10 May 1980

Trip to Kracow

Not sure whether to spell it Cracow with two Cs or Kralow with two Ks. Somehow I prefer Krakow, it's more Polish.

After an early breakfast we meet with our professor Bogdan and Borzena. Bogdan has organized a minivan to take us to the second most important city in Poland. We spend the whole day in the vahicle, a rickety product of Czechoslovakia, I think, but I am not sure. It's got pretty hard shock absorbers and it's pretty slow, not that you could go very fast anyway on the Polish "highways" but it does the job. Reliable and not too noisy.

Short break at Jaskinia Raj to view some pretty impressive caves of stalactites and stalagmites.

Later one lunch break at Kielce, not impressive.

We finally reach Krakow by the late afternoon. The evening starts well with an excellent dinner at the "Cracovia" hotel. Lots of tasty and hearty food, especially meat.

We then decide to try a local disco, but it's a dark and stinky lair and we run away after less than five minutes inside. Much better to take a walk around the old town. The city is full of Italians, you can hear the language everywhere. This is certainly in part because of the publicity Poland got in my country after the election of the Polish Pope two years ago. But it is as certainly also because of the reputation of Poland, among other Eastern European countries, as a place to easily trade a pair of stockings with a night of love. Not love, really, just sex.

The most fun part of the night is going back to the hotel in a horse-drawn carriage that looks like it's been taken from a fairy tale.

As we go to sleep, Andrew and I share a room, Ann and Borzena another.

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