Poland..Took the "Poo Poo Train" to Krakow

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September 30th 2009
Published: October 6th 2009
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1: Michael Jackson Puppet Show in Krakow 16 secs
We woke up this morning around 6:30, got ready, ate breakfast, and walked to the train station. The boys had their backpacking backpacks.. Looking like the real deal! We got to the station about 20 minutes before the train left, bought our tickets and boarded the train. It was a four hour train ride to Krakow.. We slept most of the way but talked a little bit. Tomek told me that it really shouldnt take 4 hours to get to Krakow, but the tracks are in such bad condition in Poland that it slows the journey. He said that this is because the railway is a government run as opposed to privately run. Tomek asked me if I had ever been on a "poo poo train." I thought he was joking or something because he tends to do that, but then I realized he was completely serious. "You mean choo choo train?!? haha we all picked on him for that one for a while!

When we got to Krakow, Magda's cousin whose name was also Magda picked us up. They definitely drive differently in Europe! We got to Magda's flat and drank coffee while she prepared lunch. She made broccoli
Church of St. Wojciech (Stone Church)Church of St. Wojciech (Stone Church)Church of St. Wojciech (Stone Church)

When we were approaching the church, we were walking by some really old stone walls.. and I commented on how old they looked, but my friends didn't think much of it because they are used to having architecture that is really old because their history is MUCH older than US history.
soup and this really good chicken with mushrooms. It was SO good.. She spoke English pretty well. After lunch, she drove us into the center of Krakow where Rasta and I were staying (with his friends). The apartment was really cool.. I mean it was definitely a student flat, but it was in an old building close to the town square. The ceilings were really high and it just had a very charming appeal to it.. They fit seven people in that small three bedroom flat. This amazed me! We dropped off our backpacks and started to explore Krakow.

First we went to the Church of St. Wojciech or the "stone church." It was built in the 11th century, but it is still in pretty good shape.. It looks pretty big from the outside, but inside its kind of cramped. Then outside, there was a little pool of mineral water. In polish, it said that the water was very healthy and safe to drink. So, Tomek, without smelling or testing the water first took a huge swig of it and spit it out. Then we read another sign and it said "The water has the taste and odor of
Church of St. Wojciech (Stone Church)Church of St. Wojciech (Stone Church)Church of St. Wojciech (Stone Church)

Inside.. Looks pretty small on the inside, right?
rotten eggs." Poor Tomek! It was so funny!

Next, we went to the Wawel Castle. The Castle and Cathedral were closed, so we just walked around in and through the courtyard. There was a statue of a dragon outside the walls of the Castle. Rasta told me the story behind it.. There is an old Polish legend that there was a dragon that was eating all the young virgins of Poland and its cattle. Many war heros tried to kill the dragon, but failed, until a small young man killed it with cleverness. He stuffed cattle with sulfur and bated the dragon with it. The dragon ate the cattle and became so thirsty from the sulfur. He drank from the river surrounding the castle and he drank so much that he burst and died. The boy became the next king (King Krakus, hence Krakow).

After the castle, we went to the old town square which looked a lot like Prague! But it was a lot bigger! We walked by a white figure on the side of the road that looked like a statue.. but then I watched someone drop a coin into the bucket next to the figure
Wawel DragonWawel DragonWawel Dragon

Tomek told me that you can text the dragon with your mobile, and it will breath out fire on command.. but we didn't have the number.
and it began to move kind of putting on an act. Then I couldn't resist, so I did the same and Tomek took my picture. He was actually kind of scary haha I told my friends that I was probably going to have night mares! Shortly after, we ran into a movie being filmed! There was a group of about 75-100 people dressed in clothes from the 30's.. when they said "action (in polish)," they all began to wave and smile. So the Tomeks of course waved back.. We ran into a street performer with marionette puppets.. He was performing with a Micheal Jackson puppet when we walked up to him (there is a video on the blog).

Next, we walked down some of the streets spidering off from the City Square. We went to a Milk bar which was left over from when the communists ruled Poland. It is a place to by really cheap, but pretty quality food. Tomek pointed to the empty display refrigerator case and said "and this is what it looked like during the communism in Poland- empty." Rasta got perogies, but the rest of us just got small desserts. We walked around more,
Wawel CastleWawel CastleWawel Castle

The castle also has a cathedral in its vicinity.. We toured it two days later..
entered a few churches (there are churches EVERYWHERE in Poland!).

Then we went to a pub that looked just like a coffe cafe, but instead of lattes, everyone had a beer at hand. One of the girls from the flat that we were staying at came to join us and we all talked for a while. They think it is so funny that we have state laws AND federal laws... we talked about that and heath care. The girl who met us is going to med school, so she had a lot to say. We went to another pub called Rabbit Eyes. On the walls there were pictures of people in black and white, but they all had RED eyes like albino rabbits.. it was kind of creepy looking! After this pub, Magda and Tomek went to Magda's cousin's, and Rasta and I went to the store to get breakfast for the next morning. I fell asleep right away when we got back to the flat!

Additional photos below
Photos: 12, Displayed: 12


Pope John Paul IIPope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II

Yeah, I am embarrassed to say that I did not know he was Polish until this trip. There were memorials of him everywhere in Poland. We also saw his house from the outside!
Wawel CastleWawel Castle
Wawel Castle

Tomek in the courtyard of wawel castle.. We joked that it would be fun to put a soccer field in the center, and everyone would watch from the balconies!
Wawel CastleWawel Castle
Wawel Castle

Magda and I in the courtyard of Wawel Castle.
Wawel CastleWawel Castle
Wawel Castle

Next to the tower of Wawel Castle
Krakow City SquareKrakow City Square
Krakow City Square

Bigger than in Prague and just as beautiful (in my opinion).

6th October 2009

Poland is so beautiful! I love the photos and witty, descriptive entry. Turkey is next, right? Love you!
5th November 2009

The boys LOVED the "Poo Poo train" story!

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