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Where in the world are Karmen & Michael?

Krakow Aug 16-20

POLAND | Tuesday, 25 August 2015 | Views [217]

Feeling a little ambivalent (and hungover from our last night with all the counselors we just made friends with at Angloville) we woke up in Wroclaw pretty unexcited to have to check out of our hostel and get moving. That being said, when duty calls one must answer. We showered, packed up our bags, got patronized by a random Canadian for being American and hungover, and walked out the door.

We started moving earlier than we needed to make sure we got to our train on time and with a full stomach.  Go figure that we get to our train fifteen minutes early only for it to be 45 minutes late. Too tired to read we both sat down (in someone else's seats because someone was in ours, some people!) and promptly started dozing as we waited to arrive in Krakow. By the time we arrived we both felt a little better and were excited to see a new city. But as it was already 8 pm we decided to head straight to the Airbnb we booked to keep them from having to wait on us. 

Lo and behold we arrive at our address to find its an apartment (I should have known) with no apt number (I should have asked) and no WiFi to contact our host (Idk why karmen puts up with me.) After a little scrambling we found some WiFi at a nearby store, contacted our host, they promptly arrived from their flat nearby, and showed us in to our home for the week.

It was beautiful. The lighting, the kitchen, the bathroom, the bedroom. I can't do it justice. 

We almost dropped everything and jumped into the bed right then but our hosts graciously offered us a ride to a nearby restaurant if we were hungry, and our growling stomachs answered for us. After a quick meal and victory beer we both walked back to the flat and threw ourselves into bed.

We awoke Monday to overcast skies and ran to the store and back just in time to get drenched by the rain (which was good because Poland is experiencing a drought, not to mention our own dehydrated bodies) and we didn't feel bad at all staying inside. We caught up on our laundry,  relaxed and ate some food, and you guessed it: a lot of reading. We went to bed early and woke up feeling completely refreshed so we showered, ate and headed to the city center to explore!

We got into old town and began walking around pretty aimlessly at first. There are a lot of old buildings, churches, etc because krakow was largely untouched during the 2nd war. We walked through a flea-market style market that was part indoor part out right in the center of old town. Karmen finally found some earrings to buy and I did my best to be interested in all the knick knacks around me. Failing that, we decided to head just south of center to see Wawel Castle. This is a large fully standing castle replete with fresh tourist outposts,  restaurants, etc.

We spent a little time walking around looking at the views and not paying money to wander through the inside and guess who we bump into?! Our new friends Olly and Nancy from Angloville, doing some exploring of their own. They had plans and we were hungry, so we split up to take care of business with plans to meet later on for dinner. We ate lunch, grabbed a nice beer, went to an archeological museum and kept walking around just trying to see as much as we could.  We tired fast and bumped up dinner a bit and met our friends for pizza and good conversation at the Pizza Garden (ranked 12/10126 for places to eat on trip advisor what what) and it was pretty good I guess =P. Night came on fast and we walked our friends back to their hostel before grabbing one beer and heading home to soundly crash into our beds.

 We woke on Wednesday with plans laid. We spent the first half of the day getting to and walking around the WIELICZKA salt mine in the south of Krakow. Probably the most touristy thing we have done so far our whole trip, but it was a good time. We went down as low as 130 meters and saw a few large caverns and one gigantic cathedral dedicated to Saint Kinga, a princess who legend says miraculously transported the mine from her Hungarian home in the 1300s. This place more than anything was seriously awe-inspiring. We left just in time to meet up with Kamil, one of my mentees from camp, and his mom so we could go spend the evening with his family.

We had a great evening eating some traditional polish meals and getting to know one another. Truly, if a polish family invites you into their home do not turn down the offer. They wouldn't let us lift a finger to help, though his mom did allow us to watch and play with her 10 month old son so she could focus a little more on cooking. Night came quick and Kamil's step dad brought out his giant telescope so we could stargaze a little before it was finally time to call it a night and they drove us back to our flat. We left feeling blessed, richer for the experience, and richer in the way of 2 free tickets to the water park his mom is the marketing manager of; Thank you very much!

Thursday we managed to spend a large part at the water park. It was great fun and we got to race because every slide had a timer built into it! We left completely exhausted and couldn't do much more than cook and eat before heading to bed. We needed our energy for Friday!

 

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