Sunday is another travel day: CPH to Krakow. We pack up then go back to Saturday’s cafe (good croissant). I then write my postcards to my mother, godmother, and friend, we mail them at the hotel, and get a cab to the airport. After doing the subway last night, I think Mitch thinks it might be just a bit beyond our comfort level to do it with our luggage.
CPH to Krakow
We are on Norwegian Airlines and they have a 20 kilo weight limit so we have to shift a few things before we are allowed to check our bag. You can have 20.9 kilos. I transfer all the paper out of my bag and a couple of Mitch’s travel books to my carry on. Terminal 2 security is closed so we walk to Terminal 3 and queue for a very long security line. I don’t know how long it actually took, but it seemed like it was pressing the tolerance of everyone. We find that there is no gate yet for our flight, and there are two possible ways we might have to go, so we get a bottle of sparkling water–still no gate, then get lunch. Finally we are given a gate, and they acknowledge that the flight is 1.5 hours late. When we get to the gate, another gate is announced, and we walk to the other end of that arm of the terminal. It now becomes apparent that we are traveling with a huge student group (high school or early college) and older people. Both are annoying. We do see a doppelgänger of Mitch’s nephew Stephen in the group of students. The flight itself is uneventful after the two groups finally get themselves on board. Northern Poland is also flat, and the fields are very precise. We see some mountains as we near Krakow.
Arriving in Krakow
As Mitch had thought, the subway from the airport to Krakow doesn’t run from the airport until the next day when the new airport opens. We get a taxi. We have been in communication with our local contact who we are meeting to get some help with logistics and are scheduled to meet her at 6:30 pm. I had decided to send her a description of us, although I suspect Americans are easy to spot. We have intended to come to Krakow, which is in the part of Poland that Mitch’s families are from, for several years. Everyone we’ve ever talked to about it says it was a favorite stop, so although we don’t really know what to expect, we are looking forward to this part of our trip.
Settling into Krakow
The cab delivers us to Krakow; Hotel Stary is beautiful, located in the center of the medieval center. We are put in the new wing, which suits us. Built in two old buildings, the blending of new materials and eras current and past has been masterfully done. The marble in the bathroom is a little over the top for our taste, and while we do enjoy the size and luxury of it, we forget that this is likely the only lush bathroom we are likely to have. We unpack then set out to met Gosia (pronounced Go-sha).
The physical descriptions of us I’d emailed Gosia turn out to be important when the place we had planned to meet is closed for renovation; she runs up to us as we head down the street toward the next cafe, where we sit and chat. We sort out what Mitch and I want to do and what we need help with, and get to know each other a bit.
Gosia then walks us around a bit (it is dusk going dark) then we stop into her favorite Wodka Bar. She is a bit taken aback that neither of the usual bartenders are there. She gets us each a shot of Quince Vodka, her favorite. She reflects on the era-change of there being a young bartender, as well as a younger clientele. She discovered Wodka Bar when she was a college student, and has been going there for 11 years. It has seen her through every term paper, boy friend, job change, etc. Quince vodka is delicious. We head back to the hotel where Gosia retrieves her bike and we go off to dinner nearby.
As we were warned in Copenhagen, this is not the culinary big-leagues. We have a passable Italian meal–it is cheap though! Back in our hotel we check our daily walking mileage which is passable despite spending so much of the day in transit. I’m exhausted, but awake at 12:30 and am annoyed by the exterior lights which are lighting up our interior. I finally go back to sleep about 4 am. I enjoyed the ceiling.
Krakow: September 27 to October 1, 2015. Download below to get the whole story.