Our last day in Krakow has snuck up on us a bit too soon, but our flight has been booked for weeks, so today we’ve simply got to get ready for our flight to Norway. First though, we wanted to visit the Jewish quarter of the city.
Naturally, we didn’t do much prep work for our plan, we just hopped on the bus, and soon found ourselves wandering aimlessly around the bus stop unsure where to go first. Our walk took us by synagogues and thrift shops and a suprisingly large number of optometrists before we finally found a tourist information office and a map which pointed us to the Old Synagogue. The synagogue also serves as a Jewish museum during the week. The museum is free to visit on Mondays, so we headed in to get a crash course on Judaism. A bit embarrassed about how little we knew about the religion, we moved really slowly through the museum, reading about customs, traditions, and holidays and viewing objects from the long history of the Jewish community in Poland.
When we were finished, we headed across the way to what looked like a sporting goods store to see about obtaining some spare bike parts. The place seemed to specialize in used skis and bikes, but they did have the screws to replace the ones that went missing after our car rental return fiasco. When we went to pay, the owner waved us off with a smile and pointed us to a bigger shop down the way for anything else we might need.
En route to run our errands, I was also on the hunt for a hair salon so that I could get my awful hair trimmed down. I had low expectations after my terrible cut in Athens, but at least an ugly short cut would fit better under my hat. After a couple of tries, we found a place that was willing to cut my hair based on my miming and a photo I’d brought with me. The cut went fine, but when she was done, she got to work blowdrying my two inches of hair with a round brush. My frizzy mop grew taller and taller the more she blew, my reflection in the mirror giving me a huge fit of giggles. I looked just like George Michael Bluth. Trying hard to divert my mind from anything that would make me laugh (namely George Michael), I stifled my laughs until I’d paid and we were standing on the sidewalk, cracking up at my ridiculous style. When we were safely out of view of the salon, I dumped half of my water-bottle’s contents over my head, settling the entire mess down to its usual round of unkempt curls.
Then, it was time to make our way back to the mall (next to the bus station back to camp). Both of us needed to secure another warm layer before we land in Norway and we still needed some new brake pads for the bikes. Two hours later, we emerged having been fed and with our errands run, my patience for shopping almost completely worn through. I pretty much never like making a trip to the mall, but after spending six weeks living in a tent with all our belongings piled on top of bicycles, it was really overwhelming!
We’ve really loved our time in Krakow. I’m feeling kind of nervous about Norway-the logistics of so many tunnels and mountains are staggering- but ready or not, here we go!