Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Weekend Pierogi Blogging

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So eventhough I should have been home finishing stuff for my show that opens on Thursday, FrenchBoy and I spent the weekend in Poland of all places. Krakow to be exact....or Cracow.

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We met up with Kasia and Kelly my pals from NYC and later we were joined by their friends from Berlin, Timo and Franka. Kasia was in Poland visiting her family and of course we were more than happy to all meet up. And what a time we had:

Friday night we got in late after taking 2 different buses and a very bumpy flight. We were too late to join everyone for dinner so FrenchBoy and I headed to the big ass square Rynek Glowny to check it out. We soon realised that "Krakow" means "party" in Polish.

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The square was absolutely packed with revelers of all ages drinking gi-normous Polish beers at one of the hundred or so terrace cafes. I even saw the Virgin Mary do a shot of Żubrówka . You see how she's leanin' a bit riiiiight?

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After dinner and a few very affordable cocktails we stumbled back to our hotel room and drifted off into a deep sleep only to be awaken at 3 AM by the group of drunk hooligans singing in the hotel hallway. One of many early morning impromptu sing-alongs to take place over the course of the weekend.

Saturday morning we headed over to meet Kasia & Kelly at their swank hotel. And since our free breakfast looked like this:


we decided that the buffet breakfast in their hotel restaurant was a better option.

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After I finished my 2 glasses of Prosecco we were off to the famous Salt Mines of Wieliczka which was just uber-bizarre and quite hilarious....or maybe it was just the Prosecco talkin'. But if it's good enough for the Pope, Copernicus, Goethe, and Chopin ...well then I guess it was good enough for us too.

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Salty Mary:

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Salty Gnomes:

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Salty Jesus:

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Salty People:

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About 1.5 hours into the tour we got tired and escaped the mines. Later that evening we all met up again for the annual Wianki Festival which used to be based on a very charming ancient Polish celebration on St. John’s Day that involved young girls floating wreaths of flowers and magic herbs with lit candles down the Vistula (Wisla) river. But apparently that was too old fashioned so the whole thing got upgraded to performances by 80's has-been popstars and a mind-blowingly long fireworks display upon the riverbank opposite the Royal Wawel Castle.

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Yes folks---I saw Bananarama live in concert in Krakow. Jealous much? And those Poles can really shake it!

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After about 2 hours of sitting on wet grass watching a few musical acts we headed up to Kasia and Kelly's swank hotel room which had a panoramic view of all the events.

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We ordered room service and cocktails and enjoying the gi-normous fireworks show---when out of nowhere Kelly proposed to Kasia (in Polish no less!) with a gorgeous tension set diamond that we had been hiding in their luggage for the whole trip! Later after we ate our hamburgers and finished jumping for joy, we watched the cops break up a fight between 2 eurotrash girls.

So just to re-cap: I saw Bananarama live in concert, two of my favorite friends got engaged, and I saw two Euro-Skanks get into a bitch-fight. Truly one of the most memorable nights of my life.

Sunday was our last day in Krakow, so French Boy and I made the best of it by taking a "Crazy Communist Tour" of the Nowa Huta district of Krakow.

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Our guide Jacob picked us up at the hotel and wisked us away to the historic communist district that was originally gifted to Krakow by Stalin himself. It later came to be one of the centers of revolution and resistance within Poland, leading to the eventual overthrow of the communist government.

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The Crazy Guides is run by a group of young guys who really know their history. We met up with another group led by Bartek and so we actually had the advantage of hearing two very different perspectives on the history of Communism in Poland. (If I remember correctly, Bartek studied Economics and Jacob studied Sociology.) The whole thing was just a real treat.

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After our crazy tour we headed back to the hotel to change for our fancy dinner reservations at Wierzynek Restaurant which has been in business since 1364. (No that is not a typo.) It was crazy old-fashioned fancy. The hostesses wore ball gowns and the waiters brought us our main courses wearing white gloves. For real!

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Then just when you thought it couldn't get any better the four waiters revealed our dinner entrees by by lifting the sterling-silver plate dome thingies in one perfectly choreographed motion.


Dude---it was baller....like food Performance Art.

After dinner we headed over to the very un-touristy Kazimierz neighborhood to hang out at a local bar----where apparently drinks are free. We each got a glass of something and the total came to $7.

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I love Krakow.

And now here's a little something just for you:


geotraveler said...

Loved your pics! Poland is my favorite country in Europe and I love Krakow - There's such a charm and warmth about it!!

Glad you guys had a great time!

Papadesdeux said...

That settles it.
I'm selling the kids. Making a pact with the devil to get my youth (translate body) back. And heading to Krakow.