03.09.2010 -4 °C
This weekend, I went to Krakow, Poland, with some of my friends from Hendrix. It was a lot of fun, and really cheap - Poland doesn't use the euro. We ate really well and saw a lot of interesting things. The first day we were there (Friday), we didn't have much time before the sun set so we walked up the road from our hostel and saw a historical castle and church. The church is one where Pope John Paul II was cardinal before he became Pope. As the sun was setting, we walked through the old Jewish quarter of Krakow and went to a very interesting museum of Jewish culture in Europe.
On Saturday, we walked around the city and saw lots of interesting things before catching a bus out to Auschwitz. That was an amazing experience. We didn't have much time to spend there, but we hired a tour guide to make sure we saw as much as we could in the time that we had.
I took a ton of pictures, so bear with me.
Here are some shots of our hostel. This was my first time staying in a hostel and it was a lot of fun! We had free coffee in the morning and free beer at night, and it was very homey. It was a good first experience.
Here are some shots of the castle! It was literally two blocks from our hostel. We climbed the hill just as the sun was setting. It was beautiful.
This is the church where John Paul II presided as cardinal. We couldn't go inside, but it was exciting nonetheless.
Here begin the pictures from Saturday morning. We got up, ate (free!) breakfast at our hostel, and walked around the historical market square and surrounding neighborhoods. It was strange to be in a city where I had absolutely no comprehension of the language. I can get by with my knowledge of French, but I have no idea how to pronounce anything in Polish. It was a nice experience though. Especially since most people we interacted with spoke English!
This is the church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. It's significant for some reason that I can't remember now. I think Chopin performed some of his pieces here? I don't know.
A miniature model of Krakow. Those are my friends Michelle and Jordana in the background.
As we walked past the Grunwald statue again, this little Polish child was reaching out to touch the hands of the dying man-statue on the front of the monument. I thought it was cute.
This is the restaurant where we went to lunch. It sold only perogies, which are Polish dumplings filled with cheese and potatoes, meat, or cabbage. They were SO GOOD.
After we came back from lunch, the market was in full swing in the square. I didn't buy anything, but it was fun to look. Poland is known for its Baltic amber and its glasswork, as well as a lot of Russian-esque nesting dolls and brightly colored scarves and shoes.
At this point, we left Krakow and took a bus out to the museum at Auschwitz. I did take pictures on the grounds, but I'm not sure that it's entirely appropriate to upload them onto a blog. I want to be as respectful as possible to the memory of those who lost their lives their, as well as to the survivors. I plan on going through my pictures again to determine which are appropriate for posting. Check back soon.