Eastern Bloc Tour 2k17

Krakow Day 1: Girls Rule, Boys Drool

Well, this is going to be a short entry considering the fact that we spent about six hours of this day on the bus with a couple of breaks in between, so we didn’t arrive in Krakow until 6pm. But that didn’t mean we didn’t do anything.


After a bit of a drive, we were back in Slovakia. Today the region we drove through was full of little streams, mountains, and little ski resorts. It kind of looked like a discount Switzerland. It was very beautiful. Our first rest stop was in a little town called Banska-Bystrica, which was a colorful, beautiful little stop. There wasn’t much happening in the realm of attractions, but it was a pretty spot to eat some lunch and take some photos. We also got ice cream, which, surprisingly, had been our first ice cream stop on the trip. What the heck is wrong with us?


On the leg between stops, we played a game of “Battle of the Sexes,” in which the boys and girls on the trip were pitted against each other in the categories of trivia, physical feats, timing, and a few other areas. In the trivia round, boys were asked questions more stereotypically suited for girls (ie, “What’s Mr. Big’s real name on Sex and the City?”), and vice versa (ie., “What movie franchise is John McLane from?”). The girls dominated. Especially on the physical challenge. Both boys and girls had to balance on the bus without touching anything, and had to increase difficulty by standing on one leg, etc. Ciara absolutely slayed for our team and lasted almost five minutes. The boys meanwhile fell on the first turn within about five seconds.


Soon we had reached the Polish border and we stopped at a convenience stop for snacks. We quickly realized how cheap Poland was as a tourist destination. We got heaps of snacks for what would be about half-price in America. We all went outside to start nibbling and poor Brodie sat in gum. She made sure that I mentioned that. It was a traumatic experience, especially considering how excited she was to reach Poland.


After settling into our hotel, we were off to dinner in Krakow’s famous Jewish quarter. The food here was just okay in my opinion. Our meals on this tour have been really stellar in my opinion, and this one just felt alright by comparison. We had dumpling soup in a beetroot broth (yes, it is as weird as it sounds), some chicken, potatoes, and a chopped salad. Then dessert was scoops of sweetened ricotta (or something similar) with cream on top of it. Nothing was bad, it was just all a little odd.

We were quite sleepy and ready to go home, but we were surprised by some entertainment before we left. There was a band that played some traditional Jewish music: a bass, violin, and accordion. These guys were really good. I wouldn’t say Jewish folk tunes are what I plan to blast on a road trip anytime soon, but you could tell that these guys were incredibly talented musicians.


By about 10:00, we were ready to collapse, so we packed ourselves onto the bus. Emma, with a sick sense of humor, decided that this would be the perfect time to play this horrible song that was called “I Love Europe,” sung by a cheesy Swedish 70s throwback. It would have been terrible even if we were lucid, but in our sleepy daze it was like nails on a chalkboard. She of course loved it, and was dancing around with a big smile on her face. Oh Emma, stop.

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