Posted by: ilanasmith | June 4, 2008


Here’s the thing.  Poland is there.  I’d never been there.  So I went to Poland.

Warsaw - Palace of Culture and Science St Mary's Bascilica Krakow - Wawel Cathedral

I didn’t really want to go to Warsaw, but that’s where the cheap flight went, so so did I.  Warsaw is…um…there.  Though I want to know why they (and Prague and Barcelona) get a Sephora and swanky posh Copenhagen misses out.

I then caught the train to Kraków.  The trip was in turns interesting, dull, gross, creepy and educational. These were due to, respectively: crossing a great swathe of Poland, an overabundance of grey Communist architecture, the lunch choices of my fellow passengers, the weird dude who alternated between scratching himself and embroidering, and the little girl who taught me to count to ten in Polish.  The little brat already knew how to do it in English, and didn’t seem interested in Danish, French or Italian, so the tutorial remained unidirectional.

The return trip a few days later wasn’t much better though it was enlivened by the Window Wars between the Old Italian Ladies and the Young Polish guys.  I sided with the young guys, I wanted the damn thing open, but they lost my support when they finished their bottle of vodka and started to sing.

Kraków was fairly lovely: buildings, castles, cathedrals and such-like.  I quite liked it.  I went on a trip down the Wieliczka Salt Mine which was fascinating.  We trailed along three kilometres and down 130 metres, but only covered about 1% of the whole.  The bored salt miners spent a total of about 700 years digging away down there, and carved all sorts of weird stuff including three chapels and a rather accurate Salt Pope.

I also went to Oświęcim, which is a bit better known by its jaunty German name. Aucschwitz.


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