Treasures in the Rubble

Today we leave Krakow for Warsaw. We are supposed to arrive at 1.20pm, but our train is over an hour late.  No idea why, the Poles don’t seem to think it is important to let passengers on their express intercity trains know in English what is going on.  Even the Polish announcement is almost inaudible.  It’s…

Legends of the Wawel Dragon and Nowa Huta

In a cave at the bottom of Wawel Hill there once lived a terrible fire-belching dragon. This dragon roamed around the countryside and did whatever he wanted to. He ate sheep and cattle and scared the farmers so much that they didn’t let their animals graze in the field near the Vistula River. Many brave…

Show Me Your Krak!

The word Krakow originates from ‘Krak’ or ‘Krakus’, and he, Krak, was the fabled ruler of the Vistulan tribes.  According to legend, he founded the city some time around 700AD, built Wawel Castle, slayed the Wavel Dragon (more about him a bit later) and beat back the armies of the Roman Empire.  Quite a busy…

From Zakopane With Love

The name ‘Poland’ originates from the tribal name ‘Polanie’ meaning ‘people living in open fields’.  And today, that’s where we are heading – to the fields.  Well, kinda. A private tour to Zakopane and the Dunajec River Gorge awaits us today.  Zakopane is the most famous Polish mountain resort (it was even Pope John Paul’s…

Get that Knife away from my Sister’s Head!

Growing up I didn’t really know much about Poland.  I knew we had funny little folk costumes of garish red and green stripes, with peasant shirts and felt vests and ribbons and garlands of flowers for our heads, that there was different food at my Babcia’s (grandmother’s) house, and that my Babcia spoke a funny language…