krakow

Mushrooms, anybody?

Cds IMG 3308

When walking through the forest I saw these mushrooms growing happily on an old and decaying tree trunk. I know that you can gather mushrooms in the forest (my inlaws in Poland and their neighbours do it all the time), but my knowledge is dangerous. Actually my knowledge is not even dangerous. It is nonexistent. I know nothing about what mushrooms are safe to eat, so I though it best to just look, take a photograph and leave my breakfast until I got back to the house.

Running in the forest

My in-law’s house in Krakow is on the border of the Ojcow national forest. It is a small yet beautiful forest, full of trails, steams and wildlife. So of course I spent as much time as possible exploring the trails in the forest.

Cds 2016 09 03 09 22 02
Running along the trail

Cds 2016 09 03 09 10 26
One of the many rivers; I found many otter dams on this river, and lots of trees that the otters had cut down (yes the otters quite literally cut down the trees to use as dam-building material)

Cds 2016 09 03 09 32 32
A most-covered tree; when you get deep in the forest it gets very earthy and wet. You can smell the earthy smell of the decomposing plants on the forest floor

Cds 2016 09 03 09 45 19
I even found an old castle in the middle of the forest

Cds 2016 09 03 10 07 16
Running uphill – the forest was suprisingly hilly – they were plenty of good climbs

Screen Shot 2017 03 07 at 3 30 58 PM
Finally, here is the route I ran – about 14k. If you’re ever in the area I highly recommend a run through the forest.

The Chapel in the Mine

This beautiful chapel is approximately 135m underground in the middle of the Wieliczka Salt Mine, near Krakow in Poland. The mine was started in the 13th century, and produced salt until as recently as 2007. If you don’t mind waiting you can book your wedding in the chapel, but I believe the waiting list is a couple of years or so.

Everything is carved from rock salt, including the floor tiles and bricks. They are not real – they are just carved directly into the rocks.

Cds cds IMG 8743 4 5 tonemapped Edit 2

And here is a picture of the entire room. Beautiful, don’t you think?

Cds cds IMG 8736 proc

Memorial to victims of the holocast

Cds IMG 2060

In my past post, I showed pictures of Schindler’s factory. Schindler managed to protect many Jewish people during the Nazi occupation in Krakow. Today’s photo is about some Jewish people who did not survive. It says:

“The place of reflection on the martyr’s death of 65,000 Polish citizens of Jewish origin from Cracow and surroundings who were killed by the Nazis during World War II”

Sobering. If you want to visit it, it is in Szeroka Street – at the bottom of the small square in the Jewish quarter.

Schindler’s factory

If you have read the book “Schindler’s Jews” or seen the movie “Schindler’s List” directed by Stephen Spielberg, you would have heard of Schindler’s factory. Schindler managed to save many Jewish people towards the end of world war 2 by having then declared as essential workers in his factory – even though the factory was, for practical purposes, producing very little.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when visiting Schindler’s factory, but while it was a history of the factory and of Schindler’s work it was far more than that. It gave an introspective history of Krakow in World War 2, and especially of the Jewish people that were confined to the ghetto during the Nazi occupation of Poland. An enlightening and sobering visit.

We only visited the factory on our second visit to Krakow, but if you are in the city I would highly recommend that you take a visit to the factory to learn move of its history.

Cds IMG 2067
The windows are filled with portraits of survivors.

Cds IMG 2068
The main factory gates

Archives