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Poland

I went to Krak√≥w, Poland a couple of weeks ago. And I don’t know why, but I absolutely have not been able to jot down any thoughts on it. Maybe it was because the trip was so quick. Maybe my plans were so haphazard. Or maybe it was such a lopsided trip, with a heavy event in the middle and a bunch of dumb stuff on either side.

OK, here are some random thoughts:

  • SFO to Frankfurt to Krakow. I left Saturday night, spend four hours in Germany, ended up in Poland on Sunday night.
  • They named the airport after the Pope. They are really Catholic there. Really, really Catholic.
  • I stayed in the old town part of Krakow, in a ridiculously nice Hilton. The old town area looked like a Universal Studios backlot of a European city. Walking around at night was roughly as safe as walking in EPCOT center in the afternoon.
  • There was a pierogi place a block from the hotel and I ended up going there three times.
  • I went to this Galleria mall to buy a shirt for a formal dinner. It was the first time I’ve been to a mall since maybe Iceland. Totally uninterested. It sort of bothered me. So, that’s over.
  • Bailey was asking me every hour if I’d gotten kielbasa yet, so I went to some restaurant that I think was just called “kielbasa” and ordered a sampler platter. They brought out a platter for an entire basketball team, probably twelve pounds of meat, plus a loaf of bread, two salads, soups, pickles, and 17 other things. That broke me, and I skipped the food tour the next day because I could not deal.
  • I also went to some fancy foodie 9-course dinner, which was okay but not that inspired.
  • Went to Auschwitz. I can’t even write about this because it was so horrific and the whole thing is so politically charged. It was an incredibly heavy experience, and everyone should go.
  • I took this absurd tour of Nowa Huta, the old communist planned community built around the Lenin steel works. A guy dressed like a 90s chav showed up in a tiny Lada Niva car and acted like a Sacha Baron Cohen character. Seeing the old steel worker town was interesting, and it’s not terribly gentrified (yet).
  • I went to the aviation museum, which is one of the biggest in Europe. They had a ridiculous number of MiGs and other Soviet combat aircraft, at least two dozen. I think they had more MiG 21s next to each other than I’d ever seen at all other museums combined.
  • My flight out of Krakow left at 6am Saturday. Spent more time in Frankfurt, then landed in SFO at like 3pm.
  • Great trip, but way too short. I didn’t hit any museums, or the palace, or the salt mines. I also didn’t spent much time out of town. I feel like I could have easily spent another week here.

Wasn’t terribly happy with my pics, but I’ll go through them eventually. (I still haven’t posted pictures from Denver, Stockholm, or Iceland, so this may take a bit.)