Zakopane to Krakow

For lunch, upon recommendation from the ultra sweet Aga innkeeper, we went to Dobra Kasza Nasza (we’ve also seen a location in Krakow) for a terrifically Polish lunch of baked fish, saurkraut soup, groat (not goat) pancakes accompanied with tzatziki-esque sauce, and some Ceylon tea with cherry vodka. Everthing was damn smaczne!

After wandering the shops of Krupowki one last time, and stopping for some…chocolate milk? (it looked like mousse, drank like fancy chocolate milk), we found our way back to the train station, only to discover I’d lost my ticket to retrieve our bags! That was a shit-hit-the-fan moment. Luckily, despite our language barrier, the attendant signaled for me to climb over the counter to retrieve our bags. After waiting awhile (thank goodness, I’d planned for some leeway), I had to fill out a (Polish) form with my passport info, I guess so they can find me in case I was stealing those bags? I don’t know. Anyway, we got the bags, spent fifteen more minutes trying to ask for our change from the money we’d already paid them, and found our train to Krakow. (Once the request became clear to the attendant by someone else’s explanation…in Polish (they didn’t speak English either, but did speak gesture better) she made quick business of providing our change back.)

The three-hour ride was fairly enjoyable, watching the sunset over the hills. Once in Krakow, I was struck by the expanse that is the train station/mall. We made it through the mall and out the doors to the path that essentially leads directly to Old Town (Maps’ guidance helped). Our hotel, Tango House, was easy to find and easy to check in, with yet another delightful receptionist (yay, Poland), who gave us enough info on the options for food and entertainment to fill our 20 hours in Krakow. We plan to pack up and leave for another free walking tour at 10am, leaving our bags with the reception until our 1:55 pm train to Warsaw.

After settling in, we went out for our 8:30 reservation to get the pants scared off of us at Lost Souls Alley, an escape room with clowns and “bodies” ‘o plenty. What felt like 10-15 minutes was actually ~25 of terror. Luckily, we were in a group with some Brits who made problem solving a bit easier with our single permitted light source (it would’ve taken twice as long with non-English speakers). It’s honestly not my shtick, but if you’re into haunted houses and scary shit, go for it. Bring cash, since they do not accept card!

We followed up being scared with being fed! In an old world 14th century cellar just off the main square, we filled to the gills at Chimera, a full service restaurant in the cellar, and an affordable pay-by-the-plate cafeteria style option upstairs. We opted for full service, and were not disappointed. My mother thoroughly enjoyed her lamb, and I my well-filled vegetarian plate (stuffed peppers, stuffed mushroom, stuffed zucchini, and a couple veg-tarts made for a veggie-sampler’s dream).

We’re now approaching pack-up-and-leave time again, and are about to bundle up for our grand-Krakow tour!

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