On a recent trip to Poland, we spent a day and a half in the southern city of Krakow. Krakow is a vibrant city with a well-preserved Old Town and full of interesting public art! Here are four of my favorites and most well-known.
In the main square of the old town, was this head. “The artist’s gift to the city of Krakow, 2005” read a plaque (which I translated with the help of Google translator). The artist is Igor Mitoraj and his bronze sculpture (created in 1999) is called “Eros Bendato.”
Nearby was a wooden pole with colorful birds, called “Emaus tree.” A sign in English explains that the Emaus tree “refers to the traditional trees of life” which were found at the stalls of the annual fair in Zwierzyniac on the 2nd day of Easter. The Emaus tree could be a nest with figurines of chicks or a bird mounted on a stick decorated with leaves, usually made of wood. The tradition of making this ornament dates back to pre-Christian times when it was believed that the souls of the dead came back to life as birds who sheltered in tree branches. It also symbolized nature coming back to life in the spring.
A “fire breathing” dragon is a popular site for children, located below the wall of Krakow’s castle. Every evening at 6 p.m., this dragon is supposed to “breathe fire.” I don’t know exactly how it works and our guide didn’t explain it, but the day we were there, no fire issued forth from the dragon’s open mouth, disappointing this crowd of expectant kids.
We visited the old Jewish quarter, where the Steven Spielberg movie, Schindler’s List, was filmed. Nearby is an art installation consisting of tall, stark chairs, each representing 100 Krakow Jews (about 6,700) who were killed in the Holocaust. The artist and the installation’s title are on the sign below.
When you’re on holiday, do you prefer self catering or a hotel/B&B? On road trips, I will pack a cooler with necessities for picnics, such as bread, cheese, fruit, and beverages. But we rarely use them. It’s just easier to go to a restaurant. The last time I remember having a picnic on a road trip was the day we went to Devil’s Tower in eastern Wyoming, five years ago. After visiting the monument, we found a picnic table near the entrance to the park, and I set out our picnic fixings. It was about 6 p.m., and just as we were starting to eat our picnic dinner, it started to rain! We finished our sandwiches quickly, then headed back to the car just in time before it started to pour!
Do you have a favourite meal you cook for yourself or order when out? We live at a senior community, and one reason we moved here was so we wouldn’t have to cook anymore. We get our own breakfast together and for lunch, eat salad or leftovers from dinners the night before in the dining room. In the evening, we eat in the dining room, and I must say the food is usually quite good.
That said, my husband makes great omelets, customarily on Saturdays, but it could be any day he feels like doing it! The omelet always contains tomatoes, onions, kale (from a friend’s garden), sometimes luncheon meat, and cheese. It might have other veggies, like broccoli. We have freshly squeezed orange juice (this is done at Mariano’s supermarket, we just buy the bottles of it!) and either a bagel, a muffin, or toast. That is the most elaborate meal we cook for ourselves these days!
In the current fuel crisis, have you made a conscious effort not to use the car unless absolutely necessary? I think about it sometimes, and I at least drive a Prius (hybrid), but we don’t drive a lot anymore. We are both retired and our regular trips consist of to and from a golf course weekly (my husband, with his Subaru Forester), doctors’ appointments and shopping, usually in neighboring suburbs, and some activities I do with friends in the city we used to live in, which is only five miles from here. It takes several weeks, usually a month, for my gas tank to get low enough to buy gas. I get 50 miles to the gallon, which is better than most cars on the road in the U.S.!
4. If you were to compare yourself to a plant, what would you be? I’d be a saguaro cactus. I love these majestic giants and sometimes they have many arms in a variety of positions. They look awkward sometimes, and I can relate!
I am lucky to have a lot of happy memories from my childhood. Please share one from yours. Most of my friends during childhood lived in my neighborhood in our hometown in southern Wisconsin, so we played together outside when weather permitted. We’d ride our bikes, go to our local beach (a man-made pond with a sandy shore), or play in the woods behind our houses. In the summer, we’d stay out as late as our parents let us – it was perfectly safe then, even after dark. In the winter, we’d go to each others’ houses, but usually ended up at mine. If one of the kids left a scarf or hat at my house, I’d smell it and then I’d know who it belonged to!