Grant McWilliams

Krakow day 4

We start once again foraging for food. I find at yet another small grocery yogurt cups. I’m getting desperate so I’m willing to eat bacteria infected milk for breakfast. It was much better tasting than the yogurt we have in the states but still no replacement for a good burrito or Paris croissant.

Before the second world war there were 65,000 jews living in Krakow, after the ware there were 200. There used to be an actual second city where all the Jews lived called Kazimierz (kazsh-meer-ezsh). Krakow has grown to the point that it engulfed Kazimierz and it is now a district. I guess it was hard to figure out who should own the buildings there after the war because there just wasn’t enough jews left to claim it. It’s sort of a run down area but is starting to come alive as people move back into it. We spent the day wandering around there and didn’t see much to take pictures of. We were told by the two Polish guys on the train that we should go down there and eat at a Jewish restaurant. The idea of trying to order food that I’ve never seen before in a language that I can’t speak isn’t appealing so we eat dinner back in the city center. Many years ago there was a wall surrounding the city with the Wawel castle at one end. The wall was taken down by the Austrians when Krakow was part of the Austria-Hungary empire. The Austrians seemed to think there was no use for it and took all but one small section down. Where the wall used to be is one long park or “planty” area as they call it. It’s really nice because they’ve put benches along all the paths so if you need to get anywhere in Krakow you walk allong the planty area instead of walking next to the street. Sometimes it’s almost a block wide and other times it’s only 30 ft. You could start at Wawel castle and walk all the way around old town and back to the castle without ever leaving the planty area.

We walked about half the planty area until we got to the Opera house which is very nice looking. We were in search of food that was listed in the Let’s Go guide. We found the restaurant and ate real Polish food. Right outside we found a Polish man who was married to an American woman who lived in Fresno. They had a daughter and remarked that they wouldn’t have made it without McDonalds being in Poland because their daughter wouldn’t eat polish food. Some times I wonder who’s the parent. There’s nothing wrong with Polish food. There’s not a lot right with it either but it’s not offensive. It would be wonderful if you liked beets or cabbage but even then if you avoided cabbage you’d still eat quite well. Piper and I shared a mixture of dead animals that all tasted good and some small fried potato balls. Jade had fried chicken like he always does and Natalya ate “meatballs” which really was a meat patty. We survived Polish food.