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Monday, April 14, 2008

Vacation Day 9: Krakow

Click here for pictures from Day 9.

Morning at Hotel Gródek! This was a planned lazy day. After a quick breakfast, Beth went to find good tours for the salt mines and Auschwitz, while I walked to the local gallery with the Lem exhibit. The gallery was small and attended by a young woman who was kind enough to explain everything to me, since I could not read Polish and she had excellent English skills. The gallery had several sketches, many of which I had seen in The Star Diaries. In fact, most of the drawings recalled stories from The Star Diaries. There was also a sculpture Lem made, and some other sketches related to his suggestions for a statue honoring Chopin. This was a genuine highlight for me, and speaking with the woman, whose name, I learned, was Martha (named after the Beatles song.) She claimed she learned English so she could understand Beatles songs.

Back to the hotel for lunch and Scrabble. This hotel had a fabulous chef who created excellent sauces. This was fantastic, except we really wanted something reasonably light. So we asked to share a salad, and a meat dish (veal?) with potatoes and spinach. Unfortunately, the salad was covered in oil and the spinach turned out to be a tiny soufflé. (Additionally there was a lovely appetizer, complements of the chef, consisting of chicken, some cheese, greens, and the superb red peppercorns we had throughout most of our stay in Krakow.)

We napped and wanted to head out to dinner. We asked for a recommendation for a vegetarian restaurant, and they gave us one with a promising name: Avocado. They gave us a recommendation in the Jewish district. We decided to walk there, but started by heading in the opposite direction for 20 minutes, as a way to walk off some of the rich food we ate. I marveled at the large number people with dogs, most of which were allowed off leash. This made us miss Maggie even more.

We had difficulty finding the restaurant based on the markings the hotel staff made on the map. We gave up on finding Avocado, and looked at two or three other restaurants, none of which appealed to us. We found Avocado while walking out of the Jewish district. It was about two blocks from where the map marking suggested. We went in, ready for our meal, and marveled at all the vegetarian choices lavished with meat. I wasn't happy with the choices but by then we settled for the least damage: Beth had soup, and I had a chicken dish. Back to the hotel, called friends and family (Thank You, Skype!) and sleep.

This was an excellent lazy day.

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