Edit Blog Post
Published: October 15th 2008
No photos tonight, camera is back at hostel flled with young Australians standing in line to book next leg of their journey, Prague or Berlin. UPDATED NOW
Once I secured my clothes in the washing machine I returned to city centre. This is a lively city. Warsaw is the working person's city, and Krackow is the student/touist/happy person's town.
The constrasts are stark, beginning with the railway station. Warsaw's station was built during Communist era, and has mono-coloured (black) walls around its platforms, and a maze of round halls above which disorientate any newcomers. Krackow's station is below a lively shopping mall (get it? capitalist icon) with canned pop music, cheerful young consumers and every chain of shop imaginable.
The atmosphere of Krakow is light, and it is a walking town. My hostel, Mosquito H, is a street away from the old city.
When I left my luggage at the hostel this afternoon, I went 'downtown' and snapped photos despite the grey skies. Every few feet there is a statue or fountain or old building crying out to be recorded. The central market square is the largest in Europe and filled with cafes and restaurants; perfect people-watching spots. There are ornamental
trees, horses and carriages, street musicians, stalls with various merchandise, thousands of locals and tourists with cameras, and STILL the sqare feels half empty.
Maybe my mind is relaxing with the Polish words and signs, or maybe Krakow is a hapy place, but my mood lifted when I walked along the busy streets. It is like a large Canterbury, or a small London here.
Food is an adventure when there is no English speaking waitress. Pizza is the most popular restaurant. Before I got on the train, I went to a pizzaria and pointed out items on the menu that seemed reasonable. I tried saying 'soup' which should have been understood. I got very strong garlic bread and a pizza with canned tuna on it. Don't groan, it was not bad to eat.
Tonight, in Krakow I searched for a Thai restaurant. They haven't caught on yet (my city only got on to the trend about five years ago), but if you look at the menu for Chinese restaurants, you might find some Thai food. Don't expect a green cury. *S* I got sweet & sour soup (not bad), Thai chicken (think Malaysian with an adventurous Chinese cook)
and vinegar cole slaw, and green tea for less than ten dollars Canadian. Not bad, eh? and my taste buds were reawakened in a Malasian kind of way.
I've decided to play tourist here. I booked a tour of nearby salt mines tomorrow. Then I'm going to hang out in the old town with Servas friend.
The view from the train was pretty as we neared Krakow. The flat fields turned into rolling small hills with lots of farms with purple cabbages. (so this must be the borsh capital of Poland?)
Later I will make a stop at some Polish mountains, then a pretty border town, and eventually venture into the Ukaiine; to Lviv, the upcoming 'Prague' of Europe, so the books say.
Tot: 2.011s; Tpl: 0.087s; cc: 11; qc: 30; dbt: 0.0184s; 1; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.3mb