I’ll get back to Budapest later. Theoretically I am still traveling until Monday when classes begin.
Jon has left, and it’s now Nico and I who have just arrived in Krakow by bus from Budapest. If you can revisit the previous entries about the bus stories from Central Asia, there are a few notable differences worth mentioning. These include: functioning bathrooms (on the bus), free espresso, cappuccino, or tea, (again, on the bus), and free wifi (no, not on the bus yet … it’s being tested in Romania first). The paved roads through the ski resort towns of Slovakia were a nice touch versus never-ending potholed roads through the middle of fucking nowhere southern Kazakhstan.
Now Krakow. Leaving the luxurious bus and meandering to our hostel, braving the rain and wind via taxi, we began deciding what exactly to do. Ultimately, it was decided upon to visit the city of Auschwitz. The next morning we took the train and spent the afternoon becoming more informed than we needed to be about what atrocities took place there.
A couple hours later, we found ourselves trying to find a place to get good Polish fare. After failing to find the recommended establishment, we tried one place that will only be remembered for not bringing our beer for nearly 45 minutes after we ordered our meal. We literally had finished our meals before they came, while in the meantime we were surrounded on all sides by beer-guzzling patrons. We had to make up for lost time; so we went out in Jewish Quarter at night and set back American-Polish relations 25 years by the performance at one particular drinking facility. Partying with the Poles is punishment to your body. The vodka is really good and the people are great with translates into something really sloppy, but in a nice way.
The next day we spent the morning and early afternoon not doing a good damn thing. Mustering up the courage to face the Polish population, who may or may not have witnessed the shit show that was, we finally saw the town during daylight hours; and I’m glad we finally did. Street food is incredible here, good music on the streets and in old churches. We might actually do that again today.