09.07.2013 - 09.07.2013 28 °C
Krakow has proved to be a wonderful city so far. It's great for wandering, has lots of little shops and cafes lining the streets, and has plenty of green spaces and squares to relax in the shade. Our time here has felt like a sort of vacation from our trip.
We spent the day walking the town and visiting the Wawel Royal Castle. There we found a large statue of Pope John Paul II, looking as jovial and good-natured as ever. Maybe we've been watching too much West Wing, but his face reminded us strongly of John Spencer. A gold dome, gleaming in the sunlight, marks Sigismund's Chapel. Royalty, immortalised in stone, are decorated with gold embellishments and crowns. We soaked up the heat and busy atmosphere. Then it was time for lunch.
Milk bars were popular during the Soviet era, as they were places for labourers to get cheap, if not tasty, meals. They've evolved since then, and are now places where people can get meals that are both cheap and tasty. The bars still look quite utilitarian, but they are packed full of patrons. We had handmade perogies, cabbage rolls and cold borscht for lunch. The first two were delicious, but our Western palettes couldn't quite handle the cold beet soup with a hard boiled egg floating the centre.
Later that afternoon, Mom spotted an eye-catching dress in the window of a shop we walked by. We popped in, and spent the next hour picking out dresses and sorting through sizes. Eventually, she decided on a pretty green one. I have to say that I picked out, and I think she looks great in it. I'll try to convince her to model it and take a picture for the blog.
We meandered back to the main square and took a last look around at the amber bazaar, where I bought a couple pieces of jewellery, and then strolled around a bit more, looking at the flower stalls and quirky performance artists. I don't want to say goodbye to Krakow anytime soon, but I'm still excited for our last brand new country, the Czech Republic. The last new country! I can hardly believe it either.