Krakow

    Krakow was an eye opening place. We were in the old town area and it has that feel of an old city. Apparently during the communist years, it was pretty much ignored. After Poland had its Velvet Revolution, Krakow began to renovate itself.

    Part of the problem was during and after the war, people just upped and left. Now that it was desirable once again, people were coming out of the woodwork claiming houses were theirs. An independant, international commission was set up to determine ownership. In most cases, most of the properties have been assigned now, but some are still being looked at. You can tell which ones are still under contension because they looked like they did fifteen years ago.

    Its a nice place to wander around though. Very nice feel to it. We went to a concert in a former palace that overlooked the main square, visited the castle and looked at a lot of the churches. Krakow has a lot of churches.

    We also visited the Wieliczka Salt Mine. A fasinating place. Carved out of salt, you go down to level six and start to wander through the miles of tunnels, coming out into chambers. Some of which are huge, others have statues carved into them and some are just big.

    It has a lake in which they use to go boating and set off fireworks, but unfortunately when we were there, it was being redeveloped. It didn't feel claustrophic, although getting the lift up and down, that I can see people getting a little paniced. We had nine of us packed into a space about 3ft by 6ft. Then they shift the lift and end up stacking four layers of people on top of each other before you descend into the darkness.


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Orava Castle in Slovakia
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Farmhouses in a Slovakian village
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Look, a sign!
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Emblem on a building in Krakow
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Artwork in Krakow
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Wawel Castle
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Looking upstream of the Wisla (Vistula) River
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Folk costumes in Krakow
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More parts of the parade
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An old, unrenovated building in Krakow
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We had a piano recital
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This was the piano
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Dining area of the hotel
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Monument to the holocaust victims
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The Wieliczka Salt Mine
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Queuing for the lift in the mine
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Just check out that control board
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They packed us into the lift, not for the clostrophobic
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This was the winch system they use to use for moving salt blocks
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