back in 2010, AP, MW, and i tired mexican food in poland. it was…not good. there was unexpected cabbage and a few potatoes. a disappointing “basket” of about 10 tortilla chips. and the margaritas…yikes.
since then, i’ve steered clear of mexican food here. i read about alebriche awhile back, but didn’t get around to trying it until yesterday. i have to admit, i went in with pretty low expectations. but, wow! it was SO. GOOD. after sharing a HUGE plate of chips and dip with EF, i had the enfrijoladas. YUM. yum. YUM.
with so many other wonderful options in the city, it’s not often i crave mexican food. but now i know that if i do…alebriche is definitely the place to go.
the sound of the hejnal mariacki is such a quintessential “krakow thing.” i love that i can hear it so clearly from my apartment this summer and whenever i happen to be on the rynek at the start of the hour, i always pause and look for the trumpeter in the church’s tower.
before his visit, i’d told TE the story of the trumpeter — who succeeded in warning krakow of the invading tatars before being slain with an arrow to the neck (thus the unresolved melody). when he arrived last sunday, we arrived at my apartment just as the trumpeter was marking 11am. after that, we happened to be on the rynek for a number of its other performances — one night catching 9pm, 10pm, 11pm, and 12am!
after roughly calculating the number of times TE heard the hejnal on his short visit, i wondered what the count would be for my six weeks. figuring 4 times each hour, 24 hours a day, for 42 days (plus a few times the days i arrived and will leave), the hejnal will have been played about 4084 times during my stay in krakow. amazing!
the stage for szwejk fest went up late last week, along with the grill and souvenir huts that pop up every so often. it wasn’t until yesterday that i caught a show on the szwejk stage — and what a show it was. slowiany, who i saw at the galicja jewish museum a few weeks ago, was playing. i think they’re great and was so happy to have the opportunity to hear them again.
i’d just settled in to watch from a curb when i was joined by an older polish gentleman. he was a chatty one, and over the course of slowiany’s set, my new friend pawel had asked about my family, my time in poland, my thoughts on the music — and offered me a sip of the beer he kept stored in his backpack. good times.
later in the evening — without a concrete plan for dinner — i returned to szwejk fest to pick up kielbasa and potatoes. yum.
i’m not really sure why krakow was holding a festival in celebration of the good soldier svejk, but i’m always in favor of music and food on the square. it was a rather pleasant way to spend a sunday.
i set off this afternoon with no real plan for the afternoon. after an impromptu stop for ice cream (YUM!), i paused by the wisla to finish my cone and enjoy the sunshine. i ended up spending a few hours hanging out in this sunny spot.
krakow never ceases to amaze me. this shot really doesn’t capture how incredibly beautiful the city looked this evening as i was walking home. i love it here.
We were afraid as we built the barricade
The tavern-keeper, the jeweler’s mistress, the barber,
all of us cowards.
The servant-girl fell to the ground
as she lugged a paving-stone, we were terribly afraid
all of us cowards -
the janitor, the market-woman, the pensioner.
The pharmacist fell to the ground
as he dragged the door of a toilet,
we were even more afraid, the smuggler-woman,
the dressmaker, the streetcar driver,
all of us cowards.
A kid from reform school fell
as he dragged a sandbag,
you see we were really
Though no one forced us,
we did build the barricade
—"building the barricade," anna świrszczyńska (trans. m. krysnski & r. maguire).
today marks the 70th anniversary of the start of the warsaw uprising. it went on for 63 days, during which time around 200,000 poles were killed. thought stories of the uprising were suppressed until 1989, today it is largely remembered proudly as a symbol of polish freedom.
"we always give blood for you, warsaw."
symbolic of freedom, the story of the uprising is also one of great sacrifice and loss. some question whether the rising was worth the human cost. this mural — which i came across one day in warsaw — remembers the fighters and their pledge to give all that they had in the fight to liberate their home.
5pm on August 1st, 1944 was the “w-hour” — the moment when polish underground fighters stormed german positions across the city. today, at 5pm, poland honored the memory of the fighters with 70 seconds of silence.
just your typical walk home. behind a winged hussar.
i love krakow.
i’d seen posters for concerts at wawel, but had never really been interesting in going. a few weekends ago, having not yet been up to wawel this summer, i decided to check out the summer "wawel at dusk" concert program.
the dafo string quartet were scheduled to play a concert of mozart, schulhoff, tchaikovsky, and penderecki. not wanting to pass that up, i bought a ticket and as the sun started to dip in the sky, i headed up to the castle. i don’t think i’ll ever tire of the views from up there.
it was a particularly nice time of day on a particularly pleasant evening. on my way to the batory courtyard for the concert, i took a minute to appreciate the sun setting on the wisla.
the concert itself was very good. the program certainly covered a lot of ground musically. the shift from mozart to tchaikovsky to early penderecki was pretty extreme! and the setting was, of course, lovely.
music at wawel…bringing together things i love for a wonderful saturday evening.