Monday, September 15, 2014

City Tour

Yesterday after we returned from our outing we hung our laundry on the balcony to dry. After a short time we realized the wind was strong and went out. A sudden rainstorm with driving winds hit the area. It was a pleasure to watch! And afterward we saw a lovely rainbow.

Today we took a tour of the Old City and Kazimierz by electric cart. There are many of these that are available for hire. Peter walked over to the castle area with us and helped negotiate with a driver. We drove all around the city looking at many sights. We stopped to go into a few places, but most of our sight-seeing was from the cart. Our guide spoke English fairly well. He also had a recording to play that described many of the places we saw.

Near the castle was a walkway with stars from a variety of people. We noticed the one for Amitabh Bachchan right away -- he is a well-known Bollywood star.

Interior of church with large pillar

Church with mosaic on outside

Old church

View down old street

Slovacki Theatre
One church that we went inside was the Paulite Church "On the Rock." There has been a church here since the 11th century. It was rebuilt and replaced in the 14th and 18th centuries. St. Stanislaw was murdered here and later canonized. The interior is very ornate and there is a lovely garden outside. There is also a statue of John Paul II, who was closely associated with Krakow; he lived here many years and returned frequently.

Next we went into the Kazimierz Quarter, which was a leading center of Jewish culture and religion.

The High Synagogue

Isaak's Synagogue

View into Jewish cemetery

Kazimierz Town Hall, now a museum

Memorial to Jews slain by the Nazis
After we finished our tour, our driver let us off near the bridge we needed to cross to return to the apartment where we are staying. But we decided to find some lunch before going back. The first place we went in looked wonderful, but we decided we needed something a bit more substantial.

We chose a restaurant by the attractive menu and it turned out to be a great find. The dining room was decorated with many paintings by a (supposedly) well-known artist who happens to be a neighbor to the restaurant. I photographed one of her paintings and a beautiful glass angel whose shadow loomed behind her.

We hadn't had any latkes (potato pancakes) yet, so we decided to share an order of them, covered with mushroom gravy. They were crisp and tasty. We also had a sandwich of camembert, pear and cranberry that was presented beautifully. However, it was two full sandwiches! So we brought some back for Peter to have for lunch. Absolutely delicious.

Tomorrow morning (Tuesday) we head to the airport for the flight to Frankfurt then Delhi. We arrive there just after midnight very early Wednesday morning. We were a bit worried about our connection time in Frankfurt, just over an hour, and called to see if we could get an expedited transfer. In the end we decided to get me a wheelchair. The route between the gates for our small plane arrival and the large international flights is very long and circuitous. And we hate to miss a plane!!

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