Favorite T-Shirt

Here is a shot of one of my favorite t-shirts. I got this in Krakow, Poland and reminds me of the vehicle I would see daily while walking everywhere.  The vehicle I am referring to is the Fiat Polska. I wish I would have taken the opportunity to actually rent one for a day and drive it around.

How to get to Krakow, Poland from Memphis, TN

Someone sent me a link earlier today on how to get to London from Chicago. The results were kinda funny. So, I entered my own criteria “How to get to Krakow, Poland from Memphis, TN”.

Here is a direct link to my Google Map.

Be sure to read step 20 in the driving directions.

Unfortunatly I was unable to find driving direction to anywhere in South America.

Random Krakow Photo

Here is a photo I came across from my last trip to Krakow, Poland in January 2006. It is a head statue located in the Rynek Glowny. Most tourist like myself will get inside and have their pictures taken inside peaking out. Bad part is that those drunk at night figure it is their public toilet. So be careful walking in as you never know what you will set in while in there. Lucky me I saw the mess inside and avoided stepping in it.

Krakow at Night.

Here is another try at a 360 degree Panoramic using PT Gui of the Rynek Glowny (Main Square) in Krakow, Poland. The smaller image is on this page, but for the full size image go to Flickr.com. This Panoramic is a compilation of over 30 photos.

Where to sit

I like the way the movie tickets are sold here in Krakow. When you get to the ticket counter you look at a screen and pick where you want to sit and the screen tells you what seat has already been purchased. Below is a photo of the screen that might not be that clear. Red means the seat is taken and blue means it is available. I wish we had this in the states, because if there were not anymore good seats I would either see another movie or go somewhere else.

And another thing, I did not here one cell phone in the theater or anyone talking.

"Apocalypto" in Krakow, Poland

This evening I went to go see a movie here in Krakow, Poland with a few Polish co-workers. The movie was “Apocalypto” and it was in the original Mayan language with Polish sub-titles.

You may be asking how did you know what the movie is about if you didn’t understand what you were listening to and were not able to read the sub-titles. Well, the answer to that is pretty simple. You almost did not need any sound (voices) or sub-titles to really know what was going on in the movie.

All in all the movie was pretty good.

First Class Ticket to Ride

On my most recent and possibly last trip to the great city of Krakow, Poland I was lucky to be able to upgrade to First Class on Delta. I was actually able to get upgraded to First Class on 2 connections.

The first one lasting only 50 minutes from Memphis to Atlanta. Did not really feel like First Class because the flight was shorter than normal that they opted not to serve drinks. I will say that the seats were well worth being up-graded.

The second one lasting almost 9 hours from Atlanta to Milan. The seats reclined all the way and no one sat next to me. The food was great as was being able to choose from over 10 movies instead of getting stuck watching one you have already seen.

The bad part of it all is that when I arrive to Krakow, Poland for the 10th time my bags did not arrive with me. Luckily, I packed some spare clothing in my carry on.

I have been approached to stay an extra week here in the great city of Krakow, Poland. I wonder if I can get lucky and get an up-graded ticket when I change my flight. Wish me luck.

Make your own Panoramic Pictures

While surfing the internet I came across a little program that lets you create your own panoramic photos. I know most cameras have a panoramic option, but they are sometime limited to how much of a panoramic picture you can take. The program is called PT Gui.

I have used PT Gui to try and recreate part of the Rynek Glowny (Market Square) from Krakow, Poland. Below is an image that I tried to put together from the side that has all the construction going on. Since I will be in Krakow this week, I will be trying to snap a good number of photos of the square and create a better panoramic image than this one.

Go to Flickr.com to see a full size image.

Saint Nicolas Day

Here in Krakow, Poland they celebrate St. Nicolas Day and Christmas. Today they celebrated St. Nicolas day. Here I am in a foto with St. Nicolas that was in the square. He was kind of scary, especially when I saw him smoking his cigarette.

Not Rudolf

While walking around the Square in Krakow, Poland you can normally spot someone taking advantage of the large tourist population. Not complaining. I am one that like the tourist opportunities. This one opportunity cost me more than the more traditional foto ops.

This time it cost me about 40 Zloty for an A4 (a little larger than 8.5 x 11) sized photo with Santa and a reindeer. Ten minutes later I had my print. It would have been nice to have a digital version, but unfortunately it was not an option. Bad part is that I did not smile that much as I was freezing.

In Krakow.

I have officially made it back to Krakow, Poland. It was an interesting flight. I will be sure to post more about it later tonight. Right now I am about to go to the Square to get a bite to eat and shop around.

Festival

When I arrived in Krakow on August 25th, 2006, I was lucky to be greeted by another festival. This festival seemed to resemble the Art and Crafts Festival that is normally held in Memphis, TN. If was very interesting as I have never paid any attention to the one in Memphis. I might have to go at least once.

Swanky Salad

Just to show you how Swanky Pod Roza was the other night. Check out the below salad presentation. The actual bowl is part of a head of lettuce and the lemon vinaigrette was incredible.

Bicycle Mime

I was walking back to the hotel in Krakow off of Grodska Street and saw this mime on a bicycle. This is actually the first time I have ever seen a mime on a bicycle. He only moved if you put money in his little cup. So I put 2 Zloty in the cup and he did a left turn signal in a robot type motion.

Cycling in Krakow

This past Sunday, September 3, instead of going into the office I ventured out with 2 Co-workers Brian and Tracee W. Our original plan was to hop on a few of the hotel scooter for 5 hours at $20 . Unfortunately it had recently rained and we did not feel comfortable riding scooter in Krakow traffic and slick roads. So, Brian suggested we rent some bicycles for a few hours. We spent about 3 hours cruising tthrough Krakow, starting with the Planty and ending mostly on the Wisla River. We did stop at the Someplace Else at the Sheraton for a bite to eat and something to drink.

All in all it was a great day and am glad to have ridden through Krakow with others. Below is a photo of me with the Wisla in the background.

Swanky Urinals

While eating at Pod Roza, I had to take a little bathroom break and noticed the urinals. This is the firt time I have ever seen a urinal with a lid. Very Swanky.

Sunflower Seeds

I love eating sunflower seeds, but have not really been able to find any here in Krakow, Poland until I walked into theStary Kleparz last Saturday, August 26th. Sunflowers seed are actually sold on the flowers themselves and they are huge. One Flower is easily bigger than my head.

Below is a photo to show how big they are and how they are sold.


View from Hotel Stary – Restauracja

Prior to dinner, the training team and I headed to Hotel Stary – Restaurant to have some cocktails. We sat there for one round, but that was not the best part. The best part was actually the view from the roof top restaurant/bar where you had a perfect view of St. Marys Church. The ambiance and view is definitely worth making your way to this hotel.

Polish Sausage

Today, I tried some actually Polish Sausage. My pops has been bugging me to try it. He said,”If you are in Poland, you need to try the Polish Sausage.” I did and it did not taste any different than the Sausage in the states. Though it is not really different you should, if ever in Krakow, really try to experience one of the many outdoor grills set up for many of the festivals here in Krakow. The one that I ate at was called the Bayer Grill.

Kopiec Kosciuski Wax Museum

If you ever go to Kopiec Kosciuszki (Burial Mound), never opt in to take the Wax museum tour for 8 Zloty as it is not worth it. There are only about 12 wax statues and the tour is over. Save you money and go to the Cafe FM Panorama and get some coffee or ice cream. The mound is truly the highlight.

The only impressive wax statue was that of Pope John Paul II shown below. So if you want to pay 8 zloty to see this then go ahead.

Kopiec Kosciuszki

Today I took a taxi to Kopiec Kosciuszki which is a famous burial mound here in Krakow. I climbed to the top of the mound to get a great 360 degree view of Krakow. The weather was great and the skys were clear, which made it even better. Bad part is that I was not able to get a taxi to take me back to the hotel and had to take a bus and hoof it a ways to where I was able to get a taxi.

BTW, I saw othes stand ont he rock and followed suit. So if it was not appropriate, I apologize.


Mr. Gelato Closed

It is my bad fortune that I must notify those that have been traveling to Krakow, Poland with me that Mr. Gelato has closed. They in my opinion make the best Ice Cream I have had while here in Krakow. I must now set out to find a good replacement, which I think I might have found.

Arrived In Krakow, Poland

I have arrived in Krakow, Poland and was greeted for the first time from the Holiday Inn with handmae chocolates after my very long flight. Yes, the orange and green are chocolates. It pays to be a Priority Club Member.

Food for Thought: Krakow, Poland

Below is a listing of all the restaurants I have eaten at while in Krakow, Poland. I stole this list from Brian (a co-worker) who has set a goal of 100 restaurants while in Krakow and he is actually pretty close to his goal. Of course, he has been there longer than I have and has more opportunities to go to different restaurants. This is why I have set a goal for 50 restaurants and possibly 75 after that.

As a rule I am always willing to try something new, but always order French fries to be on the safe side. Krakow, Poland seems to have the best soups out there, so if you are ever there be sure to order a soup. You might even get your soup delivered in a nice bread bowl.

Some of the information might be the same as listed on Brian`s Page, but you might find some minor changes where I either disagreed or had some additional information

Total as of September 5th, 2006 = 41
$-Inexpensive $$-Moderate $$$-Moderate to Expensive $$$$-Expensive

Arlecchino Ristorante: Italian. VG food. $$
Bodega Marques Winiarnia: Spanish wine bar which serves mostly tapas. It is also a wine store. The tapas were good, but lacked traditional items. $$$$
Bayer Grill: Polish. Outdoor festival Grill with traditional foods. Very good. $
Bom Fogo in the Holiday Inn: International. Good food and if you do not want to leave the room the Chicken Sandwich is da bomb. $$$.
Brasserie: French and other. $$.
Cafe FM Panorama: Little cafe at the Kopiec Kosciuszki. Just had an Ice Cream here. $
Cafe Sukiennce: Deserts. Great little desert cafe located in the Cloth Hall. $
C.K. Dezerter: Polish. Great food. Very small restaurant. $$.
Chlopskie Jadlo: Peasant Polish. Very polish. Tried to even order a Coke and was told, This is a Polish restaurant. We do not serve Coke. $.
Cherubino Polish and Tuscan. Very good food. $$.
Da Pietro: Italian. Excellent Pizza. Less than stellar service. $$.
Del Papa Ristorante: Italian. Excellent food in a pretty interior. $$.
Europejska: Polish. Good and $$.
Fabryka Pizzy: Usual location for lunch. I usually get the Bomber which is like a Calzone with less sauce. I usually have to request extra. $
Foodology: Polish lunch place. They serve great fries and a mean Chicken de Voillaile with cheese. $.
Grill 15/16: International. Best Steak and grilled chicken in Krakow.$$$
Guliwer: Provencal. Excellent food in a pretty atmosphere. $$$.
Il Calzone: Italian. Good food but nothing ordinary. $$.
Ipanema: Brazilian. Not my best meal, but could have been due to my choice of menu item. $$.
Leonardo:Italian. Exc. food in a great cellar atmosphere. $$$
Lodziarnia: Desert. Located on Grodska is the perfect replacement for Mr. Gelato. $
Loza: Pasta and other dishes. Very good food. $$.
McDonald’s: American. Believe it or not it is better than any McDonald’s in the states. Everything is fresher and no heat lamps are used. $
Metropolitan: American. They have the best hot breakfast and burger in town. $$
Mr. Gelato: Ice Cream. Great place to grab a light dessert. Bad part is that they either closed or moved locations. $
Officyna: Emphasis on Italian but many other cuisines. Has live jazz music at 9 p.m. each night. Good and inexpensive with large portions. Behind Tri-Be-Ca. $$
Orient Ekspres: Cuisine from Paris to Instanbul. Very good food. $$$.
Paese: Corsican. Very nice interior and delicious food. $$$.
Pod Gwiazdami: Polish. the food was very good even thought he restaurant was very empty. $$
Pod Krzyzykiem: Polish. $$$$.
Pod Sloncem: Polish. Great cellar atmosphere and good food. $$.
Pod Roza: Polish-Italian. Great food. $$$$$.
Slodki Wentzl: Desert. Good alternative to Lodziarnia if you want to sit on the square. $
Someplace-Else at the Sheraton Hotel: American. Great Pepito Sandwich and Death by Chocolate. $$$$
Szara Restaurant: Various cuisines. Very upscale. Very good food. My favorite is the melon with prosciutto. $$$$
Szara Restaurant in Kazimierz: Various cuisines in a less formal setting than the original. Very good food. Outdoor eating. $$$$
Szlacheckie Jadlo: Polish. Home of the famous flaming sword main course. $$$.
The Olive in the Sheraton: International. Great Easter brunch. $$$$
Trattoria Soprano: Italian. Best lasagna Great interior design. Even better melon with prosciutto than Szara as of August 2006. $$$
TriBeCa Coffee: American bar food. Great in the winter for some hot chocolate. $
U Babci Maliny (Raspberry Grandma): Polish. The decor upstairs is Polish farmhouse and downstairs is Polish mansion. $

If you went to a restaurant with me and you do not see it listed, please let me know. If you have any suggestions also let me know as I would be willing to give it a shot.

Elvis is not dead, he is in Krakow, Poland

As today seems to be a blog posting day, here is another one for the masses. Today while walking around the square and watching the Tour de Krakow I saw this puppet master and his Elvis puppet. The guy was actually very good and seem to be advertising a theatre here in Krakow. Below are a few shots of the Elvis puppet in action.


Me riding.

If you remember a few post back, I was really wanting a Classic Pennyfarthing Replica Bicycle. Well today, while being a spectator at the Tour de Krakow (not sure what the name of the race actually was) I saw a group of guys dressed in old time apparel with the bicycles. I asked if I could get on one of them as there were lots of people doing this. So for your enjoyment, below is a photo of me on the bicycle.

Tour de Krakow

After work today I took my usual route back to the hotel. Todays journey was somewhat different than previous days. Today there was a bicycle race going on smack dab in the middle of the Krakow main Square. I was lucky to have caught the start of what seemed to be the Cat 1-2 race.

The race took place around the main square and was a criterium on cobblestones. Not many wrecks, but there was one. Luckily for te guy he did not get battered that much.

I am glad I was able to catch this event. Below are a few shots of the race today.

Parents are even cruel in Krakow

Unfortunately, parents are crule all over the world. While in Krakow, Poland I noticed this kid through my camera lens and decided to take the photo. He has a nice flowing rat tail. Rat tails are no longer in style.

Hot in Krakow

The weekend was pretty good here in Krakow, Poland. Hot temperatures and plenty of rest. Most of the weekend was spent either sleeping or shopping. I did very little touring as I did not plan anything prior to my arrival. I did however walk past a pretty cool store.

The store was called Szambelan and they sell Vodka and Oil. Of course, this is not your average Vodka and oil store. The vodka comes in different colors and flavors and the oil only comes in different flavors. They have these huge containers that hold the liquid and you can have them poured into your own container. Below is a shot of the store.

Melons

I had just arrived here in Krakow, Poland last night and had to get a bite to eat and stopped by Szara Restaurant. I walked in and ordered at the bar. I ordered my favorite, the Prosciutto with Melon which I had been craving. I also ordered the Chicken “Yakitori”. I had to wait a bit as the restaurant was booming. For my wait the bartender gave me a free mini shot of some liquor. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I did not drink, so I finished my meal and poured the liquor in the sauce that came with the chicken. For all he knows, I drank the stuff.