The logistical nightmare to get me back in Australia has officially begun. Currently I am putting the ergonomically friendly seats at the Krakow airport through some arduous tests, awaiting for the long haul home to commence. Fortunately security won’t be an issue in Krakow, they have classified it as smooth, a reflection of the bodies in the picture. Those figures seem more streamlined than me at present due to the odd perogi or seven. A quick recap…
The day trip to Auschwitz & Birkenau was an eye opener. Impossible to relay that whole experience and do it justice, when you follow the same path as millions did to their death it is truly shocking. I wasn’t planning on seeing two tonnes of human hair.
The tour was really professional, with an English speaking tour guide. English was his third or fourth language but was able to answer any question that came his way with aplomb.
Purely a coincidence but as soon as we hopped off the bus from our seventy minute journey the wind and rain tagged along with our group, pushing the temperature close to zero and turning both sites into muddy bogs. The trusty cardigan was no match for Mother Nature, my body fat and ruggered charm can only do so much. Nothing more to add other than it should be a compulsory visit for all that visit Central Europe.
The tour spiel made it clear that food/drink was not included so my intention was I was to pick up something on the way at one of the many bakeries. A nice fresh baguette was what I was hoping for but the only thing open was a small bakery that had two focaccia.
They look dry in the photo because they were, sharing the same stuctural integrity of cured concrete. But what better way to get that taste out of your mouth than with a “Snickers” slice. Chocolate sponge cake with a melted Snickers bar layer, then covered in chocolate.
Following the day long tour the 1remainder of my time was a combination of eating/drinking/walking (for something new). Each day I would travel further out and in the suburbs I found a perogi place which is considered on the the finest exponents of the national pastime. That good in fact that the reviews from tourists speak for themselves. This hole-in-the-wall seats 7 shoulder to shoulder and the line up snakes the block.
Who needs Facebook or Trip Advisor when the old Post-It note is around and you want to show off your artistic flair?
Also I tried their golabki (the stuffed cabbage for the newcomers). Not as good as the other day.
But the award for best dessert perogi in a leading role was a Raffaello, a lip licking filling of sweetened cheese and coconut. Maybe I haven’t made it sound appetizing but it was akin to the inside of a Bounty chocolate bar. Covered with a tart yoghurt sauce. Only ten in a serve? An outrage.
For those that like a witty sign with a good pun and some street art, get excited now.
My last night couldn’t be wasted couped up in the apartment so I ventured out for one final dance with the cold darkness. I had drunk my share of vodka so I thought I would expand my scope and try some mulled wine. Was expecting a spicy alcoholic elixir but sadly my standards were too high. If this came straight from a bottle the tasting notes would read “cough mixture and cloves”. Two sips and I had to call it quits. “Mulled” is the Polish word for disappointing.
It was reassuring to know that if it all turned to shit and I had to pull a couple of holdups to make ends meet I could have sourced some good value horse’s heads.
For those under thirty the above emojis represent my day today. Each plane that is not taking off or landing represents an hour in the air. Three flights – Krakow to Warsaw, Warsaw to Dubai and then finish off with the Dubai to Brisbane. The first one went off without a hitch, Uber to the Krakow airport which was quick and easy. My driver was proud I didn’t get fooled by the tourist traps. Apparently the drinks at the bars with the “sexy girls” are $40AUD a pop. Craziness. Was able to pay a visit into the airport lounge which was very European. Bulk breads, vodka and unlimited chocolate bars. I stashed some chocolate away for the nieces and nephews, let’s hope it survives the journey.
Once again pets flying on planes, this pug was in front of me in the security screening and while humans are subject to every review under the sun, something that can could be a magnet for disease just waltzes through and then pisses on an unsuspecting tourist.
The first flight was a leisurely forty-five minutes. I sat next to a very attractive young women who couldn’t believe her luck. Then she was tapped on the shoulder by a dreadlocked man who informed her she was in his seat. Damn. He was a nervous flyer so he jacked up the air, both his and mine. I felt like I was sitting out on the wing. The “meal” on the plane, a basket of the chocolate bars that were all over the lounge.
The plane was smaller than I had anticipated but like a clown car it was an optical illusion.
The next flight to Dubai was only half full so I could fortunately spread out. The five hours went quickly with two movies, Green Book, that picked up the Academy Award this year (two thumbs up) and also Widows, a heist movie (one thumb up).
Now in Dubai International Airport having sampled their selections in the lounge and then had to pay a visit to the duty free shop. I needed to pass through the fragrance section and mask my unkept smell that only twenty-four hours of travel can muster. Ended up eating too much which will mean our flight which has been delayed will hopefully be me sleeping for fourteen hours. Let’s assume that nothing happens on the way home and I will end this blogging caper here.
Where to next? I haven’t made any plans, but the gym would probably be the most sensible place.