Sunday, May 27, 2007

Big Trip: Day Five (Kraków)

Our apartment in Kraków was hot and had a lot of traffic noise, but was also very spacious and comfortable. I didn't sleep well our first night there, so on our first morning in Kraków when Benjamin woke up early, I sent him away to play on the computer in the other room. I slept in to regain what I'd lost in the wee hours. We agreed to meet our pals in Market Square at 11:15 am to go shopping. We ate breakfast in our room that morning using provisions we'd purchased late the previous night at the grocery store, along with laundry detergent to wash our clothes. TANGENT: Though many things are different in Poland, a couple of minor details I kept noticing:
  1. People don't have dryers in Poland. This means we had to dry our clothes on little racks in our apartments, which was a challenge with our small wardrobes since you had to leave enough clothes unwashed so that the clean ones could dry and you could wear them.
  2. Many public bathrooms in Poland cost money. There seems to be little reason to which cost money from my point of view though. For example, the bathroom off the hotel lobby cost money, but the one at the gas station was free.
  3. Toilets in Poland have two flush modes: big flush and little flush. It took me several days of staring at toilet flushers to figure out why there were too different buttons you could push. Finally the one in our apartment clarified it for me since one half of the button had a single water drop symbol on it while the other half of the button had two water drop symbols on it.
  4. Bathrooms in Poland rarely have fans with which to dispel shower steam or bad smells.
  5. Lights are rarely left on in Poland, even in a hotel lobby or apartment stair well.

Okay, so back to our day. We met up in Market Square and headed off shopping. We walked through the square in the general direction of the new Krakow mall. I was told that it's the largest mall in Europe. On arriving, we realized that while it is a good sized mall, it could never give the Mall of America a run for it's money. While there, the girls shopped for clothes and shoes, the boys shopped for electronics, and I used the free WiFi. ;-) After shopping, we ate at the food court in the mall. Yes, we really did. Benjamin ate McDonald's, most people at pizza or calzone, and I ate a big salad with chicken on top.

At this point the group broke up into many parts. I went with Maddy and Mike to do more tourist viewing. We walked around part of the outside of the city wall and then went to climb a tower in the square. I forget its name. It was a lot of very big stairs in a narrow corridor. It was much too short for Mike, but he made it up there anyway. After that we rewarded ourselves with gelato and I headed back to the apartment to meet up with my hubby (who had been hanging out online at the mall).

Rob & Steph had date night this night and Ola hung with her brother, so Benjamin and I joined Maddy and Mike for dinner at an "underground" restaurant on the square. It was okay, but not great. After dinner I think we again returned to our apartment for some sleep. And that's what I am going to do now. More later kids!

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