Posted by: bkropf | March 19, 2008

Cheese Incognito

It was sunny and felt cold yesterday when I got up.  It snowed a little so I think it became officially cold.  Definitely not a hard snow, but a flake or two definitely smacked me in the face.

I went around the old part of the city yesterday.  It is really quite small and easily seen on foot.  I started at the castle.  Not much to say about the castle, I think it was pretty castlish as far as castles go.  I did tour the armoury and it was fun seeing all the old cannons, muskets, swords and armor. 

For lunch I went to a ‘tradional’ Polish restaurant for some food.  Starting off, they brought bread with some form of spread.  I tasted some of the spread and I’m pretty sure it was just straight lard.  I ate the bread plain.  I ordered some of the soup recommended by my book but it ended up just being some hot broth in a mug.  I forgot the name of what I ate next but it was essentially some meat filled dumplings.  They were quite tasty.  I guess if I had to be honest, the breads here are much better than their traditional foods.  They were just so greasy and heavy.  I asked where I could find some polish sausage (sounded traditional to me) and the people just laughed at me.

One problem with not speaking the language is you sometimes get surprises when you bite into something.  I was at a market this morning and pointed at this little object that looked like some sort of pastry.  The lady said it was 20z (about 8 dollars).  I decided I didn’t want it but bought instead this really small piece for about one dollar.  I was thinking, “This better be the best bread ever at that price.” I popped it into my mouth to find it was not bread but smoked cheese.  What a shock.  I had to spit it out and eat it is smaller pieces. It ended up being worth the dollar.

After eating I headed to the train station to get a ticket for Budapest.  It was pretty confusing but I finally secured a spot. 

As it continued snowing, I went to a ‘traditional’ market and it was one of the coolest parts of Krakow so far.  There were many really cute old ladies selling things like pieces of mistletoe and sausage they had make themselves.  Everything was for sale,  from underwear to pigs feet.  One old lady was even selling little tiny Easter chicks that looked like she glued a yellow piece of fuzz to a smaller orange piece of fuzz.  They reminded me of peeps back home and I got homesick.

Last night I had some good talks with the Canadian/Polish woman and the person manning the hostel.  We were talking about what we miss from home and the one girl said when she lived in the states she missed how the Polish complained.  She thought American always act like they are happy and will lye if they aren’t.  She missed how people were just so honest.  What I missed wasn’t nearly so deep, I just miss the peeps at Easter.

Last night a huge group came into the hostel.  It is such a random group.  There is an Indian, Iranian, American, two French and two Turkish.  They were really loud but it was fun.  When I got up this morning the lady running the hostel was mad because one of the Spanish guys locked himself in the bathroom and passed out on the toilet.

I left for my tour of the Salt Mines at 11am.  This English woman and her daughter were sitting next to me and they were so fun to talk with.  We had some good laughs and before we knew it we were there.  I had to pay five dollars to take pictures in the mine so I took tons to get my moneys worth.  The mine was pretty incredible, there are pools, three cathedrals, tons of statues and a concert hall.  There were many other cool things that weren’t available for us to see.  It made me wonder what we were missing out on.  There ended up being about four other older British people we met up with and they made me laugh so hard.  I felt like I was a part of an old British sitcom.  They said we are going to love Ireland, I can’t wait.

Well I’m at the hostel and the lady informed me she gave my bed away to someone else on accident.  I hope I find another option.  I tried uploading the pictures but this computer is so old I can’t find it’s USB port so I’m going to have to wait until Budapest.

I wish I had something fun to read or at least a suduko book.  The only English books I have found all relate to the Holocaust and I have read most of them already.



  1. I love all your stories….did you find a bed to sleep in? It’s cool and rainy here. Aleah called me yesterday and talked about when she barfed and had diarrhea….she can dial the phone now!
    You talk about the “little old ladies”…..where are the “little old men?” Have a great day! Love, Mom

  2. Dang it Barney I wish I was there already!

    Those mines were one of the more memorable stops in all of Europe for me. They are just so much different than the routine of churches and museums.

    Yea we about wore out a sudoku book when we were there.

    I’m curious how you like Budapest. The initial beauty of the city just shocks you… and make sure you out at night and look at the buildings by the river. It’s amazing.

  3. Mom, I don’t know if that bathroom humor is appropriate!!!

  4. Hey Barney! I forgot about your blog until this afternoon but now I’m all caught up on your entries… it’s a nice break from my accounting lessons! Have you seen anyone that looks like me? I only ask because you said they’re all very beautiful… ha ha. Just kidding. I do ask though because my mom’s side of the family is from Prussia, which used to be partly made up of Poland… I think.

  5. Love reading these! Keep them coming! Makes me want to travel!

  6. Ah Emily, you crack me up!!! If you need any help on Accounting I love helping!!! Why are you taking them? I haven’t seen anyone who reminds me of you…at least I haven’t seen any young women dancing around playing the mandolin.

  7. Sudoku! Tyler, Brandon, and I spent hours racing to finish sudoku puzzles on our train rides… I wonder how many castles we unknowingly passed by while our noses were buried in puzzles…

    Wish I was there!

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