Polish Tours

Trip Start Aug 30, 2009
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Trip End Dec 25, 2009


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Flag of Poland  , Central Poland,
Thursday, September 24, 2009

Our city by city route in Poland was Sopot, Gdansk, Krakow, and Warsaw. Sopot is a small seaside resort so not a whole lot of need there for tour guides.  Gdansk had tours guides but most of the time they seemed to be in Polish.  It wasn't until we’d been there almost a day before we ran across the electric cars that run you around the city with stops in front of each place of historic interest. 

            Krakow was a real hoot.  You couldn’t swing a stick there without hitting an information office or an electric cart to take you on a tour or a horse and buggy.  Every corner had someone there to see if you wanted help in seeing the sights.  In the afternoon, the electric carts started trolling as well.  Now you can’t even walk down the street without them going by you to see if you want help.  I think at that point you could probably negotiate them to take you anywhere you wanted to go.  But as we are out of the summer season, most things shut down by 4.

            Krakow also has half dozen or more companies that will take you to the spots outside of the city.  Most people take the tours to Auschwitz and Birkenau and possibly also the Wieliczka Salt Mine.  You can also take tours out of Krakow to see the birth place of John Paul II or a trip down the river that borders Slovakia (I’ve been on that river and it is quite pretty).  The tour that we thought the most interestingly advertised but we did not do was Zakopane.  The brochure calls this Poland’s best mountain town.  It further goes to say, "Whatever the season, this is a great place to walk, hike, ski, bike, raft, fly, eat, drink, be merry and spend truckloads of cash."  Finally, truth in advertising.

            Warsaw is a bit more problematic.  It’s not the tourist town that Krakow is so we didn’t find so many tours available or so many guides sitting along the square waiting for the tourists.  In fact, we only saw two horse drawn carriages and no electric carts.  The only tours we found offered for day trips were to Krakow.  Well, Warsaw has an abundance of things to see anyway so we’ll do just fine without electric carts, information booths, or day trips.  
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