Sunday, July 30, 2006

Krakow and Prague

We spent our 3 nights in a very cool hostel called the Stranger, and have met lots of cool people. Our first day here we went on a cycling tour around Krakow, and saw the Jewish ghetto and Oscar Schindler's factory. It was a really interesting tour and gave us a good understanding of what has happened there.
The next day a big group of us went to an amazing lake about 20mins about that was made when they filled in an abandoned quarry. It was quite spectacular. And very beautiful. It was great having a swim in the cool water. We then picnicked on the cliff edge eating polish sausage sandwiches. Yummo.
We've been hanging out with other aussies, brits, irish, american and welsh people, loads of fun. The partying in Krakow has been loads of fun. And things are so cheap here! Yesterday we've eaten some amazing food at Babushka's kitchen - a cute eatery underneath a university, where they serve up amazing polish food. We ate till we could eat no more for about 4euro! Amazing. I tried to eat as much polish food as possible - perogi, pork chops, cabbage rolls, beetroot soup, bascrz, goulash.... so very good, but incredibly filling as well!

While In Krakow we took a trip out to Auschwitz. Words cannot describe how intense it was to be there. It still makes me feel sick in the stomach to think of it. Very moving. I'm really glad we went though.

On our last day in Krakow we went to the salt mines, which are a world heritage site. They are all man made, and we went down loads of steps to end up 136m underground. We went through numerous chambers where miners had carved amazing sculptures out of the rock salt down there. The extent of the caves were incredible. We also saw the largest underground chapel in the world (or something like that) which was very impressive. The acoustics are supposed to be awesome down there for concerts. But the best thing about the salt mines was that it was 14degrees down there, which was a gorgeous change from the relentless 30 degree temperatures we've been having.

Last night we took the overnight train to Krakow, arriving here at 7 in the morning, eventually found a tram, walked up a hill till our calves burned to our hostel just for tonight - the Clown and Bard. We've met a couple of irish guys we met in Krakow, and we're all heading to Czesky Krumlov tomorrow, to chill out and float down a river. Seems like there are loads of Irish and Canadians travelling around, and Aussies of course, but not that many English and no scottish so far.

Today we wondered around Prague, drank some fabulous beer- Pilsner Urquell - and are heading out for even more Czech food tonight at a restaurant that my family discovered where we were here in May - Kolkovna.

Our one night in Berlin (before hitting krakow) was awesome. We went to the Jewish museum, mainly for the architecture and we were not disappointed - it was an amazing building, and made more of an impression on us than the exhibits. That night (after randomly bumping into a girl I met in Scotland at easter on the haggis tour at our hostel), we went back to the squatter's artists residence and bar we went to last time we were there in January and managed to crash a pub crawl. Was lots of fun chatting to random people. I think that really is the best thing about travelling, the people that you meet. And perhaps the amazing food!

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