We felt the soul of the city the minute we arrived in Krakow, Poland. There were tons of charming cafes, restaurants, and cathedrals. We stayed in the center of the Jewish Quarter which is the more bohemian, residential part of town. The days were filled with so many fun things, and a couple of very sad things, too. We zipped around town in a golf cart with a college student who told us all about their history. Did you know that at one point Poland didn’t exist and if anyone even said Poland they would be shot by a communist leader?
On the tour we went to many churches, synagogues (Jewish temples) and museums. One of the churches had a stone water fountain. If you drink from the fountain you are suppose to live for at least 100 years. We tried it, but it tasted like rotten eggs… icky!
We had the chance to listen to local music. Most groups had a violinist, accordionist, pianist and a vocalist.
All the streets, historic squares, food and music in Krakow were
amazing, but just an hour outside of town was the most horrifying place I
have ever been. Auschwitz, the killing camp of the Germans when
horrible Hitler ruled. I hope nothing like this will ever happen again
in the history of the world.
We had a great time in Krakow but our hiking boots were ready to climb
in the Carpathian Mountains. When we arrived we found a big surprise
waiting for us. We thought we were going to rolling hills, but they were
actually massive mountains. We did some pretty amazing hikes all week.
On one of the hikes we stood on the border of Slovakia and Poland. We
moved on to Slovakia for some more amazing mountain exploration.
When we arrived at the Ginger Monkey Hostel, our Slovakian home for the
week, we were greeted by Wally the dog and Kevin the cat. The hostel
was full of interesting people from all over the world, but mainly
Australians. We had an awesome time. I competed in the XXL Pizza Eating
Challenge with Everest. We ate the huge pie together in only 20 minutes
and then we had stomach aches together too.
We watched a Slovakian wedding at the local church from our front porch.
Everyone was in beautiful traditional dress and there were horse
carriages for the bride and groom and family.
Our biggest adventure in
Zdiar was an all day hike to the highest peak. It was really hard but
totally worth it. The view at the end was breathtaking. Our hut was
right on an alpine lake and the mountains were surrounding us. We had a
wonderful time sleeping on top of the world but now it is time to move
on to another soulful city!