(Images removed to create space February 2016. GG)
Bill noticed that there is a self guided audio walking tour of Krakow, and goodness knows, there is no shortage of city information booths around town. We have no trouble finding where to rent one. Our problem is that being technical dinosaurs, we have never used an iPod before. We spend a good part of the first hour thinking we have gone deaf, before working out how to increase the volume. The really scary part of that story is that the twenty year old in the information office couldn’t work out how to change the volume either!
The iPods are only around five dollars for twenty-four hours. The information covers more than eighty sights in Krakow, and in great detail on each sight. Three main areas of the city are included. The central Old Town, Kazimierz (the former Jewish quarter), and Podgorze – the site of the WWII Jewish Ghetto and Schindler’s Factory. (As referred to in Thomas Keneally’s book Schindler’s Ark, which was later released as the Spielberg movie Schindler’s List). There are also some churches and a monastery in an area called Salwator, and of course Wawel, the castle district. Energetic, organised persons might start at midday on one day, run through into the evening, and start again early the next morning until midday. The only problem with that is that iPods go flat after a few hours. You are provided a battery charger, but that requires somewhere to recharge the device.
Bill and I are not so organised, but we did give the walk our best “tourist overview glimpse” attempt. We run out of puff before we got to the Podgorze area, which was across the river.
Nor did we have any energy left to do much in the evening, but the night before we sat in a dungeon like cellar and listened to a young pianist and violinist jazz up all our familiar numbers. They had a great time and so did we. I am not sure that the writer of Dr Zhivago ever envisaged that the tragic figure of Lara (as per Lara’s Theme from the movie) would ever be given such an upbeat twist.
Thursday 1st August 2013, Garrulous Gwendoline, Krakow, Poland