The previous night, Zenon had scouted out features in the area and told us to plan on seeing the Wroclaw Panorama exhibit the next morning before we left the city. This was not only an exhibit about one of the early, historic Polish battles for independence. It was also a fascinating artistic rendering. The history of the canvas was a story in itself. The massive canvas was painted before 1900, one hundred years after the battle depicted. It was secreted away in a monastery during the twentieth century’s politically incorrect time periods and wartime years. A rotunda was eventually constructed to permanently house the multi-storey exhibit. The panorama now contains 3-Dimensional elements laid against the canvas that bring the scenes to life. Later, Conrad walked the grounds behind the hotel and photographed parts of the ancient city walls, and of the river and ancient churches towering over the historic city beyond the River Odra.
Drive time to Krakow this day was long and we opted for limited stops in order to spend more time in that city on our arrival. We made time to visit an ethnographic museum along the route. That is a suggested tourist stop because it depicts old peasant and farm life through real structures.
A restaurant was attached to the park and we enjoyed a meal, in a warm kitchen setting, heated by a wood stove. The traditional meal started with smalitz, a spread to be eaten on thick pieces of rye bread. It is made of clarified pork drippings and crispy onions. It has a mild flavor. (It supplied needed calories for energy spent with hard physical labor.)
We reached Krakow by late afternoon. Slav had already arrived and was waiting for us at the hotel. We took taxis to Krakow where Slav and Zenon directed us around the large city square in the Old Town. We visited St. Mary’s Basilica, walked along old buildings and listened to live music outside a coffee house. We visited the Hard Rock Cafe for souvenirs. At the cloth hall we scouted out children’s toys, in preparation for my daughter and grandchildren’s arrival the next morning. There were crowds, lights, festivities everywhere in the square that night. We found a quiet, warm restaurant along the square and had a relaxed dinner, reviewing our time together and making plans for the last days of our trip.