to upload these entries when we have time.

Our first morning here we just roamed around the town checking out the major sights. We headed to the Barbican and the City Walls which once looked over the city. We saw the shop owners out early cleaning up the sidewalk in front of their area and getting ready for the day. It was nice to see people up and working before the sun, it reminded me of my dad. He always seems to like a good worker.

Florinska Street is the main shopping street in town. It is lined with various shops, we peaked in a few. I enjoyed this street because it housed stuff that people actually could use. It is not a junk street crammed with souvenirs, but more like real shopping. We browsed, but saved our money. We tried to see a few churches but they were all closed. There is not much English here so it hard to figure out just what the signs on the doors really say. We are getting by though, there have been friendly folks to help us through the language barrier.

Once the sun was shining brightly we wandered through Planty Park. It is a lovely park which circles the city walls. It was once a moat, but has been filled in with grass, trees, and park benches. We tried to warm up in the sun and wait until ten when most things opened up. We then headed to Czartoryski Museum which houses various Polish and European art. I think we were too tired to really appreciate what we were seeing. I just kept telling my legs to keep going, that they could sleep soon. We did see a Michelangelo painting that was interesting, one of four women he painted was housed here. I woke up for a few minutes to enjoy that.

We then found an amazing pizza shop called Cyclop. They have wood fired pizzas, and they are delicious. For restaurant pizza it was exceptional. This was just what we needed to get us ready for our long nap. We found our way to our mismatched room, and crashed. (Dianne, you would die at the looks of this place.)

We woke up just in time to wander around the delightful town square and found our way to the kino. We had been hoping to see a movie sometime and there is a theater near our hotel. We didn't have much choices for English films, so we saw Broken Flowers, we wouldn't recommend it. It was a Bill Murray film, but it didn't have the greatest story line. The theater was really cute though, so we did enjoy the cinema experience.
After the movie we were hoping to find some food. We knew it would be kind of late so we weren't sure what our options would be. When we got out of the movie around ten, the Old Town Square was still alive with people. In the center was a stand grilling all different kinds of pork, it looked delicious. I opted for the ribs and Charlie got the steak, which was in the pork chop family. They were so good. It came with cabbage and Charlie enjoyed that as well. We have had great food experiences in Poland. Really we have thoroughly enjoyed this country.
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