View from Hotel Polonia in Krakow

In September and October of 2009 my wife Carina and I traveled around in Eastern Europe like we occasionally do, this time aiming to get a closer look at Poland and Berlin but also to visit Slovakia. Our intention had initially been to additionally travel around in the Ukraine but for various reasons we ended up in Slovakia instead.

First we started off with Berlin, this pic showing
you a part of the Brandenburg tor in close detail.

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Here is Carina sleeping in our hotel room which has a very lofty ceiling and early morning sunlight softly percolating through the curtains.

Peekaboo! Here I am!

And now we're off for new and exciting adven- tures, passing onwards from Germany by train to Poland.

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The beautiful town hall in the old town square of Poznan.

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Just east of the old town lies the impressive cathedral of Ostrów Tumski.Adress:

While this was all ruddy from top to bottom!

I hope the music museum of Poznan forgives me for having taken shots of these two funny bagpipe like instruments without paying the fee required!  While this one  has a definite goat like appearance about it the one to the right looks like a strange combination of cuddly toy pet along with a weird sort of multiple bugle contraption.

In the botanical garden of Poznan Carina soon
found her favorite Dahlias.

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After a horrendously overcrowded  ride with an inter city train down to Krakow, we boarded our hotel which was in fact the same one at which we had resided only one year before, this being our third visit to Poland since 1994.

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Luxury horse carts queuing up for today's work in the old square of Krakow.

The eons old Adam Mickiewicz Monument just
beside the Cotton market on the main square.

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Typical wooden houses of Zakopane, this one showing you  the hostel where we stayed for several days.

And here is the famous Wilhelm Kaiser kirche or what remains of it, the post war  government once having decided to keep it as a monument over the devastation caused to the city by the allied forces.

This is Carina chasing rainbows created by a sprinkler
inside the Tier garden.

One of many small lakes and canals within the garden area.

So first we embarked on the rather lively, mid sized city of Poznan in the north western part of the country where we stayed for three or four days.  Of course, anyone who's the least bit into religious matters can tell who this bronze statue represents, hardly any further explanations needed at this point!

Every day at twelve o'clock these two mechanical billy goats appear above the gold plated clock of the town hall tower putting on a performance where they bash their heads together to the great amusement of the assembled crowd down below, a ceremony which is said to have continued ever  since the 16th century.

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The colours inside were so warm and much of the ornamentation was embellished in gold.

With anyone who has been to India there is unquestionably a certain similarity between some of the crafted sculptures representing worshiped deities of the Hindu and Catholic religions. Like here with those caught on camera in Poznan (above) and Mumbai (below), both samples showing a flamboyant splendor as well as, what I would call, an almost naive lust for glitter and gold!

Or maybe this is how I like to visualize myself  on my retirement as a musician, looking a bit grumpy and cranky but still prepared to blow my whistle (or bugle) at anyone's will!

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This is the view outside our hotel window as the sun went
to bed in golden rays of awe and wonder.

Beautiful balcony in Krakow.

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The famous Mariacka basilica seated on one corner of the main square.

After four days in Krakow we made it by bus down to the skiing resort of Zakopane seated in a valley just north of the beautiful Tatras mountains. And these are two nuns who we happened to pass by on searching for our hostel at the day of our arrival. Catholic nuns are still a common feature in parts of Polish society, not only in parishes and sacred dominions but on streets, in busses and on board trains.

This house was nearby, just across the street.

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