Sunday, July 08, 2012

Road Trip: Part Two

After Hamburg and Berlin we drove across to Krakow. There was no mistaking that we were in Poland, immediately upon crossing the border, the motorway became incredibly bumpy – so much so that I'm not even sure if motorway is the right word for that haphazard strip of tarmac. A sharp contrast to the smooth speed-limit-free Autobahnen of Germany! Nevertheless, we somehow made it to Krakow with an intact chassis.

The main square in Krakow.

A friend's family – whom she had never met before – were kind enough to host us. They live in a farm outside of the city and we were given a warm, Polish welcome (yet more beer). I can't speak Polish, so understanding what was going on was a little tricky, but I did pick up a few useful words – beer of course included (piwko).

In the old town district of Krakow.

Krakow itself is a very pretty city and there's plenty to see and do. We spent most of the time eating – Polish food is great (not a country for vegetarians)! After looking around the city, we headed to Wieliczka, just outside Krakow, in order to check out the salt mines that our hosts recommended.

A shop 100 metres underground in a mine - very strange...

The mine was really cool, the miners had sculpted statues into the rock salt – including a 3D carving of The Last Supper which was impressive. In fact the salt mine was like nothing else I've seen. There was a cathedral chamber (where you can be wedded for 2000 Złoty), a conference centre and even a little shop down there. I was half expecting to find a Starbucks and KFC too. 'Mine' is probably a misleading term for the place, rather I'd call it an underground exhibition centre – which also carries out the odd mining operation from time to time. Very bizarre – but definitely worth a visit!

The impressive cathedral chamber.

A very enjoyable time had in Krakow indeed, I could've stayed there longer! The road trip then took us back West, next stop Wrocław...

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