worldwide walkabout the tiniest bird takes a walk.

9Sep/100

rainy zakopane, poland

when i got on the bus to the tatra mountains, zakopane i expected a quiet mountain village. i was in for a surprise! i arrived on the friday afternoon of a festival weekend-streets were absolutely packed with polish tourists and my hostel was right next to mcdonalds.

because of the cold rain, i was only able to hike for part of the day. for some of it i was also hiking on a paved road with tons of people! that part was a bust. i did, however, meet a hilarious old lady who sold me some strange secondhand outfits. she poked me in the crotch with her finger when showing me one of the outfits.

9Sep/100

auschwitz and birkenau, poland

journeyed to oswiecim to pay respect to the millions who suffered or died in the holocaust. one only begins to get an idea of the scale of the crimes which occurred in these death camps by the size of the sites, by the seas of belongings pillaged, by photographic records.

9Sep/100

craic! krakow, poland

from berlin i took a shuttle to szczecin a polish border town. immediately it felt like a new country-the streetcars were antique, people's faces were distinctly different, and i noticed that polish folk like beer!

the train car to krakow was a rotating door of characters: one man was bringing home two orchids, another snored and smacked his mouth (and overslept for his stop), another was so drunk that the train conductor had to shake him many times (he offered the conductor a cigarette instead of a ticket in the end), and my favorite-a man who spoke to me in polish for a long long time. i caught a few words like "karate" and did a karate chop for him. he offered sandwiches. then he insisted on sandwiches. then he shook sandwiches in my face so i went to sleep. he woke me up later so that i'd listen to his mp3 player.

krakow was much different than szczecin and i was surprised by all of the fancy malls and restaurants. the main square was beautiful and there was much to see close to krakow, including the wieliczka salt mine museum. with 700 years of history, it was the oldest underground mine. there are apparently thousands of kilometers of tunnels but now all the salt is gone-no more mining. the walls, floors, even the chandeliers where made of salt which made me want to lick everything.