Monday, January 22, 2007

Our Day-Trip to Krakow

We'd been wanting to go to Krakow for a few weeks. But between having Saturday stand-by (in case teachers that normally teach Saturdays fall sick) and being too tired to catch an early train, we hadn't been able to go. But we decided that this weekend would be the one.

We took the 8:48 train from Katowice to Krakow, and arrived to a mild and cheery morning in the city. First things first: coffee! Bhadri confessed that he'd always wanted to drop into this little drink bar on the square, but had never done it b/c...well, b/c we lived there and didn't like to splurge on outrageous things like coffee. So we decided, we're tourists we can splurge today. So we went inside to this ancient shop called "Vis a Vis," occupied by a few old men at the window, smoking pipes and gruffing out conversation, a young man with a pony tail who seemed engulfed in his book, and a older gentleman holding a porter and preferring to stand. The tables were thin and tall, several stools around each, and a lamp post with a dim light shining at the base of the table. If more people were there, they'd have to share the communal tables. But they weren't, so we had our own. We had white coffees and a poppy seed roll and pretended we were sophisticated and it was 70 years ago. Well, at least I did. It was exactly what we like to do on our vacations: drink coffee and relax.

We went on to Kazimierz to check out the antiques market. It was buzzing with life: the elderly vendors with their stamps, antique glasses, and jewelled brooches. The young patrons with the leashed dogs, looking for treasure. It always rattles me though to see the old Nazi regalia, the swastika pins and medals of "honor," right next to the dull silver star of David pendants and faded postcards written in Yiddish. We looked thoroughly at the stock and took our leave.

For lunch we went to one of our favorite Krakowian restaurants: Alef! Delicious...the best hot chocolate I've ever had, ahh. And our friend Fran, from Katowice, joined us for a leisurely and very friendly 3 hour lunch.

After an hour or so at the Galicja Jewish Museum, it was dark. So we walked up to Wawel Castle (it was closed), and walked down to Grodzka street to find a good bottle of wine to take out on the square. We found the perfect bottle of Chilean wine, they shop keepers opened it and gave us two plastic cups, and off we went. The square was so alive! The lights of the old buildings danced in the shallow puddles scattered across its expanse. People were strolling, running, gazing and enjoying life. We had our wine (so good!) and watched the excitement.

Dinner at our favorite pizza place and back on a late train home. A lovely day in the city.


ladyarchivist said...

Hi guys!!! It's the almost Jewish but not quite Sarah from Austin. I want to be much better about staying in touch and just figured out how to leave comments for you. In response to your call for comments, I am, indeed, screwing off at work and let me tell you...It's COLD here in Austin, Texas! I can't tell you both how much you're missed by myself and Cullen. MWAH and big hugs!!!!

kara said...

Totally love the pic of Bhads with the oval mirror. Great portrait! Well done, artilopes! (art/artichoke/antilope hybrid=you guys)

molly cait said...

i like the picture bhads being all emo. it makes me smile. but the last one is my favorite, bethanie it looks like the face you used to make all the time growing up. oooh sisters for life. S4L. awww. hey bhads, BIL4L... figure it out.
love you guys!