02 September 2009

Poland, week one: Friday in the park

So, I've been here for a week, and haven't exactly fulfilled my promises of keeping you all updated. My sleep schedule is entirely out of whack thanks to jet lag, morning naps, afternoon naps, and unregulated amounts of caffeine. My first 24 hours or so in Krakow are mostly a blur; after a sleepless 7-hour flight to Frankfurt and a very painful 9 hours waiting in the Frankfurt airport (only afterward did I remember one of my Fulbright friends lives just outside the city), I reached Krakow in a tired and miserable state. But now, a week later, I am very awake, and very happy to be here!

So, let's see. Jonathan and I haven't been up to much in terms of tourism. I hit all the major tourist spots on my trip here in the winter, so this has been a relaxed visit more like the everyday Krakow experience.

I got in Thursday night and I'm pretty sure I slept straight to Friday afternoon. Friday evening, after Jonathan got back from lab, we went to a very large local park. Jon ran a few miles around the park while I sat, took pictures, and read a book. The place was incredibly beautiful at this time of day, though the lighting wasn't captured as nicely through the camera.

I sat on a wall at one edge of the park:

To my right were houses and a creek:

Others sat on the wall as well, enjoying the fantastic late August weather:

Jon ran around the path, as did many other runners, joggers, bikers (cyclists?), and, to my surprise, rollerbladers:

Though the park is close to Jon's dorm and not in the downtown area, it is so large and flat that there's a great view of Wawel castle in the distance:

So, I came to the conclusion that though I loved Krakow when it was covered in snow, it is a very nice place to be at this time of year.

More posts to come. Also, we've altered our travel plans for cost/time reasons (and I want to spend more weekend time in Krakow); instead of Prague and Budapest, we're staying in the area this weekend, and we found very cheap flights to Vienna on LOT for September 10-13. If you have any Viennese (?) travel tips, please let me know!


carissa said...

i was going to make suggestions for activities in budapest, but have not been to vienna. i will keep thinking of polish things in the south but let me know if you're traveling further in poland and i might have other tips.

oh, and i'm so jealous you are there for so long! i think my polish would get quite good if i were there for 5 or 6 weeks.

glennie said...

oo! poland has become another place for me to visit! hoorah - i'm glad you are having a fun relaxing visit.

Aubrey said...

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Vienna balls

Vienna is the last great capital of the nineteenth century ball. There are over 200 significant balls per year, some featuring as many as nine live orchestras. Balls are held in the many beautiful palaces in Vienna, with the principal venue being the Hofburg Palace at Heldenplatz. While the Opera Ball is the best known internationally of all the Austrian balls, other balls such as the Kaffeesiederball (Cafe Owners Ball), the Jägerball (Hunter's Ball) and the Rudolfina Redoute are almost as well known within Austria and even better appreciated for their cordial atmosphere. Viennese of at least middle class may visit a number of balls in their lifetime. For many, the ball season lasts three months and can include up to ten or fifteen separate appearances.

Dancers and opera singers from the Vienna Staatsoper often perform at the openings of the larger balls.[citation needed]

A Vienna ball is an all-night cultural attraction. Major Viennese balls generally begin at 9pm and last until 5am, although many guests carry on the celebrations into the next day.

Your task is clear.

Mom said...

Maria who runs a housekeeping service and Patricia, the girl from Krakow I met today both remind me to tell you to visit Warsaw....it is the essence of Poland in their view. Patricia went to the Akademie (where JA has his lab). Milo misses you (so do I).

Maya said...

Ooh Vienna! The Schonbrun palace is worth a visit (and its gardens and zoo if you're into that), the Kulturisches Museum (art museum), eating sacher-torte (chocolate cake with jam, really yummy), and if you like music of the classical variety at all, Vienna is great for that too.

Aunt Judy said...

Katie -- a friend/neighbor of ours is the new ambassador to Austria -- do you want me to contact them? He was in my class at Duke and is a neighbor -- they arrived in Vienna about 3 weeks ago.
In Vienna -- the boys choir, the Lippizanner stallions (you can always pick up tickets outside before the performance); you must go to one of the chocolate shops and have hot chocolate and a pastry. Go out of the city and see the Schoenbrunn palace -- gardens are glorious!
You will LOVE VIenna!! It is a glorious city!