I am not an avid traveller. Most of the places I have been to are for the company instead of the scenery itself. As the saying goes: the more the merrier. The last Europe trip I been to was Norway, as soon as summer started. And as the summer ended, we had another Europe trip – to Poland.
When we arrived to Manchester, there were a couple of days before Week 1 of lectures. During the break, we travelled to Kraków. We were detained at the immigration for almost an hour because the officers needed confirmation on our place of stay. It was then I realized that I didn’t bother to look up the basic Polish phrases. To make matter more interesting, there were only a handful of people in Poland who could speak English.
As there were 12 of us, we split ourselves into two apartments. The apartment I stayed in [Choco Fresh Apartments] was quite dodgy, the kind that gave me chills upon arrival. There was a odd poster on the wall, of a person with two masks, each covering half the face. I didn’t like it at first, but by the end of the day I found a caption to go along with it. “Most people wear two masks, none of which is their true face.”
I hadn’t been contributing my fair share in planning the trip, so I tried not to complain. As a result of long travel time between airport and the city, I had acute gastric on the first night. The pain was immense, as though someone punched and stab my guts several times. Although there were many Michelin restaurant around, most of the restaurants were fully booked on a Friday night. We wandered long enough to find a restaurant called Pod Wavelem. The portion was really large and cheap, which made the wait worthwhile.
The next day, we went to Auschwitz concentration camp and Wieliczka Salt mines. The camp was a very solemn place, it was sad to know that so many had died.
The salt mine, which is one of the UNESCO World Herritage site, put a lighter mood to the atmosphere. It was worth the one hour bus ride, and the two hours tour. I especially love the story about the princess throwing her engagement ring into the mine to claim it as her engagement present.
That night, we went to the Michelin restaurant, Wesele. The portion was reasonable… This was my goose in plum sauce (i think)
On our last day in Poland, we took a two hours bus ride to Zakopane, up the Tatra Mountains. The guys were excited to watch a ManU-Liverpool match, but somehow we ended up at a restaurant without any TV, which is a stone throw away from a pub/bar that showed the match. Being a true football fan, TJ and ST often made trips to and from the pub to see the score. We finished our lunch before the match ended, so the guys rushed over to the pub while the rest of us enjoyed our slow walk nearby. We walked a lot, took the ‘train’, walked again almost missed our bus.
That night, I experienced another dream/supernatural encounter. As I was about to drift into a deep sleep, I felt a force pressing down on me, harder and harder until I could hardly breathe. I reached out to LZ who was sleeping next to me and nudged her until she sat up and mumbled “what”. Almost immediately, the ‘force’ disappeared. I sat up immediately to see a confused YY who was enjoying her movie at the edge of my bed. From YY account the following morning, all she saw was a quiet me sleeping, and suddenly jerking up in bed. I woke up with a pounding headache and terribly confused brain throughout the whole day. It was comforting to know that it was the last night I would be spending in the apartment.
We left for Manchester on a 10am flight. To add to our joy, our first lecture at 1pm was cancelled. 🙂