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Mogs Travels: Krakow

Mogs Travels

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Krakow

We finally decided it was time to leave Slovakia after the weekend, and move on to Krakow in Poland. We have experienced some wonderful riding while in Slovakia, and the countryside is spectacular, but the wanderlust can't be denied, so on Tuesday 1st of July we made the short trip to Krakow.
The border crossing was like something out of the cold war, except the barrier was up. A long straight narrow stretch of road with checkpoints at either end! It didn't take too much imagination to see a military policeman with his hand up saying niet.
Having made the crossing it was immediately apparent that we had entered a new country. The overall appearance was of greater prosperity, both in the housing, and the number and type of car on the road. No more battered Skoda's, more silver grey VW's and quite a few Mercs and Audis. The road itself was full of traffic, and had lots of road works. Not a nice ride!
We eventually arrived at our destination, Camping Clepardia, and decided to treat ourselves to a camping bungalow, rather than put up the tent again. This is a picture of Chris sitting outside enjoying the evening sun, while on line catching up with emails.



This morning we decided to take the bus into the historic medieval town centre. We didn't realise that the ticket had to be bought before getting on the bus, so we had a free ride into town, all the while hoping a ticket inspector didn't get on. The main square in town is a honey pot for tourists, and we had a beer while watching the world go by. This chap offering free beer kept on passing by. Even though we couldn't see his face his walk suggested someone who wasn't having a good day. He was definitely trudging along in the hot sun



We then took a tour of the town by electric buggy, and it was a stark reminder of the recent history of the area. We visited the Jewish area, and saw the square where they were chosen for deportation to the concentration camps. The remembrance stone was erected as a reminder of the 60,000 Jews from Krakow who lost their lives in the holocaust. It was a quarter of the entire population of the city!



As a welcome reminder of the goodness in people we went past the factory owned by Oscar Schindler, where he employed and hid Jews, and saved many from deportation and extermination under the Nazis.

Tomorrow we have booked to visit Auschwitz. It's a place I've always intended seeing, and I have no doubt it will be a moving experience. LB

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3 Comments:

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At July 3, 2008 at 9:27 PM , Blogger Liz said...

You are getting around a bit aren't you! I see you found a nice bottle of vino (can't see if it's tinto or blanco)!

My bike is going in for its 4k service on Saturday - I thought that was quite a long way until I looked at a map and see where you have got to!

Happy riding, see you when you are back!

Liz xx

 
At July 4, 2008 at 8:12 PM , Blogger Mr & Mrs Mogs said...

Hi Liz,

I think average bike mileage is about 3000 miles so don't run yourself down, 4k is good going! This is a rather exceptional trip after all. Our average daily mileage isn't that great, it's just that we're fortunate & have more time than most.

Have come across several nice bottles of vino though sadly not in Poland. the beers good too!

Elvie

 

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