So.. yesterday was a bit dismal, what with rainy weather, no positive interaction with any Krakow citizens, and then ending the day with a visit to the enamel factory once run by Oskar Schindler during WWII.
The factory, now turned into a museum, documented Schindler’s metamorphis from a gambling, womanizing, ne’er-do-well, German agent to someone who saved over 1200 of his Jewish workers. It also showed how Krakow changed from the time right after WWI when it actually was partitioned and parcelled out to several countries, resulting in its disappearance off of maps, to its forced adaptations and changes due to the occupation by the Nazis during WWII.
No wonder the Polish people don’t have a lot to smile about! What a horrifying history filled with sadness and strife.
Today, however, did bring a bit more brightness. I chirped at our neighbourhood grocery and brightly asked him how he was today. He looked surprised, and waffling his hand, said, “Note so baud”, AND there was a bit of a grimace on his face that just MIGHT have been the attempt at a painful smile!
We went for another long walk into Old Town and saw many beautiful old buildings and exquisite details on doors, windows, and rooftops. Sometimes, the mind almost becomes confused because of the juxtaposition of a bright shiny new building connected to another from the 1600s.
The carvings, the columns, the hidden figures – all bring oohs and ahhhs and delight to the eye. Sadly, though, there are many buildings that have plaster falling off, graffiti on them, or that are just run-down and sad. I must say, though, that this afternoon was a much brighter day with a bit of sunshine and a bit more life.
We went to Old Town, and in the square was a market and a stage. Purveyors of food, clothing, toys, and jewelry lined the sides of the square and local bands played lively music. It was hard not to put a smile on our faces and a bit of a lift in our steps. Shawn sampled some wonderful hot red wine (his new favourite beverage), and we had perogies and kielbasa for supper. For dessert – a yummy curlicue of crispy dough coated in cinnamon and sugar… mmmmmm… and a new one – smoked cheese with cranberry jam. Interesting… very interesting!
Let’s see what tomorrow brings. We are on a day trip to Auschwitz – Birkenau, and though we feel it’s a duty we must fulfill by going, I can’t say we’re looking forward to this journey.