European Vacation: First Day In Poland

Poland - Day One - Alli Hillgren

May 28, 2007

5:30 am: We are off to Gatwick airport on our trek from London, England to Krakow, Poland.

After the 2.5 hour flight, we made it to our adorable hotel with a cute courtyard that all of our rooms open to. We have pretty much taken over the entire place! We had about two hours to settle into our rooms, relax, and eat our first Polish lunch consisting of noodles, tomato soup, chicken, and potatoes. Following lunch, we boarded our bus to explore downtown Krakow. We are guided through the beautifully preserved old-town buildings by our guide Konrad. Some of the buildings dated all the way back to the 12th century. One of the team's favorite places was the St. Mary's Church, which began construction by two brothers, each building separate towers. Well, it turns out that one brother was ahead of the other brother when it came to finishing construction. Therefore the 2nd brother began cutting corners in construction and disagreement resulted in the first brother murdering the 2nd brother!!! Stricken with grief and his guilt, the first brother completed the project and leapt to his death from the larger tower. Although the brother's story did add character to the church, it was the beauty and detail inside the church that we were all most impressed with. The designs, architecture, paintings, and relics on the inside of the church are almost indescribable. It's hard to believe that it was possible to decorate every square inch of the building from the floor to the ceiling all without the technologies that we enjoy today! Asia (Kaczor) said that Pope John Paul II actually performed mass at this church several times during his tenure. After touring several more buildings, we relaxed on a patio with a view of the vast town square....think of Mary Poppins and pigeons and you have a hint of what it was like.

We returned to our hotel and enjoyed Asia's favorite Polish meal...Pierogi's. It's basically pasta filled with meat or cheese, similar to a ravioli. We had the opportunity to meet and visit with Marta's (Siemiatkowska) parents and family. They treated us to a traditional dessert of special cakes.

We send our best to everyone at home and hope you enjoy following our trip !


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