Krakow, June 9-11th, 2000:
Krakow is one of our favorite places in Eastern Europe.
They've got the savior faire of Prague, but without the crowds. They've got the services one could want at prices that leave room for more ice cream.
Everywhere are examples of sumptuous architecture...
and anachronistic mixtures of archetypes.
Wherever we turned, there was something on which to feast our eyes.
We did a few of the traditional touristy things, like climbing St. Sigmund's tower to see his bell.
And then descending to the crypt.
Once these royal coffins were only accessible by creepy torchlight.
But now we walk around under crown shaped electric chandeliers.
They adorn rooms as if they were furniture for sale in a macabre showroom.
Then we went in search of the local life. We found it in U Stasi, where the waitress saw these men come in the door. By the time they'd worked their way over to our table and sat down with us, she showed up with their food.
It was the same thing we'd had: beet soup and cheese perogies.
On to the Jewish Quarter: Kazimierz. Four restaurants with names like Ester or Arial were waiting for our business.
We had to come back two days later see the Jewish sites because the synagogues were closed on Friday for a special holiday.
The Old Jewish Cemetery in Krakow has the remains of the likes of Kafka.
But the wait wasn't bad. We got to hang around and visit with other visitors. Here a retired couple from Scotland put our e-mail addresses into their palm tops.
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