Friday, April 2nd, 2004

Friday, April 2nd, 2004

I was very hung over and minus a jacket. At about 1.00pm we all had breakfast at a restaurant. I had some nice veal goulash and a side plate of Sauer Kraut. I was suffering but agreed to go with the Jewish girl, the two Americans and the Norwegian to visit the Jewish District about 20 minutes walk away.

We went to a former ghetto, a concentration camp, a famous Pharmacy, a plaque connected with the small girl in red form Schneider’s list and various other Jewish related sites. Synagogs did not interest me. We did a hell of a lot of walking. I see how much Krakow means to Jewish people. Poland was home to the majority of Europe’s Jews and Krakow was an important Jewish centre of population with dozens o synagogs et. Now, they are museums to a former existence. They are the missing part of Poland’s history. Still, I mind it hard to feel it as there isn’t a Jewish population in Ireland and we were neutral during the war. It doesn?t figure prominently in our education.

Pharmacy Under the Eagles

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Pharmacy Under the Eagles – Krakow – Poland (02-04-2004)

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Pharmacy Under the Eagles – Krakow – Poland (02-04-2004)

Podgrze disctrict became the new Jewish ghetto under the Nazi occupation. The pharmacy’s owner, Tadeusz Pankiewicz, decided to stay on in Podgrze and do all he could for the thousands of not yet captured Jews living at this last stop on the genocide route. The pharmacy is now open as a museum, which heartrenderingly portrays life in the ghetto.

Kazimierz is the Old Jewish District that housed Krakow’s Jews for 500 years. It is now being re-discovered and the culture is being re-introduced.

Visitors can meander the streets full of great bars and cafes. Make sure to grab a map of all the Synagogues and historic buildings.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Kazimierz – Krakow – Poland (02-04-2004)

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Kazimierz – Krakow – Poland (02-04-2004)

We headed back by bus at 5.00pm but took the wrong direction so we headed to the last stop, got off and had to get back on the same bus to get us back into the centre of town. The bus left about our Norwegian friend who had wandered off to a shop to buy crisps. He took another bus and he returned about an hour after us.

We all headed off again about 7.00pm to a Pizza place, as we could not find another place that had enough tables /room amongst all these small restaurants they have here. Eating out in popular here so it had to make do. The two American girls were taking a 9.00pm train to Berlin so we went back to the hostel to say bye. At the hostel we had a couple of cans of beer each before the remaining four of us headed down town. There are also two extra girls in the dorm from England (lecister) who are traveling around Europe for six weeks. We went to a place called the “Black Gallery Pub”. Another basement place but contrary to opinions in the guides it was poor and very quiet.

Black Gallery

A dive bar that has embedded itself in student folklore. Everyone from backpackers to local Satanists (no joke) throng this basic, industrial cellar. Not for the faint-hearted, fit in by swearing like a sailor and downing vodka shots in one. The courtyard garden offers a more serene atmosphere and no sticky floors.

We were pretty down after the big night last night so decided to go for rounds of Tequila. I hate mixing my drinks. I am a beer man and proud of it. If I mix beer with wine or shorts its downhill from there but once the first round of shots is done the other three of us were required buyers. After that we headed to a very popular place called Prozak. It took us 15 minutes to persuade the bouncer to let us it. Lots of face control here. I was a funny place with lots of little rooms and nowhere to sit. We had said to the English girls where we were going and we met up with them. I was blind drunk and I was told it was another 6.00am end to the night.

Prozak

Descend the steps by the kebab shop, ring the buzzer, and then do your best to get past the gorilla on the door. This is the best club in town, and as such you either dress up or find somewhere else to go. You’ll find dancing going off in every conceivable corner, a range of low-slung sofas occupied by media darlings and a clientele with a hardcore commitment to hedonism. Excellent.

I haven’t got a blackout for 10 years or so (not remembering how I got home). Tonight I got one. I do remember how I got home. It seems I walked home with the two English girls. I hate getting a blackout. Some people believe its the sign of a good night and have no problems with them, but I like to be in control and remember my words and actions. It seems I was the perfect gentleman UNTIL I got home.

When I hit the bed, it seems I started shoring. There were an additional two people now in the room. An English guy called Andy and his friend; an American living in Prague called Sheena Murphy (from West Cork extraction, but now LA cool). It seems for the first time in my life (must have been the way I was lying), I started snoring. She woke up and wasn?t happy. She asked the Aussie to wake me and then he in turn asked me to turn (meaning to my side) but I turned around 180 degrees in bed. I then got off my top bunk and started climbing into the top bunk of one of the English girls (??) but the Aussie gave a shout and I headed back. It seems it was a scene of great hilarity that I did this and the English girl didn’t wake (thank God). I don’t remember any of it.

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