Thursday, May 22, 2008

I've Recovered

Last night I had to laugh when I went to spell check my blog posting and over 50% of the words came back as misspelt. I guess as I was in Poland it was using a Polish dictionary and didn't recognize the English words. At dinner on Tuesday night I was taken to a traditional Polish restaurant. Reading through the descriptions some of the foods sounded familiar such as cabbage stuffed with meat, tomatoes and rice. The spelling of this was nothing like what I expected
(see top right menu item)
, so I asked a colleague how it was pronounced and sure enough the pronunciation was exactly what I thought it was. I unfortunately didn't try them instead we ordered as a group and had 2 massive plates of meat brought out everything from ribs to chicken to pork to steak tips. Absolutely amazing.

While I'm talking about food I might as well switch to beverages. I tried many local drinks during my 3 nights in Krakow. Vodka drunk before dinner as an aperitif is sipped, vodka drunk after dinner is drunk in one gulp. Had a very good cherry vodka served ice cold and an apple vodka.

All this eating and drinking I needed to get some exercise, luckily you can easily walk around Krakow and see all the sites. So I decided not to opt for some of the tourist transportation options. You could see these little cars and horse and buggies everywhere but luckily they were not very forward so you could walk by without having people pressuring you to take a ride. I unfortunately didn't spend any time inside the many churches and museums as I typically only had a couple of hours in the evenings to check things out. I did manage to see quite a bit while there.

I know not a topic that should be avoided in mixed company however it is very fitting here and nothing too controversial. It seem liked everywhere you turn there were churches or photographs of Pope John Paul II. The park across from my hotel had a photo exhibition comparing Pope Benedict and Pope John Paul II. The home where Pope John Paul II lived prior to becoming pope was nearby and has now been converted to a museum. The photograph below of seven statues represents the 7 sacrements in the Catholic religion. I don't remember what the rocks symbolize.

Yesterday afternoon I took a walk through which is where the Jews were evacuated from during the Holocaust. I didn't make it across the river to where they were relocated and Schindler's factory is. Walking through the area is a very somber experience. Plaques and memorials and synagogues commemorating those that were lost during the Holocaust. The picture on the bottom left is actually a restaraunt that has created mock storefronts of shops that might have been there in the 30s.

Parting Thoughts
It just wanted be me if I didn't talk about toilets as well. Men's and women's public toilets are designated by a circle or a triangle. I was asked to guess which was the men's and which was the women's I guessed wrong. I was also lucky not to encounter a public restroom that charged, many restrooms in restaurants and public places charge a fee even for customers. This may have been why I saw a woman peeing in a public park.

I definitely think that Krakow is worth a return visit so I can spend some time exploring the inside of buildings as well as the outside.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a nice trip.