Saturday, July 23, 2016

Saturday, July 23, 2016

First day in Poland - Salt Mines n Kraków

Posted by Hippo Bean at 8:19 PM
The hotel room most comfortable and view soothing. First stop was the famous Wieliczka Salt Mines. We entered the very baroque building that looked like a castle (the entrance had a sign that says 'groupy'), descended in a miner elevator and suddenly the world was made of rock salt but didnt smell like salty. I touched the walls and leaked my fingers. Very good salt. The Polish had this tour well organized with a very funny guide. the corridors were clean, well lighted, expansive and easy to walk. All around were carved salt statues built by the miners themselves, complete with a couple of chapels and 1 huge church with glass chandeliers. Impressive indeed.

In the afternoon we visited the Renaissance castle, with the cathedral where the Polish Kings were buried and the former seat of Archbishop Karol Wojtyla, now known as the late Pope John Paul II. The castle location was on a hill, fantastic location for views of the city. then we drove to see the old Jewish square, mainly boring. Then to Oskar Schindler's factory. this wasnt actually Schindler's factory as nothing remained from the actual building, but we did see where the scene of the girl, all dolled up, waiting on the bottom of the stairs while Schindler came out of the office to check her out, was filmed. It was now mostly a museum about German occupation and the war and it was very depressing.

Later in the day, I ventured out to cross the bridge to get shots of the castle from the vistula river. Returning to the hotel, I got lost and stumbled on the old square, just a few blocks from the hotel. A huge stage was set in the square for the world youth day. The buildings surrounding the square were colorful and the St Mary's church with a very colorful interior. I had wanted the pappardelle again and found a restaurant that had it but with beef instead of bacon. so I sat down and ate my evening meal accompanied by catholic music playing in the square, and watched the teenagers enjoy the world youth day. the pasta was delicious but not as much as the one from the Radisson. Satified, i returned to the hotel for another good read of Preston and Child, lying on the comfy lounge chair with a cup of hot tea, and with music blasting from the park across from the hotel. Very nice first day in Poland.

Kraków photos:

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