Ivan and I woke up at 4:40 am on June 7, 2010. Lil Dave got to sleep in while we got ready.
We got picked up at the Travelodge at 5 am by taxicab. We shared a cab with a mom and her young son.
Our flight was at 6:10 am headed from Stansted Airport to Krakow, Poland. Since it’s Ryan Air (a cheap airline) that doesn’t assign seats and we were the last few people in line – we didn’t have seats together.
I wanted to sleep but the guy next to meet fell asleep with his iPod on too loud listening to rock music. I didn’t have any earplugs, so I decided to watch Glee on my laptop. I watched part of an episode of V as well.
We arrived earlier than planned at 9:10 am. The time zone is one hour ahead in Poland compared to England.
We got the free shuttle to the train station. We took a slow train to the Old Town in Krakow. We walked to the hostel. Ivan had to read the directions from his laptop while we walked.
We checked in to Greg & Tom Junior Hostel. It’s a boutique hostel. The lady showed us the different rooms of the hostel. She also gave us a map of the city and told us about free walking tours and Polish restaurants.
Ivan was really hungry. We walked to U Jedrusia for lunch. Ivan and I shared a tasty fried fish. Ivan liked the stir fried beet root. We also got coleslaw, onions and beet root from the salad bar. Ivan had beet root soup. Polish people like beet root. I’m really not a big fan of it, only on sandwiches. Ivan really likes it. Lil Dave ate a banana, honey and cinnamon pancake.
We chilled in the hostel lounge and used the internet.
We took a scooter tour with the hostel. Our guide was a young Polish guy named Marek. Our group consisted of 8 people. We walked to the scooter rental place. Ivan, Lil Dave and I were sharing a scooter. I crashed once on a moped trying to learn how to ride it in Bali, so I won’t drive scooters or mopeds.
It was the first time Marek was doing this scooter tour. He had a map of where to go. Marek had to ask a man for directions. He has been to our first destination, but not in awhile.
Our first stop was The Mound. It’s a man-made mound of grass. At the top, there’s a good 360º view of Krakow. We were walking down the Mound to go to the museum. Ivan and I were wondering where the group was. One of the guys ended up dropping his key into a sewage vent. So, we had to wait while an employee retrieved it.
We drove to Tyniec Abbey next.
There was a procession going on with people walking and some were holding religious statues. Marek wasn’t sure what it was. The kids were all dressed in white. Everybody in the group looked quite somber.
We found out that the restaurant had closed 45 minutes earlier. If that guy didn’t drop his key we probably would have eaten in the restaurant. Ivan and I thought it would have been a nice view from the restaurant. There’s great surroundings behind the Abbey.
I wanted to go inside the Abbey. We had to be quiet since there was a mass going on. We couldn’t take pictures either. All the religious statues were gold.
We were really hungry. We were headed to our next place when we saw a food stall. Ivan and I shared a zapiekanka which is bread with cheese, mushrooms and tomato sauce. It’s very similar to a pizza on bread. It was really good.
It was a long drive to the lake. It was worth is since Lake Zakrzowek is beautiful and we made it in time for the lovely sunset.
The lake is private property so people aren’t supposed to swim in it. I saw a few people swimming though. There’s cliffs that you can jump off. I thought it would be fun to jump off it.
The tour was 4 hours long. We had a good time seeing Krakow on scooters.
Ivan, Lil Dave and I walked to Old Town for dinner. We went to Gruzinskie Chaczapuri Restaurant. Ivan and I each had a rose to drink. The waiter insisted that two dishes would be plenty of food for me and Ivan. We shared the tasty shishlik grilled chicken with Georgian seasonings and cheese (it’s a shish-ka-bob) and a salty trout dish. We barely touched the fries and rice that came with our dishes since we are eating healthier. Lil Dave had fried bananas and chicken dish. It was really good food! When the waitress brought the bill. She told us that since we didn’t eat the fries and rice, we wouldn’t be charged for it. We couldn’t believe how nice they were at this restaurant.