Our first day in Krakow started by Jade and I foraging for food. Bernadette said there was a supermarket to the right of our apartment so that’s where we went. We found a few min-mart types of places, a nice park with fountain, a tiny grocery that had croissants but no supermarket that would have cereal. On the way back we found a slightly larger grocery that has small bags of cereal and milk. A welcome suprise was the fact they give plastic bags to carry your grocery items in. We’ve gotten accustomed to bringing the day bag because most of the eastern countries don’t give you bags, they expect you to bring your own. The croissants weren’t too bad in a non-French way. I guess about the quality I’d get in America which after spending a month in Paris were unexceptable. I think I’ll starve in these countries because I don’t get my burritos for breakfast and I can’t have my second breakfast (croissants) either. Anyway after breakfast we walked toward the city center and found a Polish fast food place so we ate lunch. Piper and I had a big sausage with onions, Jade had fried chicken patty and Natalya had Pierogies. People here don’t speak English at all. The order process is a little weird. We point at the menu and tell her how much, she has us pay and gives the receipt to another lady who takes it into the next room to a food counter. When the food is done the same lady comes back, picks up the food and yells it out at which time you’re supposed to motion to her that it’s yours. You’d better be able to pronounce your food in Polish or you might not eat. The rest of the day we spent in the old center of the city.
Rick Steves says that Krakow is the next Prague but I’m not sure. It’s a nice city but the awe factor just isn’t there. The old cloth hall is pretty but in the pictures it looks spotless and in person it isn’t. The cloth hall was built in the 14th century as a center for cloth trade but was gutted by a fire in 1555 and rebuilt in renaissance style. Inside are two long lines of stalls selling all kinds of Amber and other jewelry. I had to research the popularity of Amber here as it’s everywhere. It seems Poland has huge deposits of Amber and has been trading it since the Roman times. Augustus came looking for Ambir and took home 12,000 pieces. It’s nice but can be very expensive. We bought a few gifts for people and moved on. The nice thing about Amber is that even though it’s petrified it’s lightweight so our bags won’t get weighed down by it. There are Lody (Gelato) shops here so we tried them out. Each scoop is 50 cents so their cheap. If you order two scoops they cram them down inside the cone so at first glance it looks like you only have one. For lunch we stopped at a restaurant and Piper got her fish and chips although they didn’t resemble ours. They came with what they called tzatziki sauce but was really tartar.
We ate Kebabs at a street shop for dinner. I’ve mentioned before that kebabs change depending on where you are. These have a flat bread that’s cooked in a panini press and have the usual meat plus cucumbers, pickles, sauce, tomatoes and onions. I like the greek and lebonese renditions best.
Our apartment is inside another building which houses a restaurant, a financial planning office and a bunch of other stuff. In order to get to our front door we walk through a pretty hallway into a courtyard with tables. The front door to our apartment is in a building in the courtyard. We then climb about 4 flights of stairs and we’re in the attic as I’ve mentioned. The reason I’m talking about it is the front door is locked at 10:00pm and we don’t have a key. If we’re late we’re supposed to just press the doorbell and the doorman will come and let us in. We got back just in time to get in before the door was closed. We’ll have an interesting experience with the doorbell later.