Sunday, December 9, 2007

Krakow, Poland

Ok it's time for another update....

We arrived in Krakow at 6am on Thanksgiving morning....to 6 inches of snow on the ground! After leaving Prague, which we all fell in love with, it was a pretty rude awakening. I don't know about the others, but I really started thinking WHAT HAVE WE DONE! But luckily, amazing things were in store.....

So after we found our apartment (which is too painful of a story to relate....look for pictures later in this post) we headed to Auschwitz. I'm still pretty much in awe of this experience. Here's a pic of the main entrance that you will probably recognize.


I really took that w/my own camera. For some reason it looks unreal to me--like a post card or something. It was almost spooky that when we were leaving, there were no other people around so I got these pictures at dusk w/out any strangers in them.


These are the fences.....it was pretty awesome to go here on Thanksgiving Day. It was a pretty stark contrast of everything I have to be thankful for! It seems weird, I am sure, that I am not going into more detail but really it's too gross to put here. We didn't really take that many pictures either. But after months of thinking about this and a lifetime of watching movies about WWII, etc., it was just an extremely touching experience. I am so glad we made the effort to go!!


That night we went to a yummy Polish restaurant for a delish Thanksgiving dinner!!! I actually had turkey--which didn't look anything like turkey. But it was good. Here's Christy and Caro holding up their dinner--which I can't remember what it was but Shiloh had it too so one of you will have to comment what it was that you ate. :)

So the next morning we had to check out of our maze, I mean apartment. Which was really cute and right on the main square. But that night we left on the train again so we had to check out early. I snapped a few pics so you can get an idea of what a pain it was to get to our apt. These pics still don't do it justice: through a door, up stairs, down stairs, around the corner.....oh and they have these trick locks....how many times in either direction do you turn? Such fun!!

So after we stored our luggage for the day, we headed down to Floianska street, which is the shopping street, so to speak. The street runs from what used to be the outer wall of the city, to the main square in the center. This pic is taken from outside the wall, and then down the street. It was a really fun, funky, happy part of town. I LOVED IT! We did lots of fun stuff there too....
....browsed an art gallery (set up on the inside of the wall by art students)....

Shopped at Promod--a store I love going to in Europe. Majorly cute girls on this street w/cool style....e.g. this hair cut! And i bought my amazing silver handbag here too (in Tally Weijl)---which i will have to post later since somehow i manage to NOT have any pics of it yet....

We also went to McValut--truly the coolest McDonald's I've ever seen. My mom thinks it is actually McPrison though....

...and we ate the most delish Kebabs!!!!!Then after shopping....we headed back to the Old Town Square, went into a church which was amazing, but sadly all the towers in this city are closed for the winter. :( So we went to Cloth Hall--which is the big building behind us in this photo. It's just a totally huge, awesome market! And this is where we passed the rest of the daylight! :) We were pretty tired and needed a day like this....it was amazing!!!

We spent at least 3 hours here, shopping for ourselves, and for souvenirs. This is the booth where I bought some nativities...I love this pic and all that you can see in it--mostly what you are seeing are different variations of nativities. Cloth Hall was probably 100 or so booths exactly like this!! But some were Amber, some were handbags, some were clothes. Amazing! :)

A better view of Cloth Hall....

And dinner that night.....where I had "probably the best" pizza I've ever had. :) Actually it probably really was the best.

And train ride #3. This time we had one compartment w/3 bunks, and one by itself. So lucky me spent the night w/non-English-speaking Slovakian woman.....

...so the party took place here, before I went to my own compartment. Here's me and Caro taken by Shiloh from the top bunk. :)
The coolest things about this train ride were:
  • The bed was more cushy and comfy
  • We had awesome down comforters and complimentary water to drink
  • We met some cool people
  • We were finally experienced train travelers and used to it all
  • Slovakian roommate got out around 4am so I had the compartment to myself so I opened the window and did a freeze out!
  • and maybe the best thing: we got two stamps in our passports both times we crossed borders!!! plus Caro's fave thing was the passport guys didn't speak english but they did say "Bye Bye" when they left. haha :) so funny!

Only one more trip posting to go....Budapest for the 2nd time....and you won't want to miss it--trust me! :)

5 brilliant comments:

Vanessa said...

Is that Cheryl Beagley selling nativities in Cloth Hall? Looks like a great time! Can't wait for the next installment!

LeAnn said...

I have so enjoyed reading about your trip! Your pictures are fabulous! And yes, you do look great!

This and That at the Peterson's said...

So amamzing. My friend ShanieShan the world traveler. How lucky I am to know you. How else would I experience anything other than softball and camping? :) Can't wait for friday night, girls night out. Woo hoo!

kristivon said...

I love reading about your travels! You've been on such adventures and you do a great job of explaining everything. And your pictures are amazing- I had to look at that first one a few times.

Heather said...

I love reading about your trip! And the photos (like you mentioned) turned out great . . . and unreal. I'm so glad you got to spend your Thanksgiving is such a cool way!