Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Krakow, Then Prague

Yesterday we went to the salt mine at Wieliczka. It was fascinating, a little touristy to be sure, but well worth it. We were 135 metres underground, about 450 feet, if my estimate is correct.

Deep. Three hundred steps to get down, about a mile and a half of walking, then a disturbingly intimate elevator ride up. About eight people were crammed into a space that four family members would have found uncomfortably close quarters.

Back in Krakow we visited Wawel Castle and climbed more steps. I couldn't stop counting: 136 up the tower and down again, 135 down to the Dragon Den.
And the because my son chose to sit out the latter which took us outside the castle walls, we had to once again take the long, steep walk up the ramparts to get him.

I tell myself that I'm preparing my glutes for the beaches of Croatia.

Last night we took an old decrepit train to Prague. I swear, it must be left over from the Communist era, as it was crappy and had no amenities or service.

Our botel (yup, boat hotel) rooms weren't ready, so off we went, first to find coffee and breakfast with little satisfying success (what we found was a bit nasty), and then just wandering, where we ended up at Prague Castle.
It's really this super money-grabbing tourist thing, though fortunately it wasnt that expensive. You have to buy packages of tickets to see the one thing for which you can't get single tickets, and when you get there it's a bit anticlimactic.
The cathedral is glorious though, and its stained glass windows are absolutely lovely, and you can even see some of them for free, as the tickets are punched well inside, but everything else I paid to see was unremarkable. If I'd have known, I'd have spent time wandering about the grounds only, because the exteriors are actually quite lovely.

Once again we chose poorly at lunchtime, as it's really cold and we were tired, cold and hungry, but I've researched dinner and am hoping for Better Things.

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