Today was a plan B kind of day. Plan A completely fell through, which in retrospect was a good thing……. Today we were to go to a brewery 2 ½ hrs. away with a driver. I am not much of a drinker and it was quite costly, but it was rated high in trip advisor. We arose quite early for this aborted adventure. The sun was intensely bright and beautiful day weather wise was clearly emerging. The thought of being stuck in a car for ½ the morning with a stranger on such a fine day seemed so ludicrous. After we scarfed down our eggs, we went to wait for our ride. On a whim, Frank had the receptionist call the company to ensure they were coming. Our receptionist translated to us from the company they never received our reservation and in no way were coming. Relief swept over us as a new plan developed.
We set off in the glorious spring air with an improvised plan. First, we snuck in St. Francis church http://www.inyourpocket.com/poland/krakow/sightseeing/churches/St-Francis-Basilica_17079v It was dark inside and no one in site, but an angelic voice accompanied by an organ serenaded us. We sat in a pew, as the hustle bustle of work life commenced on outside the door. I sat and quietly reflected in gratitude, thankful for this moment of peaceful respite.
Next, we walked through the Planty Park http://www.krakow-poland.com/things-to-do/11/the-planty The early morning air still had a crisp cool to it, but it was warming up and layers were quickly being pulled off. Dogs and their distracted owners were abundant, late stragglers hurrying off to work and school scurried off, and people just like us with nowhere to go, and no one to see strolled on by. After a dreary, wet cold season (as many of my peeps back home in the States know) Spring resurrects a rebirth and ignites an energy from the kindling of Winter’s embers.
After an invigorating walk through the park, we briefly stopped at the box office for the theatre in which we will be seeing two shows- one Saturday night and the other Sunday night. I will not disclose any more than this as this will be material for my future blogs…..
Next, we did something I had never done and always wanted to do. We took a horse drawn carriage ride through the main square and up Wawel hill , through many of the tourist sites http://www.krakow-info.com/rides.htm It was about a 20 minute ride, cost 100 pln = $32. It was well worth it. We clumped down the cobble stone streets as the two horses in full colorful regalia escorted us through the promenade. I felt like royalty as I waved to the onlookers. The weather was perfect for such a special treat. Some minimal memorized facts were touted off by the rider to fill in some of the blanks on this interesting city.
After our exhilarating ride, we stopped off at Cloth Hall http://www.krakow-info.com/1clothall.htm as mentioned in yesterday’s blog- one big ass market of sorts, with knickknacks, bric-a-bracs, and souvenirs. I purchased a beautiful pair of cobalt blue earrings.
Hunger started to trickle in at this point, so we chose a mediocre Italian restaurant called Grazie http://www.alepizza.com/wszystkie-pizzerie/restauracja-grazie/ a pretty restaurant, with garlic permeating the air. But, the pizza was pretty unmemorable, undercooked, unseasoned and very disappointing.
We started walking towards some sites, debating what to do next when a squirrely looking gentleman in a goofy golf cart offered to take us through the Jewish Quarter- with complete English translation. Sadly, my voice of reason Frank- was in a carb coma induced state from hideous pizza ingestion and permitted me to consent to this nonsense. For the same price of the majestic, memorable carriage ride- we putted around town, dodging trams, cars and preoccupied pedestrians. The “translator” was an annoying lady in a speaker, barking in our ear, a pre- recorded “Jewish Quarters for Dummies” version operated by remote control.
As he pointed vigorously to the first synagogue, or where they filmed Schindler’s list, Frank fervently clicked away with his camera trying to keep up with the aggressive digit trajectory. This is one of the many reasons I love this man, as he put up with these “Disney World – esque” antics, just to save some wear and tear on my sadly blistered toes. It was an adventure, but as the same as the pizza- not recommended, and just like the pizza- a bitter, nasty aftertaste.
We walked through some colorful markets, selling various versions of crap. We had a yummy gelato ice cream cone and stopped for a coffee to rest for a much needed break. After, we bought some unique pottery at a store called Gallery http://galeriameble.com/ It was full of interesting, fragile and, vibrant ceramics. We trudged on back to the hotel for a much needed nap.
We awoke with the sounds of church bells, malingering crowds and Polish chatter from outside. We went for Indian at Indus Tandoor http://www.en.indus.pl/ I was not overly impressed. First off- Frank got soup so spicy I saw steam shooting out his ears. He was rendered speechless, slightly disoriented and somewhat impaired. The waitress forbid us from free tap water (I know, you have all heard this pet peeve of mine). The verboten complimentary water and exceedingly spicy food are a bad combination. In addition, the restaurant’s bathroom was outside the restaurant in an intimidating night club. The waitress was dismissive and somewhat rude-all in all, not my best meal.
We did some walking around the city to burn off some of that bloating Indian grub- warding off an aggressive homeless man, drunken Krakovians,and a fist fight or 2. Now, after a couple of tums, I shall rest my exhausted bones.
Tune in for more tales of adventure…
Love and Spicy Indian induced Heartburn………..
~B & F~