Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Weekend in Krakow

On Saturday morning I took a shower in the walk-in shower and when it was done I had soaked the whole bathroom. When I went downstairs for breakfast I stopped at reception and explained the problem, thinking there was something wrong with the drain in the shower. Instead, the man at reception said, "We will clean it up. It's an architect problem. It happens all the time, not just in your room." That answer really surprised me!

The next step obviously was breakfast and it was very good.

After breakfast I started to wander to the Old Town area. On my way I found an outdoor exhibit -- no longer surprised about that because I've seen outdoor exhibits like this many times in both Poland and Hungary. It was called Emotions in Sports, and at first I thought it was a bad translation of some sort into English. But then  I discovered the photos displayed all kinds of emotions. I took a photo of each photo along with the caption in both Polish and English for words such as perseverance, cooperation, and joy. I still plan to use it for a lesson yet this week.

I wandered into the Old Town area. Often there is a stage for evening outdoor concerts and when I went to look for that I found outdoor shops there instead. One place that intrigued me was a stall selling Polish pottery. Outside the stall the owner had a tea pot that is about three feet high. On Sunday another volunteer and I went back and asked for the cost, just out of curiosity. We found it was about $500!

I did find some jewelry I liked, rather ceramic. I felt proud when I figured out "metal bez nikel" meant there was no nickle in the earrings hoops! I also figured I could squeeze a couple pairs of earrings into my small apartment when I get home.

About this time it started to rain so I found an outdoor cafe with good umbrellas -- usually used for sun, and had a long, long cup of coffee. The skies cleared and I took a walk down Grodzka Street as far as Wawel Castle.

A church I've also called the Twelve Apostles Church was open for visitors. Much to my surprise this church is actually named as St. Peter and Paul Church. Here are some views from inside the church.

Side Altar

Detail from the Altar

On my way back I stopped at Wesele Restaurant for lunch.

After lunch the weather had warmed so much I wanted cooler clothes and also wanted to get into my suitcase to get batteries for my camera. So I walked back to the hotel. There I put my feet up and read for about an hour.

Meanwhile in the plaza between the hotel and the train station there was a basketball tournament underway.

 It was fun to stop and watch this while I walked around to the hotel and the shopping center.

Later in the afternoon I headed for the shopping center for an ice cream, but took my time enjoying the novel things I found in the stores.

About 6 PM I walked back to the Rynek and went to St. Adelbert's Church to get a ticket for a concert. The concert started at 7 PM. A small chapel with a dome was used. There were four musicians and it was possible for about 30 people to attend. Oh, live music is still a great experience. I could feel my purse vibrate with the music.

After the concert I wanted something more to eat. I was walking towards a groups of restaurants, trying to avoid the pigeons, little toddlers running around, and the horses carrying carriages that loaded and unloaded in this area. As I approached the tables I could see people laughing and looking just over my shoulder. A mime had been following me about one step behind for all the time and I had no idea he was there. I just laughed and said, "He got me good."

When he came around the tables with hat in his hand to collect donations for the show, I didn't donate. I figured I was part of the show!

I went back to the hotel after this just about as dusk changed to darkness.

Sunday morning I avoided the shower, for one of the volunteers was coming up from Zakopone by bus and meeting me in the lobby of the hotel. I thought perhaps she might like to use the bathroom and didn't want it to a swimming pool!

I relaxed until she arrived.  We then went to the Galica Jewish Museum because she knows the director for this museum. I really enjoyed this museum. After this visit we went back to the rynek for more shopping. We finished the afternoon with cold drinks and then walked back to the hotel to meet the van shuttle that brought us back to Zakopane.

So all in all it turned out to be a nice weekend in Krakow. 

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