Krakow

Trip Start Jun 08, 2006
1
18
87
Trip End Ongoing


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Sunday, July 16, 2006

Sunday 16 July
Loads of hostel sellers outside station but they told me where I'd booked my hostel. Trouble was the map I had didn't have the street on and I didn't have the address. Went into an hotel and the receptionist went on the internet and phoned the hostel for me. After a few wrong turnings managed to find it up the corner of a car park. Full of young Brits, got invited to a BBQ but went to the local CK micro-brewery instead. Feeling bad but managed to struggle down some roast boar, light, pils and ginger beer. Back at hostel for an early night, BBQ still going so had some free sausage and bread, then to bed. I was knackered but the BBQ went on till 5am, kept me awake.

Monday 17 July
Up at 7 for tour of Auchwitz, slightly harrowing film by Russian soldier on the way. Tour very interesting until some Brit asked if I was been iconic wearing a tintin t-shirt. Then remembered Herge was accused of collaboration during the war (this was never proven). I said do you know something, he said Herge was a Nazi cos of all about the V2 rocket and that. I apologised and said it was a mistake but inside I wanted to exterminate him. Got back to Krakow and try'd to find a bike tour, found a group of 5 who were just leaving so paid the cash. Ended up been a walking tour, but it was very interesting, tour of the old quarter. Nigel Kennedy lives in Krakow and does concerts here. Met 2 Aussies, Guy, just in Poland for a week and Sarah travelled over land from Syria! Invited them both for a drink at CK brewery, went back to the hostel to get my camera and phone charged and back out. Guy turned up, then Sara so that was great. Ordered a tube that you help yourself from. We then got talking about religion, politics and sex. Found out that Guy was gay and Sara was seeing a Syrian and it wasn't going to work. Had some food, got drunk and insulted both and ended up on my own for the rest of the night. To bed feeling sloshed but still kept awake.

Tuesday 18 July
Up at 8 and went for a 10k run, then on a salt mine tour. You can't imagine the size of the mine, we walked down 400 steps, through a tourist route created by the Russians for 2k. On the way there are many sculptures from 1300 onwards, created by miners including a giant chapel underground. As I was on an organised tour I couldn't go to the museum which was all underground, so I was a little pissed off. I should have gone on my own and suffered the long queues and disorganisation, but they do get 1m visitors a year. The tour was 1% of the total mine and the museum was another 1%. Back in Krakow bumped into Sara, then onto a bike tour of the city. The highlights were Schindlers house, factory, office, locations used in the film and the concentration camp built for the workers in a quarry. Found out a few untrues from the film. After tour went straight to the station to get the train to Warsaw. Made the mistake of leaving my water bottle lying about, so it got pinched by these 2 rough looking lads who spoke no English. Got joined by a Polish lady working in Nottingham and a unemployed alcoholic DJ, who spoke English so got on really well. Asked him to ask the rough lads for my water bottle, but they denied all knowledge so locked my bag to the baggage rack. Ended up having a really good journey, the rough lads gave me a beer and we exchanged cigarettes, I brought them a beer back. The train is not supposed to serve alcohol but there is a method if you know how.
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