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Travel Day

It's gonna be a long day...

snow -2 °C

And so I'm travelling again! A bit after my trip to Morocco last year, I looked at some of the other Intrepid tours. That's the tour company I used for Morocco - small groups, lovely places and even lovelier people. At least that was the experience.
As I explored, I found a Winter Tatra Adventure Tour, taking place in Poland and Slovakia - the 2 countries that happen to be my heritage. My father's parents came from Poland and my mother's from Slovakia so this seemed a perfect chance to visit. We likely have relatives in both countries but sadly our family never kept in touch.
What am I looking forward to on this trip? Old Europe. Snowshoeing. Cross country skiing. Christmas markets. Meeting some new travel friends. Vodka and pierogis. Hand-made sweaters. Polish wine.
The Tatras are a mountain range in the South of Poland and the North in Slovakia so it should be wintery and hopefully snowy. Packing to travel in the winter was a little more challenging, just because of the bulk of boots and snow pants. And of course the flight to get to Krakow isn't short. Currently sitting in Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam for an almost 6-hour layover until my flight to Krakow. IMG_2225.JPGOnce there, I'll make my way to the first hotel and our meet & greet with our Intrepid guide. There should be a little time to shower & freshen up before that meeting.
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These are the bathroom stalls in Schiphol!! How lovely right?!
Getting into Krakow from the airport was really smooth on the train. The hotel is a 5 minute walk from the train station, right on the edge of the old city centre of Krakow. Old buildings, cobbled streets and a CHRISTMAS MARKET!!!
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After our tour meeting where we found out there are only 4 participating - it's the first departure for this particular tour! - we went for dinner at a good local and very Polish restaurant. Hearty and not very expensive, it gave us the warmth to walk through the market on a snowy evening.
Beautifully decorated for Christmas, the market is filled with many, many, many booths - lots of foods, handcrafts and not handcrafts (souvenirs).
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But the barrel-shaped booths with the really looooong lineups sell only 2 drinks: Mulled wine or Tea with Sliwowica (plum brandy!). My roommate for this trip is a young lady named Darlene who travelled from Los Angeles. While it was too long to wait in the line for wine or tea, we did try grilled Oscypek. Its a smoked & salted sheep milk cheese, sliced, then grilled on a flat-top and served with a light cranberry sauce. Salty for sure...the sauce really made it a treat. IMG_2240.JPG

After that really long day, the bed was lovely!!!

Posted by otisandma 11:24 Archived in Poland

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