Sunday, July 18, 2010

Our Last Day in Kraków

Saturday, July 17, 2010, Laurie and I are celebrating our 39th Wedding Anniversary today. She gave me a brand new Nikon D3000 camera as a gift (again), and I gave her a trip to Berlin, Kraków and Prague.

We were both happy.

It was also our last day in Kraków.

Water and some smokes

What else would one need on another day of record heat in Kraków, Poland?

Wawel Castle

We started our last day in Poland by visiting what is a sacred sight for every Pole, Wawel Hill.

Besides the castle, the Hill includes a cathedral and various other sights of historic interest to the Polish conciousness.

Pope John Paul II

When the Pope was still Karol Wojtla, an ordinary priest, he served in a parish in Kraków starting in 1949 and by 1958 he would become the Auxilliary Bishop of Kraków.

He was such a very beloved Pontiff worldwide, but especially by his Polish countrymen.

Wawel Cathedral

Kraków's Vistula River

Every great European city was founded on a river. Wawel Hill overlooks the Vistula River for easier defense of the castle.

Great cathedrals have great gargoyles

Yes, both halves weigh the same

If only . . .

It was a strange impulse that swept over me, but I just had to buy one of these. It is part of the ceilng decorations in one of the castle's rooms.

An imposing castle watch tower

Wedding Cake Bakery

We passed this bakery every time we left our hotel.


Polish Fiat Money

Why didn't some of our key American forefathers have insanely good looking facial hair like these two Poles?


There was a Catholic Church across the street from our hotel named simply Augustianie.

It was of interest.

I liked their murals

and their Open Air Confessional

Nice straight lines, huh, Brian?

Even their Stations of the Cross
were different

A nun contemplating

Once we exited Augustianie Church, we headed back into the Kazimierz district, the old Jewish Quarter.

It was here that we found two examples of Earl Scheib's Kraków Auto Body Paint Shop.

One of Earl's last jobs before
the fall of the Communist regime

and one of his first ones in
the Lech Walesa era

"I'll paint any car for only 39.95 zloties!"

Food Market on Plac Nowy

The Jewish Museum

It was big on antique Torahs and Menorahs.

Time for another Jewish meal

On the Sabbath, no less!

Hey, why doesn't anybody have pastrami on their menus?

A lonely waiter waits on a hot day

Speaking of hot, click on this picture to enlarge it

Its the same time/temperature message board as yesterday, only at 1:30 p.m. today it read 39.0˚C.

That's 102.2˚F!!!!!!

And humid.

The Main Old Town Gate

It was now time for shade, people watching, shopping and more gelato.

You try selling fur clothing
items in 39˚C heat

Poznan? Where the hell is Poznan?

AC Girl

As we were walking through a market place full of stands like the fur lady's, we chanced upon a vent spewing ice cold air out at hurricane Category 3 levels.

We didn't move for at least five minutes.

Taco Mexicano

In Poland? Not even on a rare triple dog dare, David!

Nuns in their Summer
white home game uniforms

Reflections again

Twin Towers

Pope John Paul II's old digs

Warwel Hill nearing Magic Hour

A statue of the dragon that Prince Krak slew

It had SEVEN heads, go on, count them . . .

and it breathe fire!

The Overnight Train to Prague

A very good and worthwhile three days in Kraków were over. We felt very good about the town, and its people, but mostly the cuisine and its accompanying aromas.

I would recommend Kraków as a great place to visit very inexpensively for a couple of days, but do it when the temperatures are in the low 20˚C range!

Does it crack the Contreras Top Five European Cities list? No, but it would probably be in the next five if I ever expanded the rankings.

As for the overnight train to Prague, it was like Eva Marie Saint and Cary Grant in the movie "North by Northwest."


On an athletic note, I may have reached my peak trying to take a shower on this high speed train while it was in motion.

Balance, the great ones have balance . . .



David said...

But I bet you'd eat a Polish sausage in Mexico.

George said...