Krakow – June 4th, 2010.
So I sent mum off to go visit Auschwitz as I think despite its grim history and its a very depressing place it is somewhere that one does have to see. We can only move forward by knowing about our past.
After getting mum onto the bus, I head back to the hostel and grab a guidebook about the Nowa Huta region. Basically, when the Iron Curtain was up they decided to make this area a statement about how good communism was. Its filled with what they call ‘swedish’ style apartment blocks (not good to look at – but cheap and effective housing solutions).
I catch the tram right over and get off at the main square – though its not where I wanted to be. I wanted to get off 2 miles down the long avenue known as aleja solidarnosci (translated it means Solidarity Avenue). Which leads up to the Steel works.
Which were a huge part of the anticommunism resistance during the Iron Curtain days with a lot of protests and rallys. Its not exactly jaw dropping but its quite a sight.
I walk back down the Solidarity avenue and get quite hungry so find a pizza joint and smash that down with a tyskie. Before heading to the Central Plaza. And then down to a small square where there used to be a Lenin statue. One guy actually tried to blow the statue up – but failed. It was pulled down after the fall of communism.
I keep walking up through the swedish style apartment blocks and get to the Nowa Huta Cross. Before the weather starts to turn pretty dreadful and decide for a bit of a siesta back at the hostel.
After a massive slice of Pizza, its not til about an hour after 6 (when I thought mum was going to be home) that she stumbles in. In tears mind you. The bus didnt drop her off at the right stop but at the bus station and got a bit lost. Thanks to some nice travellers she got back in a taxi.
Though thats not the worst of our troubles – I have to do a little something on ryanairs website – namely make sure mums baggage is now checked in (it was too big to be a carry on). And the card wouldnt work. So now that I owe ryanair money I can no longer check on. A few lengthy calls and its sorted out. Well no not at all – we still cant check in. So we have to rush to the airport and see if the desk can do it there. At least she kindly printed off our boarding passes for us.
We go back through the Stare Miasto and grab a bite at a kebab store (cheap as chips) and wander through the Rynek. Its a friday night and it seems that every man and woman who is getting married next weekend has decided to do their bucks/hens night in Krakow. I spot at least 10-15 different parties. Ridiculous.