It looks like we’re going to Poland in July – yes, Poland. Three years ago, two Polish teenagers from Gdansk stayed with us in Des Moines and our son later stayed with one teen’s family in the northern seaport of Gdansk. They were a lot of fun and we promised we’d visit some day. So when my husband got word that he’ll be going on a business trip to tour farms in the Ukraine-Moldova-Romania, we looked at map to see where I could meet up with him after his trip and there was POLAND! We’re very excited to see our friends and the gorgeous city they live in – which we’ve heard so much about. We’re also going to Krakow – which was one of our son’s favorite places when he visited Poland. And on to Prague – where we hope to rendezvous with friends from London. I may also throw in a solo trip before all this to…another place I’ve never been: Berlin. (We went to Munich and Bavaria to visit American friends living there in 1989 and I distinctly remember taking a train on a day trip to Saltzburg that was later going on to Prague. Prague! That sounded interesting but it wasn’t an option back then because this was just before the wall came down and as I recall we still needed some special documents to travel to Eastern Europe. No more.)
So far I’ve found two good small hotels, reasonably priced:
Gotyk House in Gdansk – a small b&b in what’s reportedly this seaport city’s oldest house, built in 1541. (see illustration above)
Karmel hotel in Krakow – in Kazimierez, the former Jewish quarter/ghetto dating back to the 1500’s. (I should feel right at home…although the Jewish ghetto has been replaced by what is now a trendy area, I’m told. And of course, the vast majority of the 60,000 Jews in the ghetto were murdered by the Nazis.) In addition to Auschwitz, we plan to visit Oskar Schindler’s factory. Apparently the nearby concentration camp Birkenau is even worse than Auschwitz. We visited Dachau years ago in Munich.
Royal Capital City of Kraków
Stołeczne Królewskie Miasto Kraków
Main Market Square, Wawel Castle, Barbican, St. Mary’s Basilica, St. Peter and Paul Church, Collegium Maius