Krakow Trip Report
Our trip is dwindling down, but it really has been amazing. I have enjoyed Poland thoroughly and feel we have truly absorbed the culture, the FOOD, and the spirit of the people. It is always good to go away and learn new things, experience new adventures and see how other people live. It is also good to return to reality, live in the present, earn money and then plan the next gig!
This morning we went back to St. Mary’s Basilica http://www.sacred-destinations.com/poland/krakow-st-marys-church for morning mass. It was standing room only – a full house- all there for the same purpose. As I sat in the pew, with my husband at my side, many thoughts circulated in my brain. Listening to the priest‘s steady voice as it echoed off the ornate walls and the opulent ceiling-in a foreign language in a foreign land- I felt a total complete calmness down to the center of my being. For someone, who is at most times-in a constant state of anxiety and whirling thoughts and tasks, this serenity was welcome. In addition to the tranquility I was feeling, an overwhelming feeling of love enveloped me. I prayed for the people not as fortunate as I am who have financial burdens, emotional demons and are in crisis. It was a moving experience that left me tearful and very moved. Later as I shared this with Frank, he voiced a similar feeling and summarized it in a logical way that being in church (or however one connects to their “GOD”) forces one to slow down their thoughts, focus on the beauty surrounding you and take a deeper look at oneself. To summarize this experience, people ask me all the time-“why do you go to Church if this is not your born faith?” My answer is clear –in this whole paragraph.
After the church, we went on a mission back to the Jewish Quarter, to search out this famous ice cream establishment called Lody http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNpLTl0hO5M apparently, people go insane over this. It is quite popular. The line was not bad at all, maybe 10 minutes. In the summer, it wraps around the entire block. With much anticipation, we got our ice cream cones- coffee flavored and blueberry. I was not overly impressed; in fact I favor Dairy Queen vs. Lody. Frank (I think just to annoy me) LOVED it. As the same as the Great Matzah Ball debate of 2014, this may follow the same course.
After the lack luster sweet treat, we made our way to Schindler’s Factory http://www.mhk.pl/branches/oskar-schindlers-factory which is actually a World War II museum called Muzeum Hystoryczne Miasta Krakowa. It was a very interesting exhibition that captured all the senses. As it takes you through events in a time sequence, leading you down claustrophobic dark hallways, confined cattle cars, commentary from survivors and emotional accounts of horrific atrocities. It was intimidatingly crowded with masses of school groups, obnoxious indifferent teenagers and multi-language tours creating frustration and congestion. But, once you get past these benign annoyances, it really is a fascinating museum that any person interested in WW II should see. Interestingly enough, Schindler from the movie Schindler’s list has not much to do with it, other than the site of the original factory. We spent 3 fact filled hrs. there.
From the museum, we made our way back to the center of the Jewish Quarter called Kazimierz http://cracow.zaprasza.net/kz/ . We ate at a traditional Polish Restaurant called Szara Kazimierz http://www.szarakazimierz.pl/en It was a beautiful restaurant (Michelin rated) with excellent service. I ordered the special which was White Beet Soup( not beets at all) a fermented (yes-fermented) vegetable soup that had hardboiled eggs in it. I took one taste of the sour concoction- and gave it right to Frank. He was having his own little strange feast with Black pudding (ummmmmmmmm, duck blood and a kasha like grain!) The next course was pierogis for me- which is essentially a Polish ravioli. It was quite tasty and Frank had a Loin of something or other. The sparkling water was more expensive than my dinner! The dinner was extremely affordable and other than the strangely, unfamiliar dishes to me, it was very enjoyable.
We rushed back to hotel for the evening’s event at the Philharmonic, the same place as last night’s symphony. We saw a symphonic production of a tribute to the rock band Queen. There was a small but mighty orchestra, a sublime choir and even a Freddie Mercury –like singer, with the addition of a strong Polish accent. There were 4 encores, an amazing “Bohemian Rhapsody” and a stellar “We are the Champions.” We had great seats and jammed out for 2 hrs.
We are calling it an early evening as it is rainy outside and fatigue is accumulating in my bones.
Love and fermented veggies…..