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Av EvaLena Hallgren - Lördag 30 juni 07:19

Two days and no updates? but to Moms defense not much has happened except yesterday when we spent the entire day walking around Krakow. (again me riding) We have been quite cozy resting in Lucy and waiting for the rain to stop. Mom got her hair done and decided she wanted a little more color on her eyebrows. They are so light they are hardly noticeable so a little brown would look good. She did get color but it'll be some getting used to. Mom says it looks like 2 black caterpillars hanging out on top of her eyes.

 

It's been raining all night but in the morning it looked like we'll have a sunny day, so we went into the city of Krakow which is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. The city dates back to the 7th century, and has traditionally been one of the leading centers of Polish academic, cultural and artistic life and is one of Poland's most important economic hubs.


After the invasion of Poland by the Nazi Regime at the start of World War II, it became the capital of Germany's General government.

It's an amazing city so much to see, but at the same time, many buildings look quite rundown. There are churches, synagogs, and castles everywhere you turn, and no way will Mom remember the names of them all.


The main square of the Old Town is, located at the center of the city. It dates back to the 13th century, and at 3.79 ha is one of the largest medieval town squares in Europe.

There were millions of pigeons and I didn't like the kids catching them to throw them up in the air. Sure they have wings, but why?

     

 


The Kraków Cloth Hall dates to the Renaissance and is one of the city's most recognizable icons. It is the central feature of the main market square in the Old Town. In the background is the Church of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven  which is a Brick Gothic church




 



This is town hall tower and what this hollow face is all about we have no idea, but it's kind of creepy looking especially

since many people crawl inside to peer out of the eyes and take pictures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

Tired of walking we went for an electric car tour which took us around to many different parts of town, and the Krakow Ghetto was one of the 5. The Jewish Ghetto created by the Nazis in the new General Government territory during World War II. It was established for the purpose of exploitation, terror, and persecution of local Polish Jews, as well as the staging area for separating the "able workers" from those who would later be deemed unworthy of life. The Ghetto was liquidated between June 1942 and March 1943, with most of its inhabitants sent to their deaths at Belcez extermination camp as well as Plazow slave labour camp, and Auschwitz concentration camp, 60 kilometres (37mi) rail distance.

   


Before the ghetto was established, 3,000 Jews lived in the area that would become the ghetto. The largest amount in the ghetto was 20,000 in an 18 block area. We also visited the Schindler factory and this restaurant we were told was Spielberg favorite when he was here filming his movie Schindlers list.

 

This is Jan Karskient  (24 June 1914– 13 July 2000)  he was a Polish World War II resistance movement soldier, and later a professor at Georgetown University.

 

Kraków’s most prominent evidence of its ghetto is this 12-meter stretch of the original ghetto wall. In 1983, a commemorative plaque was raised, which reads in Hebrew and Polish: “Here they lived, suffered and died at the hands of the German torturers. From here they began their final journey to the death camps.”

 


Because there were 68,000 Jews of Kraków killed, the Empty Chair Monument has 68 chairs to represent the 68,000 Jews executed here when the ghetto was liquidated................Mom got an. eerie feeling again especially seeing the small children chairs.

 

somebody had covered one in crochet ..............

 

 

maybe these ladies did? Mom bought a small handmade doilies for a friend at home.  

 

This must be something like our pretzels stands in NY. I'm not sure they're any good since I noticed most crumbling them to share with the pigeons.

 

 

 

we continued our walk to Wawel Cathedral and the castle. At the entrance, a funny man was playing the accordion and there was a sign with "no dogs" which Mom pretended not seeing.

 

 

The place is so huge it's impossible to get a picture of it all.

   

Hanging next to the cathedral’s entrance are the “real” bones of Smok Waweleski, the local dragon. They are chained together in a random jumble, hanging high above the main doors. Before the city was founded Smok was said to live in a cave under one of Wawel’s rolling hills. Smok was of the classic maiden-devouring ilk and the local people even had to put out a fresh young woman each month to quell his appetite. According to legend, he was finally killed by a local hero (or a local apprentice depending on the version), who fed Smok a lamb laced with sulfur. This made the beast so thirsty that he drank water from the river until he exploded.

As delightful as it would be if the remains were truly mythological, the bones are actually thought to be fossilized whale bones or mammoth bones. Regardless of their true origin, they have been there for centuries and are credited with magical powers. 

Mom noticed the three crowns which are a national emblem of Sweden, and thanks to Google, sure enough, the Swedes was there in 1500, 

 

 




 

 

 


  

 

 

 

 



ANNONS
Av EvaLena Hallgren - Onsdag 27 juni 17:33

This morning Linnea was set to go to the Wieliczka salt mine which lies within the Krakow metropolitan area. Opened in the 13th century, the mine produced table salt continuously until 2007, as one of the world's oldest salt mines in operation.

Commercial mining was discontinued in 1996, because of salt prices going down and also mine flooding. The mine is currently one of Poland's official national historic monuments whose attractions include dozens of statues and four chapels carved out of the rock salt by the miners, as well as supplemental carvings made by contemporary artists.


UNESCO has entered the Wieliczka Salt Mine in its World Heritage Register in 1978.

 

 

 

 

   


This was something Mom was looking forward to seeing, but getting there and being told the tour is 3 hours long and that she'll be walking in narrow space single file at a depth of 327 meters. (1020ft).............nope not happening. So why did we drive here? I want to know. Response is. Before she saw the crowd of people and before she knew how narrow the cave is in spaces, way too many in one group so the thought of getting crammed in the middle with nowhere to go at 327 meters depth and...........nope not happening..........in the end you were brought up in some rickety mineshaft.........nope not happening.............................so we went back to Krakow and set up camp.

 

 

   

after we set up camp in Krakow Mom went to a supermarket only a couple of blocks away. She took so long I thought she was lost, but she had stopped to get a manicure on the way. And tomorrow a hair appointment........maybe know she'll stop obsessing about the MEBLOWY signs, which she finally got on film. She claims everybody in America would think the same as Mom..............hairsalon, not a furniture store? hmmm I wonder

 

 

 

We have seen so many funny signs on the road, warnings for who knows what............What does this mean? wave to everyone who drives a scooter?

 


Not sure when we'll get into the city, Mom is really into a book she started and she's feeding the pidgeons...........you see the pattern here?........ what's next?

It's raining again and we are nice and cozy here in Lucy for now.

   

 

tweet tweet...............Buttons


 

 

 

ANNONS
Av EvaLena Hallgren - Tisdag 26 juni 16:43

Mom left very early this morning (they open at 7.30AM) she said to beat the crowd and it looked like thundershowers which she knows I'm terrified of, so she promised to come back soon. ( I knew that meant hours)

Birkenau is only 3km away, but Mom skipped visiting that place and I'm glad she did.

       

   

     

this marks from nails of people trying to get out as they're being gassed........


 


       


   


 

     

       

this is a bomb shelter 

   


like I said this isn't a happy place........

To change the mood Mom said we'll bike into the village, and a lovely lady at the reception gave us the address of a place to have great pastries. 

When Mom took the bike down she couldn't get the rear wheel to turn? as it turned out the rim is bent badly and either someone has tried to steal the bike or someone has hit us from the back while parked. That stunk but we were going into the village somehow, so we got a cab, which was a very good thing because it started to thunder real hard and the rain made us both wet. 

Mom found the cafe and had a tiramisu and a cappuccino which was delicious while we tried to wait out the rain. I was shaking of fear in my carriage so Mom decided it was best to go back to Lucy. There wasn't much to see in town anyway 

 

Before going back Mom tried several beauty salons to get her hair done. For a small town, they sure had a lot of them, but none had the time to fix Moms' hair.

Back with Lucy and the sun shining again. Tomorrow we'll be leaving this town and head to ?????

your guess is as good as mine






Av EvaLena Hallgren - Måndag 25 juni 21:58

Weather still cloudy this morning but it looks better than last night, so we pack up and continue north and soon we are on the other side of the mountain going into the Polish side. Luckily Mom is driving so slow we didn't miss the sign. That's all there is................... not a living soul in sight.

   

The roads are disastrous and I have to sit up and watch everything as a responsible codriver as I am, it's quite tiring.


 


Look a house just like Mom's puppy school


 

Driving along we go through so many villages and every single one has a bar, restaurant, and hotel? I wonder who'll stop in this village of three houses and why? Many of them have cosmetic something shops which Mom thinks is a beauty parlor. Mom would like to get a haircut but haven't yet found a shop with parking big enough for Lucy.

As a matter of fact, Mom has been looking to get her hair done for a while now, and she's been keeping her eye on many signs that said MEBLOWY which she figured must be like the haircuttery chain at home. She had a thought of going there and tell them to put the words in correct order and skip the Y but on second thought, that might give them a different clientele

Today she had a chance to ask about the chain because the girl at the reception spoke perfect English. So Mom pronounced MEBLOWY and the girl had no idea what she was talking about. Mom insisted and wrote the word down on a piece of paper, and the girl said "Oohh that's a furniture store" when Mom explained how she had read it, the girl blushed...............

It's not easy to food shop when you have no idea what anything looks like or what it's called. Mom looked for creme fresh but I think she ended up with mascarpone for this chicken dish..................I thought it was ok

 

Polish people make awesome sausage says, Mom, I don't get a taste she says they're too strong for me .......I say give me some and I'll let you know


 

We are now parked on a big green field and it's very quiet, as a matter of fact when we went for a walk I could sense this is not a happy place, so I'm not sure why we're here?. To learn some history Mom says, but she also told me I'm not included in this excursion because "No Dogs allowed thing"

It's ok I don't want to go anyway, I'll watch Lucy and take a nap....................


   


Av EvaLena Hallgren - Söndag 24 juni 19:14

Mom had mapped out a drive to a town named Namestovo that was 120 km (74miles) and according to Linnea, it should take about 2 hours. As usual, the plan change as we get started so the trip lasted all day.

These roads have a lot of sharp curves and steep hills, and speed limits every few miles it seems. Mom doesn't mind the slow drive, but people behind her have no interest in enjoying the view. At one time we saw a pheasant a deer and a stork all on the same field so Mom hit the brakes and cars behind blew the horn. Probably gave a certain gesture too, but Mom can't see behind Lucy which is a good thing..............

    So we are the Tatra Mountains, which is part of the Carpathian mountain chain in eastern Europe, and it creates a natural border between Slovakia and Poland. Both Slovak and Polish sides are protected as national parkland and are popular destinations for winter and summer sports. The Tatras are home to wildlife including the Tatra chamois, marmot, lynx, and bears. Slovakia has the highest mountain in the range: 2,655m (8710 feet) Gerlach Peak.

 

        

Mom spotted the American flag and said that's a great parking spot saved for us......

 

  , 

The weather wasn't the greatest which really spoiled the view, and since Mom is a little scared of these roads (still plan to drive them?) we pulled over and waited until the rain stopped which wasn't long.

 We continued driving north toward the Polish border and again stopped at a ski resort we already forgot the name of. Looks like Lucy is having a cloud over her head

     

 

All of a sudden Mom started humming?????????????? she never does that? Do Re Me........doe a deer a female deer.....ray a drop of golden sun...........me a name I call myself......................lalalalaaa

 

I think she is doing this to keep me and herself awake .............or why else ?

 

     

Many castles on the hilltops..................

 

   

here's some real tourist shopping, and Mom stopped...................Thought the cow would look good at Lotta's house, the Gator for herself, and the Yorkie for Penny...................but came back with nothing? strange ??

 

     

Finally, almost supper time we arrived at Namestovo and parked for the night by the largest lake in Slovakia Orava dam which is a reservoir in northernmost Slovakia. It was created by the construction of a dam between 1941 and 1953 on the former two sources of the Orava river.

This is the view from our window.

Hope it'll clear up tomorrow so maybe we can go fishing.............and get a better view

 

 

 


Good Night all..................

 

 


Av EvaLena Hallgren - Söndag 24 juni 08:26

Around noon Mom decided her lungs needed a rest from all the exhaust fumes and cigarettes. (seems like everyone smokes here) and head north towards the Tatra Mountains.

We had a great stay at the campsite and the service was terrific. The girl at the gate spoke great English and loved me so much she could hardly keep her hands of me. She told me she too has a Shih Tzu

   

Driving through the city was a nightmare, and Mom missed Linneas instructions once so we were sent around a few narrow streets but eventually, we made it out of the city. It's very difficult to read street signs and Linnea are having difficulty to pronounce the names, can't say I blame her.

 


Driving north we're now leaving Hungary and entering Slovakia and this is how it looked at the border. We stopped and tried to figure out if we needed a toll ticket? not sure it's for big trucks only so Mom approached a police asking for help.

Not a chance she only got some barking back in a foreign language so what the heck. We have been driving on many roads without so I suppose we'll get the bill sent home later.

 

Driving along there's a lot of farmland on both sides especially gorgeous are the fields of sunroses.


 

the speed limit is mostly 90km (55miles), but through every village (and there's a lot of them) speed is lowered to 50km (30miles) 30 km (20miles) and most villages are so small that Mom just downshifted Lucy and got the speed down when it's time to step on the gas again. Keeps Mom awake ............Now we need EUros again so we stopped in a small village to find an ATM. many places do not take credit cards so we always have to keep cash on hand. We now have so many different currencies Mom is having difficulties keeping it all apart.

   

We finally stopped for the night in a town called Zvolen and it was a very nice peaceful night. I thought the best part was all the green grass to run on.

 


So today we'll continue North and we'll see what interesting sights Mom can find today. No big city ..............she promised..............at least not today.


all is well. Buttons


Av EvaLena Hallgren - Lördag 23 juni 04:56

So the first day in Budapest we stayed around at the campsite so Mom could get the laundry done and to have a day to rest. It was so hot we didn't feel like doing anything anyway. Our new found friends from GB left around noon and in the evening we went to the restaurant for another great meal. The weather rapport had promised a cooler Friday, but we didn't expect COLD, but that's a good day for sightseeing Mom said, so off we went, me in my carriage.

First stop was the Parliament building.

   

Budapest was united from three cities in 1873 and seven years later the resolved to establish a new, representative Parliament Building, expressing the sovereignty of the nation. The building was planned to face the river. An international competition was held, and Imre Steil emerged as the victor. Construction from the winning plan was started in 1885 and the building was inaugurated on the 1000th anniversary of the country in 1896. It was completed in 1904. (The architect of the building went blind before its completion.)

About 100 000 people were involved in construction, during which 40 million bricks half a million precious stones and 40 kilograms (88 lb) of gold were used. Since world war 2 the legislature became unicameral and today the government uses only a small portion of the building. During the communist era, (which ended Oct 23 1989) a red star perched on the top of the dome, but it was removed in 1990. 

 

this is the ethnographic museum, we skipped that, we'll study the people in the streets instead .............

There was a training course for acrobatic pilots over the Danube river. It was exciting to see but way too noisy for my taste.


 

We were so lucky to b in time for the changing of the guards, which looks like really serious business. To our surprise all of a sudden the guard stomped his foot and said in English, "Please proceed and take pictures with us" It took a while before people understood that we really could do that..........we left.

 

 

walking along we saw a lot of these signs, but Mom ignored them since most people think I'm a human baby and pay no attention to an old woman struggling with a carriage on the stairs..............Uhoh,there goes a treat...........I meant a YOUNG lady
   

 

Children always spot me and wants to talk, and that's ok with me.

 

not sure what or who this statue is, but maybe it represents all the poor people sleeping in the streets.......

 

 

 

This is the view across the Danube river from the parliament.

 

 

 crossing the bridge was very frightening, not only did the planes buzz over our heads, you can feel the traffic and shaking your feet. Mom made the cross very quickly.

 


The Chain bridge  is a suspension bridge that was closed due to the flight event Designed by the English engineer William Tierner Clark and built by the Scottish engineer Adam Clark, it was the first permanent bridge across the Danube in Hungary. It was opened in 1849.


. At the time of its construction, it was regarded as one of the modern world's engineering wonders.It has asserted an enormous significance in the country's economic, social and cultural life, much as the Brooklyn bridge has. Its decorations made of cast iron and its construction, radiating calm dignity and balance, have elevated the Chain Bridge to a high stature in Europe


It became a symbol of advancement, national awakening, and the linkage between East and West.

   

Budapest is an AMAZING city but from this sign it seems like not everybody agrees ?

 

 

We wanted to get to the castle, and we got a ride in this little electric train

 

 

Looking out on the city from up here was absolutely breathtaking

 

   


more guards with a serious expression

 

 

 

 

 


and some very colorful people

 Matthias Church is a Roman Catholic church and according to church tradition, it was originally built in Romanesque style in 1015, although no archaeological remains exist. The current building was constructed in the florid late Gothic style in the second half of the 14th century and was extensively restored in the late 19th century. It was the second largest church of medieval Buda.

   

The Buda side castle wall was protected by the fishermen's guild and this is the reason why it was called fishermen's Bastion. Other people say, it got the name from the part of the city, which lies beneath the tower. The guild of fishermen was responsible for defending this stretch of the city walls in the middle ages. It is a viewing terrace, with many stairs and walking paths.

 


A bronze statue of Stephen 1 mounted on a horse, erected in 1906, can be seen between the Bastion and the Mattias Church


It was featured as a Pit Stop on the sixth season of Moms favorite show Amazing Race

 

 

This shoe store have a pretty intersting name we thought.

 

 


Saint Stephen's Basilica Budapest's largest church was built in Classical style between 1851 and 1905. Inside is the Hungarians' most revered relic - the mummified right hand of Hungary's first monarch, King Saint Stephen.  Since its consecration, the church has played an important role in Budapest's musical community. Today classical concerts as well as contemporary music performances are played here.

   

 

this must be  the fancier part of town with no cobblestone which I find great after rattling in my carriage

 

   

 

we stopped for a bite to eat and a gentleman approached us and gave Mom a 1-hour long lecture on Hungarian history

and that gave me a chance to catch up on my nap. Later we found a dogpark where I made a couple of friends. W

We have no language issues at all.............I sniff you, you sniff me. done

 

It's getting late and we spent the entire day walking ( well Mom walking me riding) so it's time to get back to Lucy. We hailed a taxi and both of us fell asleep within a few minutes.............big cities are exhausting but exciting too.

this is the eye of Budapest, which of course there's no way Mom would get into because she's terrified of heights.

   

 

but she was trying to figure out a way to get my carriage on one of these vehicles so we could rent one and buzz around town ...................afraid of heights huh?  but not of this totally insane traffic where there seem to be no rules at all.

 

 

another eventful day is over .................don't know what is next on the agenda.

bye for now 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Av EvaLena Hallgren - Torsdag 21 juni 09:52

Driving south towards Vienna in scorching hot weather Mom got sleepy very quickly so when she spotted a camp she quickly pulled in and parked. It wasn't many miles left and she still hasn't figured out how to drive avoiding the zones Lucy weren't allowed because of her dirty diesel fumes. 

   

On the highways, there are many overpasses especially built for the wildlife to pass safely, which we think is great.


 


Finally, Mom realized there was no way for Lucy to drive in Vienna, so she decided to skip it all together which is a shame, but a rule is a rule. We continued to Budapest instead.

 

Since all these countries belong to EU there's no passport control so most of the time it's only a sign to let you know you're in a new country. Leaving Austria and entering Hungary felt a little different because the old buildings and bunkers were still there and in a disintegrating shape. It looked so spooky Mom expected police hiding and will come out at any minute, so she didn't dare take pictures. Of course, that was all in her mind. Maybe this was leftovers from the communist era.

we are in Hungary now, and the first sign we have seen that was also in English..................

 

it is hot and humid 32C 90F, and the traffic stopped several times because of roadwork. When we finally got to the campsite in Budapest Mom went directly to the restaurant for a cold beer....................again? Not sure what's going on with Mom she never ever drink like this at home......................she says it's because beer is so so so much better here and tastes great in this heat. 


 



now we have new money again and 10 000 forint is about $35.................we did find out we could have used Euros also.


 


after a well-deserved shower for mom and a quiet nap for me, we went back to the restaurant to eat and was served a three-course meal. Started with a delicious goulash and main meal were chicken skewers and dessert a chocolate bomb that tasted great.

A band that played gypsy music was the entertainment. I hid under the table when they came too close. It was not my cup of tea. We met a nice Brittish couple that Mom chatted with and shared travel stories.

 

Today we may go into the city but it's really hot and humid, so maybe we'll stay here in the shade under a big tree and the cooling fan on high because tomorrow they promised will be cooler. Mom says it's also time to do laundry.................

Update \.we lost power because some lady just hit the electric pole, hope they'll fix that quickly.


all is well.







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