So we broke down today. We gathered all of our things together, packed them in the car, and started driving. Traffic was ok, but just over an hour into driving, we break down!!!
So we waited.
Until we decided that we didnt know what we were doing, and no one stopped to try and help us, we decided to walk to the nearest town. The nearest town was about five to ten minutes away, but to me, it felt like five HOURS. The walk, the heat, it was unbearable. We knocked on peoples doors to see if we could find some help.
We came upon this nice little house. It looked cozy enough, and we knocked. Out came this pretty, middle aged woman. She looked nice enough, but when we tried to speak with her, she could not seem to hear us. She was actually deaf! Another person came out, to assist us; he looked like a parson, doing a call on this deaf woman. He readily accepted to try and help us with our car. But before we could go anywhere, the lady of the house asked us to stay and have some food before we left. Who could say no?
Its a good thing we found nice people to help us. In turn, when we got on our way, we picked up hitchhikers who were on their way to Krakow.
Today we visited the Wawell Castle. Its located on Wawell Hill. The castle was so elegant and beautiful, we spent our time looking over the royal chambers, and learning of the history of what went on in the castle, and who lived there. It seems that whoever lived there was also buried there, in a crypt. Spooky!
We then visited the Dragons Den, which is a cave made of all limestone, and has underground pools, where rare crustaceans live. It reminded me of the cave we have back at home, in Hilo. Afterwards, we wandered the town around; it was getting a little dark. We went into a little shop for snacks and food, and you know what I found there? We found skittles, the candy that I absolutely love, right there in Krakow! It tasted delightfully good, after not eating it for as long as we had been on this trip.
We checked into the Plaza Mayer. We started to wind down; we went to the rec. room, played a little pool, took a dip in the pool (cold!!) and afterwards went to the bar. We met there a man. I forget his name already, (we were drinking some new tasting beers) but he seemed nice enough, he was kind enough to listen to problems we had back at home, but he made so much hints that, in order for us to be speaking to him on our problems, we should be so kind enough to do favors for him. That gave us the motive to leave, right away, before I could not control my impulse to hit him.
Were heading to the Main Square. The hotel we are staying at is about in the middle of it all, but the Square looks so huge! We plan to just enjoy the sights, and try some new foods.
I am so tired! My feet are aching. There was just so much to see! To eat! We ate some different samples of sausages, quite interesting, some were very good. Then cafs were so beautiful, I wish I could just sit there and just watch the people and tourist like us walk by. At that time, I remembered my family back home, and I started to miss them. They would have like to come here. I walked to the bathroom by myself and called my parents. They werent home, but I left a message saying how much I missed them. I also thanked them yet again that they let me come up here.
Again we are at the Main Square; we want to at least cover the popular places in it. We visited a beautiful church; a Brick Gothic Church called the St. Mary Basilica. On the sides of the church there were enormous stained glass windows, it was very mesmerizing, its a wonder how anyone could pay attention to the reverends speeches, when you could most certainly space out just looking at the colors of the stains, the way the sun hits the colors, it makes it so hard to look away. There is something particular that happens every hour there in the church, there is an hourly trumpet signal, called the hejnal (pronounced hey-now). What was very strange was that it was sounding the alarm, and it just cut off, like it wasnt finished. We soon learned that this was so in memory of the trumpeter that was sounding the alarm of a Mongol attack. He apparently, while sounding this alarm, was shot in the throat, thus making him break off mid-stream.
Ciera and I looked at each other and said, What the French fry?!!
Later on we ventured off and found ourselves at this great statue of the Adam Mikiewiez Monument. Two men that were sitting there offered to take our pictures, their names John and Tom. They were both tradesmen, Tom, a hat maker, John a curtain maker. They were both ok looking men, who certainly looked very rich. They were both married (of course) and they were just doing business around here. They seemed nice, I guess. I have bad judgment on rich people, but we had a good conversation with them, I hope we see them again.
Another thing that reminded this place of another time was the pigeons. Theyre called rock pigeons, like the ones I have seen in New York. It reminded me of that time, because really, they were practically everywhere. I mean, its even worse than our irritation of mynah birds back at home.
This is going to be our lazy day. After all of our walking and looking and the history overloadwell were pooped! So today we have appointments with our beds, which I think I am late for
Late in the night:
Well our lazy day was very uneventful, which was perfect. We pretty much just watched T.V. in our beds, under the covers, still in our pajamas, flipping through the channels and watching some programs. We also went to the pool. We had a nice time, but I wish that the water was somewhere as nice as the beaches we have at home. I think Im getting a little homesick.
Around the time for dinner we decided to go out and eat. We decided on the Wierzynek, which is situated in the Main Square, so it was close by. What was a surprise we bumped into John and Tom, the men that took the picture of us at the Adam Mickiewiez Monument. Although they were not alone, they were joined by three more ok looking, well dressed men. Theyre names were George, Harry and Steve. George was a dyer, Harry a Weaver, and Steve is a carpenter. These five guildsmen were all in the same kind of trade, but with all five more like a package. They seemed to know what they were doing very well and cunning also.
We decided to all go to dinner together, which was pretty fun. The Wierzynek is a huge restaurant, it can accommodate more than 400 people, (!!!) we were greeted in by hostesses in period clothes, very nice, and it was all I could do to not just stand there and just gape. The food was delicious, even though I could not even order my food that well, because I couldnt even pronounce them! The only one that I have managed to remember and say is the Torcik czekoladowy z gorcym sercem,sosem truskawkowym
I lodami mitowymi, which is a dessert, a chocolate cake with hot filling, with peppermint ice cream topped off with strawberry sauce. Sooooo yummy. We all had a good time conversing about our lives and such, they all have families back at home, wives that they spoil, and they seem very proud of their business, sometimes theyd just talk about it, which was a little boring. Although, when we got home, Im glad we met them. It was nice.
New development today, Cieras parents call to say that they know some friends that live near. They called ahead to see if we could stay with the Gustaw family. They graciously said it was ok. They came by the hotel in the morning to see us. Mr. & Mrs. Gustaw are very nice; they let us follow them back to their place in Warsaw. This actually is a four hour drive to there. I just pretty much lay back in my seat and watched the scenery. Goodbye Krakow. See you soon.
Well that was a very, VERY long drive. Longer than coming from Ostrava in the Czech Republic going to Krakow. We took a break only once, which was so we could pee, and get some snacks at a gas station. Then we got back in the car a drove some more. Now that we finally got some home cooked dinner, and a comfy bed, the drive is through, and Id much rather lie down and close my eyes than doing the same thing sitting up.
The Gustaws took us around town today, or should I say the capital? Warsaw is the capital of Poland. This city is very much more city-like than Krakow, but the change in scenery is a new start. They took us to several palaces, all of which that I cannot remember by name. Also, there were underground Jewish prisons there; it gave me a twinge of sadness and excitement, because we were not that far off from our final destination: Auschwitz. This made me think more of the hard times that the Jewish community faced. The persecution, hardship, their endurance, pain, and especially their pain.
I thank the Gustaws for letting us stay with them and showing them around, I hope we can return the favor to them if they ever come and visit the islands.
posted Wednesday December 2007