Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Kraków - Part 2

We have enjoyed five full days in this amazing city.  We have been on the go from sun-up to sun-down.  We have seen so many wonderful sights and tasted so many delicious things.  And now we are tired.  It is time to say good-bye to Kraków.

We spent yesterday touring the Wieliczka Salt Mine.  It was in operation for over 700 years, closing recently in 2007!  Everything within its depths has been carved by hand from salt blocks.  The showpiece is the Chapel of Saint Kinga (photo above) which is actually a fair-sized church.  Every single element here, from chandeliers to altarpieces, is carved out of salt.  It took over 30 years for one man and then his brother to complete this underground temple.  And about 20,000 tonnes of rock salt had to be removed.  CRAZY!

Don't look down!  I almost had vertigo while descending 500 twisting steps to the first chamber of the mine shaft.

This chandelier in the mine is made entirely of wood and salt crystals.

Every evening there is a steady stream of customers for zapiekanki, an open-face sandwich made of half of a baguette topped with sautéed mushrooms and cheese.  It's a very popular street food with its origins dating back to the austere times of Poland's Communist regime.


More delicious street food.

The meandering Wisla River.

Map of the world.

The old synagogue (1492).

This building has decided to embrace its 'crumblingness' by using grey paint to outline where the plaster has fallen away from the brick walls.

Torn paper art.

Gold dome.

14th century barbican at the entrance to the Old City.

Kraków has the prettiest buildings.

Drinking wódka in the afternoon?  Hell, yeah!

Joe and his newest BFF at a local wódka bar.

Making friends wherever we go.  Joe and I with our newest Korean buddy, Sun.
On our final walk through the Old Town, a bride and groom strolled past us.  It was such a nice way to end our time in the beautiful city of Kraków.

We are flying back to Stockholm today.  We will stay another two nights with our lovely Swedish home exchange friends.  We are looking forward to seeing them again and comparing notes of our visits in each other's country.

Do widzenia, Kraków!  I hope I see you (and other parts of Poland) again soon.

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