Over the last few days we stayed in the Polish city of Kraków. It's not as big as Prague was, but it is still very beautiful. It is a lot more cozy as well because it isn't as big. After our visit to Auschwitz on Wednesday we had our first little tour of the city with a very nice guide called Pawel. He showed us the Old Town.
|The Cloth Hall in the center of the square in Kraków|
He told us a bit about the history of the city and why it was built where it was built. He talked about King Casimir and Jan Matejko who we had to remember, because he was the person who fought to keep Polish culture and tradition and Pawel (or Paul) wouldn't have spoken Polish if it hadn't been for this Jan.
|Gera and the pigeons|
Then after our tour to the salt mines yesterday, Mara contacted Pawel again for another tour. This time through the Casimir quarter and the Jewish quarter within and the Jewish ghetto. He showed us some more churches, explained about Poland and Lithuania and showed us the Jewish quarter.
|Some of 'Schindler's List' was filmed here|
We got out several times to see things a bit more up close, like one of the last remaining court yards within the Jewish quarter, the inside of a plain church (Corpus Christi Basilica), which was stunning and near the Schindler Factory. Pawel was able to tell us a great deal. He was very happy as well, because he had been told he spoke good English and could now become a tour guide at the salt mines!
|7 saints of Poland, third from the right is Pope John Paul II (who is not yet a saint)|
At the end of our trip we asked where it was 'good eating' and he dropped us off at a really fancy restaurant that served Polish/Ukranian food. Yesterday's yum was Mara's dessert. Mmmm...
|I know I said castle, but GET ME OUT OF HERE!|
Today we had several options. We could go and visit the museum of Schindler's factory, or do a walking trip through town or go to the castle. I voted castle and Mara and Gera thought that was a good idea! We did several tours. We saw the jewellery and pretty things, we saw swords and guns and canons (not good, I am a pacifist you know). Then we tried to find the dragon.
|I can't see any dragons|
Before anybody could build the castle, they had to slay the dragon first! I didn't think that was very nice, but I do like castles a lot as well... We didn't find him down below, but outside there was a dragon. And he breathed fire! Mara jumped almost a meter when he started doing that, which was very funny.
|I didn't want to be too close to its mouth|
Then we got a tour of the castle grounds. Our guide explained a bit more about the history of Kraków and then showed us the gardens and where the king had to walk before taking a bath and where the queen lived and what view she had. It was very interesting and we were able to connect some of the dots between the different stories we heard.
|The last remaing bit of wall of the Jewish ghetto|
We went back to the hotel early though. Mara and Gera are quite tired after so many days outside and they have to do some repacking and finding out how to drive tomorrow. Because tomorrow we are going to Hungary!