Day 44: Krakow

On Saturday, the 26th, I had to wake up around 5:00am to catch a taxi to the airport and check in before my plane left at 8:00am. The plane landed in Vienna around 9:00am (there is a one hour time zone difference, it was actually a two hour flight). My connecting flight back to Krakow didn’t leave until 1:30pm, so I had plenty of time to relax in the airport. I grabbed some Starbucks and wrote my Chernobyl blog update. Luckily, the Vienna airport has free wi-fi and it’s the fastest I’ve seen in Europe. I was able to upload all my Chernobyl pictures and some remaining ones from Kiev (about 6 GB total) while I was waiting. My connecting flight to Krakow left on time and was only a 45min flight.

Once I got back to Krakow, I grabbed the free shuttle to the train station and then took the train back to the city center (about 20 minutes). I then checked into my hostel and then went off to do some laundry. While I was waiting, I went to a photo store and bought a new lens: a 50mm f1.8. It has a fixed focal length (meaning you can’t zoom at all) but it has a wide aperture so I can take pictures in low light. It only cost around $100, but it is supposed to be one of the best budget lenses you can buy. For dinner, I went to a nice restaurant near the train station and watched the US lose to Ghana. It would have been nice to win, but even if the US would have won the whole thing, no one (including me) would care much two weeks later.

Yesterday I went back to Auschwitz and took some (I think) better pictures. I started off in Birkenau around noon and then went to Auschwitz I around 3pm. Of the 300 I took, I think a few of them turned out well that I might print out. I got back to Krakow around 7:00pm, walked through the city center, grabbed a kebab, and then went back to my hostel.

Today, I woke up and didn’t have any plans. I spent most of the day planning for the rest of my trip. I am starting to get into the heavy tourist season, so it’s harder to find places to stay on short notice. I tried booking a hostel for Innsbruck on the 5th of July, but had to get a hotel because all the decent hostels were full.

I went and did one more load of laundry (that I forgot to do last time) and while I waited, I called my parents and sister back home to see how things are going. My parents just got back from a cruise to Alaska and I think they had a good time. For the rest of the time, I planned out the rest of my trip. My schedule is below:

Switzerland and Italy are going to be expensive, but I’ve cut out Rome so maybe that will help. I also decided to cut out Nice and spend some more time in Switzerland. Lucerne was my favorite place in Europe on my last trip and I should be able to take some good photographs of Lucerne and Interlaken at night with the reflections over the lake. I’ll plan where I’m staying in Florence, Naples, Cinque Terre, and Paris once I get to Vienna.

I grabbed dinner at an authentic Polish restaurant with perogies, mainly to spend the last of my Polish money. I’ll probably add pictures of what I ate once I get to Vienna. Tonight, I’m taking an overnight train to Vienna which leaves around 10:00pm. Hopefully I’ll get a good night’s sleep.