Dobry wieczor from Cracow!

Trip Start Apr 29, 2008
1
5
12
Trip End May 25, 2008


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Flag of Poland  , Southern Poland,
Friday, May 9, 2008

Dobry Wieczor (good evening) from Cracow!

We arrived via train this afternoon in Cracow (about 3 1/2 hrs from Warsaw). We actually met some interesting people over the past day. Yesterday we met a man from Australia at our hostel in Warsaw (traveling the world) and today we meet two women from Pittsburgh on the train. (Oh, and yesterday I walked into the bathroom to find a man standing stark naked out of the shower. Needless to say, I quickly turned around and apologized. Whoops!) Our hostel here in Cracow is awesome - brand new only one week old. The furniture is from Ikea so it looks really cool. The manager/owner of this hostel is a young women named "Kenja" (spelling is way off) and she's super nice. She speaks good English and has been a great help so far.

Okay, so Mike and I are already impressed with Cracow. This city is sophisticated yet very historical. As mentioned before, Cracow was not damaged by WWII so the buildings are original. There is this 14th century church - Church of St. Mary - that has two large towers, one of them identified as "Hejnal Tower". Anyway, in the Hejnal Tower, a real trumpet call is sounded hourly. The call is unfinished in memory of a medieval trumperter shot while surrounding the alarm (according to our handy eyewitness guide here). Every hour people crowd around this church to hear the trumpter call, it's wild to observe. You can see him way up in the tower - the trumpet sound carries over the entire square area. Oh, and today was quite entertaining because it's the week before studying for university finals so students here are letting loose - literally. In the market square today we witnessed young people dressed up in prison uniforms, priest uniform, drag, etc. running around the streets doing crazy innocent stunts - e.g., picking up a young gal walking along the street then placing her back down a few feet away, silly shouting, etc. Kind of a zany tradition here.

Mike keeps observing bulky (and slightly poo poo'd) English men around so he suspects there is some form of a sports event nearby. He also had a strange drunk man approach him while eating a Kaboob sandwich this evening asking for money. We said no in Polish however, the man was not deterred. He finally left after we ignored him. Let's just say there were a few tipsy people around this evening.

Oh, and I had pieogies again today - yes! I was so excited to find a pieogi only restaurant that sells all types (vegetarian, meat, etc) for about $7 PLN ($3.50 USD) - made me really happy! Needless to say, we'll be having pieogies again a few more times before we leave Cracow.

So, last, we enjoyed a beer outside this evening at a cafe. The WC (restrooms) were in the lower level. Mike came back and told me I had to go down but wouldn't tell me why. So, I eventually headed downstairs and was greated by an entirely different world - the basement of this regular cafe upstairs was like a Turkish underworld. There were women who appeared to be belly dancers walking around, hookahs, pillows - it was bizarre. I felt like we were in an entirely different restaurant. There is definitely a large Turkish contigent here in Cracow.

Well, off to bed. Until the next entry...dobranoc (good night)
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