Trip Start Aug 08, 2006
Trip End Oct 08, 2006

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Flag of Poland  ,
Thursday, September 28, 2006

The night train to Krakow was terrible - too crowded and really uncomfortable, it was hard to sleep for more than forty minutes in a row. And then I got there really early and had to wait until 18h to meet my host... I couldn't explore as much as I'd want the first day, all the time I was walking around a bit, resting a lot, walking some more, resting... I'm growing tired of traveling. Not of being away from home, but of moving constantly and carrying bags around.
So after a slow day I had a not so slow night. Ania seems to be a really active member in Krakow, getting tens of messages every day, and of course she had some going-out planned, even though it was Monday. And it was with a Polish girl, an Australian guy and a Brazilian girl! I ended up spending all the time talking to the Brazilian, didn't even get to know the other two people there... and it ended soon too, as Ania had to work early the next day.
And then I got to see Krakow, a really wonderful city, and I say this after having visited a lot more wonderful cities. The old town hall, the church of SS Peter and Paul with all the apostles lined up on its outer wall, the Wawel hill with its truly magnificent cathedral, that managed to seem fresh and pull me out of the "Oh, no, I can't stand another church" sightseeing mode. Really impressive.
Then one more night out (but short - it was Tuesday!), this time with a Cuban guy, and the next day (my last) I spent going first to Wieliczka and then to Oswiecim.
In Wieliczka I was only for the salt mine. Ania had said it wasn't that interesting, but for me it was quite impressive. Many rooms carved out of rock salt, with a lot of salt sculptures scattered around. And then the St. Kinga's chapel, a huge chamber with a lot of amazingly beautiful salt sculptures, including even a copy of the Last Supper painting!
In Oswiecim (a.k.a. Auschwitz) my goal was to visit the concentration camp, but somehow I missed it. I got off on the bus stop my guidebook recommended (supposedly 200m away from the camp), but had no luck. I was in the middle of nowhere, walking nowhere. And the signs that I had seen from the bus just disappeared at some point. Then I decided to come back and the first two buses to Krakow just didn't show up... Maybe the concentration camp is just a tourist trap? They lure you there and you can never leave... The third bus showed up, luckily on time for me to catch the night train to Praha.
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