Tag Archives: poland

Stuff that happened in Krakow

Yes the vodka is cheap. I guess that’s the draw. Of course it helps if you like vodka for starters. Or parties. I like old buildings especially when they look like they’re falling apart. A place feels more real to me when i can see some dirt.

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I skipped the city tour by accident and went on the street art tour on purpose. there’s a lot of art here and I’m kind of sad my last day was too full of organizing ridiculous travel plans to see some of the studios.

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most are across the river and around the old jewish ghetto (not to be confused with the jewish quarter where tours go through including scene locations of schindlers list.)
So only outside art here. There is a very haunting Jewish memorial in the old ghetto square. At one time furniture was taken from the houses and it inspired one artist to create these rows of empty chairs

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Another installation I really liked was this one meant to criticize the advertisement of combining an auschwhitz tour with a tour to the famous salt mine in the afternoon.

20140623-145039-53439694.jpg the tunnel leads to the train that travels to both locations.
Still, the art and festival side of the city here is a bit confusing to me. it seems very out of place with the well, seemingly ordinary, low key poles that live here. Granted, if you’re working in a shop or something lean on the counter and look bored but riding the tram I don’t get how you can just sit there not reading a book or listening to music or something. maybe everyone just needs to keep focused on holding on for dear life as the tram sways like a dingy in a storm.

One thing Krakow has it a castle! (-collection of churches on a hill wrapped in a wall) and nuns walking about old town, eating ice cream in the mall and going about their business.

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I didn’t take pictures of the nuns. That would’ve weird. I’ve never seen sim any religious types around town though and that was also weird.

Something I did enjoy (like the only dinner food really) is a cheap dinner at a nice restaurant consisting of a fancy appetizer and perogies. Real perogies secret: butter plus more butter with onions.

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Some may be disappointed to know I skipped the worlds longest continuously running salt mine (since the 12th century) maybe a mistake but I can’t fathom what the tourist situation there is and the “health benifits” dont instil confidence in my perception of the presentation either.

So anyway,
And the depressing bit…

The only tour i signed up for was Aushwitz-Birkenau and although the museum had a coffee shop and gift shop at the front and groups of led tours were far too large, the guide i had led us through and explained everything really well. I refrained from pictures and i believe it would be better if it could somehow be suggested that the entire place were camera free. I understand people want to learn and remember but it puts a shield up between you and what you’re experiencing in the moment. Some rooms it was not allowed; the rooms where the stacks of cut hair, eyeglasses and piles of shoes were displayed were off limits for photography. But camaras were out as we also walked through rooms, cells and into the courtyard where many people were executed.
Altogther it was an almost surreal feeling walking past the empty buildings and I was very ready to leave after spending 45minutes at Birkenau.
in many of the rooms and places we went into there were flowers left on the glass cabinets. I’m thankful i had the chance to visit and be another tourist. There’s no right way to see Auschwitz but it’s an important place to help us all remember.

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