Well today is my last full day in Poland and I’m already sad to go. Despite the foreignness of the language, architecture, and customs, I feel very at home here. Perhaps it is my knowledge of Poland’s history and my familiarity with some aspects of its culture like food that makes me feel at home so far away. I had plans for dinner later just outside of the city center but that wasn’t going to stop me from enjoying one last run through Krakow. There is still so much I hadn’t seen yet that I ran around and got a lot in on this last day.
In the morning, I started off with a walk through the Jewish quarter of Kazimierz including the Old Jewish Cemetery. The wall of the cemetery is lined with fragments from the tombstones of Jews buried all over Krakow in cemeteries that were destroyed by the Germans.
After walking around for a while I decided to go to WWII era factory once run by a man named Oskar Schindler. You may remember him from a movie about his “list.” The factory is now used to house a great museum about the German occupation of Krakow and the mistreatment of Jews and Gentiles alike.
Later, I joined a Polish couple for dinner in a neighborhood outside the city walls. My hosts were Mark and Marta Bradshaw – residents of Krakow who started a company called Eataway.com where residents of Krakow, like Marta, open their homes for a dinner with locals. We had borscht and duck, with bigos to start and apple pie for dessert. Mark is from Zimbabwe and Marta is from Poland. They are both artists who met in the UK and moved to Krakow after they married. It’s a great idea and it was fun.
So when I got home I packed up my backpack and all of my souvenirs and gifts but before I went to bed I checked my email and noticed that Lufthansa had cancelled my flight from Munich to Washington for tomorrow…. hmmm…. maybe I’m not leaving Poland, or at least Europe, so soon. In the end, I was stuck in Munich for a couple of day but this is a Poland blog and as enjoyable as Munich was, the story of Poland already has too many references to Germany so I will end this here.
Thanks to Zen and his people at PolishOrigins for a wonderful trip.