Four years ago, our trip didn’t end in Belgium as the last post on the blog might suggest, but two weeks later in Poland. I figured since we are off to Europe for round two I should at least finish off the last trip by adding some highlights. We caught a train to Cologne Germany where we then hopped an over night train to Warsaw and then on to Krakow. We spent two glorious weeks in Krakow, where we were so busy every day, that I found no time to blog. Here’s some images from that portion of the trip.
Cathedral in Cologne right beside the train station. We had enough time to hop off the train and check it out before our overnight train.
Cozy in our overnight train. We were lulled to sleep by the swaying of the train. When we got on the train, it was filled by a drunken teenage football team. They were yelling and screaming and the bathroom was swimming in their vomit. We felt better after locking ourselves in our berth.
Z ready for bed
The Cloth hall in the main square. This is where you can find all sorts of cool stuff, from carved amber to beautiful wooden chess sets. We spent a lot of time browsing here.
An old fortress off the main square. We climbed to the top to check out the city.
Playing in some sculptures in the main square.
We had a great adventure into the salt mines where the miners carved many different chapels underground.
Salt mine sculptures
There is a massive cathedral underground in the salt mine as well. It was pretty spectacular the work that these miners did.
In the Salt mine. We had the wildest experience during after the main tour. We saw a sign underground that said to line up for a museum tour. It appeared that no one really knew about this tour as only 4 other people lined up with us. After a few moments a very serious looking man showed up and asked us to come with him. We descended deep into the mine and he led us through lamp lit hallways to a chapel where he asked us to enter and sit, so we did. He said “Let us Pray” and within moments the lights went out, techno music started to play and the cross at the centre of the room split apart. Laser lights painted the walls… I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or not at how surreal it was, but the man had been so serious that I decided I probably shouldn’t laugh. I think maybe he had a very dry sense of humour. He then led us to an amazing underground museum that the main tour doesn’t get to see.
A heat wave hit during our stay, and a fire hose was hooked up in the main square for people to cool off in.
The kids had great fun leaping through the water.
Fire hose in the main square.
We got a chess set in the cloth hall and the kids learned to play chess in our hostel room.
The Wawel Castle
Dragon’s Lair under the Wawel
The Dragon who guards the castle
We took a boat trip down the Vistula River
Kids enjoyed playing dress up on the boat
Memorial in the ghetto district. Derek and I also both went to Auschwitz/Birkenau separately without the kids. It was an unbelievably painful and powerful experience which I can’t do justice in this post.
Cooling off and meeting other kids in a smaller square.
There was a massive windstorm one of the nights we were there. It woke us at 5 am, the wind screaming down the river and rattling our windows. When we got up and wandered the town that morning, we found it had downed massive oak trees all over the city. The crews spent days clearing the trees.
The kids still talk about this mirror maze four years later.
Walking on the riverwalk. The Wawel castle is behind them.
We went to a traditional supper and these lovely ladies actually got Derek dancing… here’s photographic proof!
Zakiah also joined in.
Krakow at night.
Wawel at night
Listening to stories in the Ethnographic museum
Examining Easter Eggs
Dress up in the Wawel.
My that’s a big cup of coffee you have!
Watching candy being made.
Cathedral off the main square.
That’s the end of the 2015 Europe trip!