Leo’s travel journal

Leo’s travel journal and other juicy bits…

Posts Tagged ‘Krakow

Reflections

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I have a flight to catch back to Kuala Lumpur in a couple of hours…

I must say that this has truly been an enjoyable trip. I had good company in Frankfurt which I will relish for some time.

Riga was an experience, both bad and good. Weather wasn’t too bad as well.

Krakow is a truly beautiful city. I will come back here for holiday as it is quite affordable (1 polish zloty is 1.3 malaysian ringgit).

I took a quick trip to the Wieliczka Salt Mine here this morning. Krakow’s Wieliczka salt mine is situated some ten kilometers from the center of Krakow. One of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Poland, it has become increasingly a tourist attraction in the first place. Today visitors walk underground for about 2,000 metres in the oldest part of the salt mine and see its subterranean museum, which takes three hours or so.

Beautiful salt sculptures
My PDA camera decided to go wonky on me so here are some pictures I took off the internet, obviously credits go out to the individual photographers.

Salt has been mined near Krakow for centuries. The mines were closed in the early 1990s because of flooding (that made everything ham sap – okay, I know, lame attempt at a joke here), but large sections are open for visitors. Miners carved out statues and entire rooms from the rock salt.

The salty last supper
There’s even an entire cathedral carved out of salt within the mines. The floors are carved and polished, the chandeliers are made of rock salt crystals, and the stations of the cross are carved out of salt too!

My little souvenir from the salt mine
On a separate note, I was having a late night / early morning conversation with Simmy. She’s truly something I must say. To get married so early in life.

She brought up one good question on blogs. I told her I do practise some amount of self-censorship when it comes to my blog.

I don’t really blog about my personal life (besides the occasional emotional episodes). I am one, who believes that a clear line should be drawn when divulging potentially confidential aspects of my life. In Chinese, we say 1 is 1 and 2 is 2.

Heck, if I wanted to do the whole “how-I-truly-feel and who-did-what” thing, I would start an anonymous blog.

But for now, I’m happy with what I’ve done so far with this one and don’t see any reason to fix anything that’s not broken.

So, here’s to the upcoming loads of booze, annoyance, 15.5 hours of flying and 6.75 hours of transiting. See you all back in Kuala Lumpur.

“Plis retun you sit uplight and faster you sit bilt, sawadee ka”

Cheers!

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Written by Leo

28 April 2007 at 17:34

Posted in Travel

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Fruitful day!

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kylie, a different angle.. I look somewhat WEIRD hahahah!

What a long day…


0700hrs: Woke up to the bright Polish morning sun! *yawn* *stretch*
0900hrs: Shower o abimasu!

At the breakfast table…
0930hrs: Sumptuous breakfast with sparkling wine. Yes, they serve sparkling wine with breakfast in this part of the world.
1000hrs: Back to the room to pack for appointment.
1030hrs: Leave hotel for appointment.
1300hrs: Concluded appointment successfully, another 500k in the bag. YAY! Back to hotel to change out of suit.

1330hrs: Off to Galeria Kazimierz, Krakow’s newest mall for lunch and shopping!
1400hrs: Still walking around looking for a place to eat, settled for “American” restaurant, Jeff’s (similar concept to TGI Fridays, YUCK). Had Caesar salad, steak with baked potato and espresso.

1500hrs: Went to Alma, a network of delicatessens and supermarkets in Krakow. Bought 3kg worth of smoked Polish sausages and some smoked cod fish to bring back (hopefully won’t be detained by customs).
1600hrs: Walked back to hotel. Changed and went to gym, treadmill and laps in the pool. Soaked in the heated jacuzzi watching the skylines of Krakow for a while. Ran by the riverside for a bit. Had a super cold shower and walked into the sauna for 15 minutes.
1800hrs: Back in room, caught up with BBC News over a Coke Light.

Grilled Turkey Breast with Spring Vegetables
2030hrs: Dinner at the Jewish Quarters

2200hrs: Jazz concert, Krakow Jazz Festival…

0130hrs: Goodnight!

Flashback:
Oktoberfest 2006, Munich – Germany

I was really drunk happy, as you can see…

Written by Leo

28 April 2007 at 0:16

Posted in Food, Travel

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Have you seen it?

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Did you happen to see my indoor 25-metre heated swimming pool and jacuzzi with fantastic views of Krakow? No? Too bad then…

Written by Leo

27 April 2007 at 4:50

Spring time…

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Dinner yesterday, Roasted Sunflower Seed crusted Baltic Cod with Dill Sauce…
Okay, I LOVE KRAKOW!

Did I tell you I love Krakow? Okay I did. Everything’s been perfect since I landed at the airport yesterday.



Krakow airport (domestic terminal) is as small as it gets… I flew here via Warsaw on LOT Polish Airlines, one of the worse European carriers I’ve flew with before.

I didn’t have enough of zloty (Polish currency) when I landed and he offered to take my Euros instead! It ended up slightly cheaper paying in Euro. On the way to the hotel, he gave me a brief insight on Krakow. Needless to say he was very proud of his city. I wish I could say the same for me and Kuala Lumpur =)

The hotel I am staying in, the Qubus Hotel Krakow is one of Krakow’s latest hotel. Built in 2006, the rooms feature a contemporary design with predominant use of wood and pastel colours to accentuate warmth and comfort. My room isn’t as big as the one in Latvia, but it feels more comfortable. Free broadband internet truly tops the sundae!

My bedroom
Enough about hotels, it’s springtime in Krakow! Strawberries and insects are in season!

This HUGE fly that I swatted yesterday…


A few interesting facts about Krakow:

1. One of the oldest and largest cities of Poland.
2. One of the leading scientific, cultural and artistic centres of the country

3. Former residence of the Polish kings and a national capital, considered by many to remain the spiritual heart of Poland due to its history of more than a thousand years.

4. Major centre of local and international tourism, attracting seven million visitors per year.
5. Old town in Krakow – Unesco World Heritage Site.

4. Largely sparred from the devastation of the two World Wars.Most of Krakow’s buildings are mostly Renaissance with some examples of Baroque and Gothic architecture.

Bronze chair sculptures near my hotel…

Written by Leo

26 April 2007 at 21:24

Greetings from Poland!

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Goodbye Riga, hello Krakow! It’s been a long journey (both this trip and to get to Krakow). Long story, I’m dead tired and hungry. More updates soon.

Written by Leo

26 April 2007 at 2:09

Posted in Travel

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Going away… AGAIN

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Okay here’s the next itinerary…

I’m cutting short this trip from the initial 3-week circuit to two weeks. Believe it or not, I have not fully recovered from the exhaustion of my previous three week circuit around Europe…

15 – 21 April 2007: Frankfurt, Germany
Not my first trip to Frankfurt, nevertheless I look forward to it. Contrary to popular believe, I find Frankfurt more interesting than other major cities in Germany (besides Munich, where Oktoberfest is held annually).


21 – 25 April 2007: Riga, Latvia
This will be my first trip to Latvia, I think it would not be much different from its neighbour Estonia, which I visited last month.

25 – 28 April 2007: Krakow, Poland
Having visit Warsaw in my last trip, I had a good impression of Krakow from speaking to the hotel staff (the wonderful Sofitel Victoria Warsaw). They mentioned that Krakow was unscathed by the two World Wars and many beautiful buildings and historical monuments are the most interesting places to visit.


The only thing is, I will be flying Thai Airways due to the unavailability of flights on Singapore Airlinesand KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. And I found out that they don’t have the video on demand (personal screens). I managed to secure the last seat on the flight.

Lets hope that the renown Thai hospitality will manage to bowl me over (with help of lots of Singha beer).

Oh well, here I go again…

Wish me luck! =)

Baci baci, Leo

Written by Leo

4 April 2007 at 12:59