09/22/2013 – 80 days/9909 miles

In the last two weeks, the weather has consisted mostly of rain…maybe a few hours of sun here and there, but mostly cloudy and rainy.  Riding isn’t as enjoyable; checking out a new city isn’t as enjoyable.
But thats the extent of my complaining…Back home (around Denver), they’ve gotten about 2.5 shit tons of rain, so overall, I’m fine with the weather I’ve had here.
I’m in Krakow. It’s interesting here…walk down the street, and barely anyone is smiling. It’s a little bit depressing (maybe the weather is partly to blame). But then, start talking to someone, and they’re the nicest person ever. It’s funny to me that a person can be so happy, yet 5 minutes before that, they were walking around without any expression at all on their face.

Here’s Krakow.
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I went to the museum that’s housed in the Schindler Factory. It has some great info and stories about what was going on in Poland, and specifically Krakow, during WWII.  If you come to Krakow and Auschwitz isn’t enough for you, check out this museum…lots of interesting stories…but don’t expect to be very energetic when you leave.

Here’s the Wieliczka salt mine. It was an active salt mine for about 700 years, closing down and turning into a full time museum in 2007.

A hallway carved out of the rocksalt, and logs used to support the tunnels, caked in the salt after centuries of exposure.
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The various jobs that existed in the mine, depicted by gnomes…it felt a little bit like Disney world…

All the tunnels and chambers in this mine were carved out completely for mining purposes…nothing was natural, yet it was surprising how cave-like some areas felt.
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A chapel that has been carved out in the mine.  They hold Mass here every Sunday.
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This whole area was crazy to look at, knowing that nothing was built…it was all carved out.  Except the flowers and cloth…I didn’t ask, but I’m pretty sure they brought those in.

I think this carving is called “Bartholomew’s Worst Nightmare.”  It depicts the annual gathering of badass hats.  Notice Bartholomew, the old gentleman in front, and how miserable he is.  This year, he planned to bring a game-changer of a hat, and when he got here and unpacked his bags, he realized his wife forgot to pack it…son of a bitch!

I was walking through Błonia Park, which is right next to the Cracovia Stadium. It just so happened that a match was about to start, and the crowds were NUTS. It turns out, this wasn’t just any match, it was against Wisła Kraków. When they play, it’s known as the Holy War, and riots and stabbings after the match are apparently pretty common.
I went down to the park, just wanting to check it out after having a late lunch, and I realized that something was going on after I saw all the police. These are all police vans, and there were tons of cops, loaded down with riot gear, just waiting for the inevitable.
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The next day, when I was walking out of my hotel, I walked past a guy with the worst black eye I’ve ever seen, and while walking throughout the city, I definitely noticed more swollen up faces than I would’ve seen otherwise…congratulations on keeping up the tradition of beating each other up over a game that you’re spectating.

Time to head south, hopefully the weather is better!

2 thoughts on “09/22/2013 – 80 days/9909 miles

  1. Too bad that we could not meet you in Austria, you are so far away now. But we enjoy your wonderful impressions and believe it or not you are very close in our minds. We love to follow you on your trip, wish you all the best, thank you for the great blog, take care and come to Austria anytime!

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