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Day 34: Exploring Krakow

We started the day off with breakfast at the hotel we were staying at. Like the morning before, the breakfast was amazing. Ventus Rosa- you know what you are doing in the food department. There was an array of pastries, meats, cheeses, and juices (much like everywhere else we went), but what was different was there wasn't a single less than excellent piece of food on the counter! Well done.

After breakfast, we trooped across the city to visit the Jewish Quarter, Kazimierz. We visited an old synagogue that had been turned into a museum about the history of the Jewish people in Krakow, as well as traditions and ceremonies that they practiced. I thought the exhibits were engaging, interesting, and well-worth visiting. I really like learning about Jewish customs because we learn a little about it in church and in classes so I have had some exposure to it before, but not enough for my taste! The museum offered lots of in-depth knowledge on topics I had always been curious about, so I finally got my fill! For more information on the museum click here. The synagogue is the oldest still standing in Poland!

On the way to our next stop for the day, we came across a house that had this painted on it:

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I thought it was so sad that this family who had lived in that house for nearly three centuries were forced out during the Nazi regime. We walked by walls of the old Jewish ghetto. This especially touched me as we had the context of Auschwitz from our visit there the day before. It was a constant reminder of the atrocities committed and our need to promote love and understanding instead of hatred and fear.
We then stopped by Schindler's factory from Schindler's List. I loved the quote on the outside of the factory, "Whoever saves one life saves the world entire".

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We then went to see the Empty Chairs Memorial. It was made to symbolize how when Jewish people were being cleared out of the ghetto, they were forced to leave behind their possessions, they represented the absence and loss of this people.

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After we stood and discussed the memorial, our study abroad was officially finished. Dr. D gave a small speech to give closure to the adventure and released us to go do whatever we wanted to do. Zach, McCall, and I wanted to go check out a couple markets that we saw on our maps to see if they were any good, so we took off towards one of them. There wasn't much to see at the market we chose so we decided to just keep walking around.

Before deciding where to go for dinner, we shopped in the market that was in the middle of the big square in town. I bought my mom these amazingly fluffy slippers since our house is always freezing! They were like eskimo shoes they were so thick! After checking out a few different places, Kylie, McCall and I went to a traditional Polish restaurant that was recommended to me by a woman I knew who had originally lived in Krakow before coming to America. Her recommendation did not disappoint! The food was delicious. We got to try authentic pierogis as we listened to and watched a traditional song and dance of Poland!

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It was hard to believe that everyone would be going their separate ways the next day (minus the couple of LAME people that had already left--- (jokes jokes jokes, they just wanted to get cheaper tickets home)).

That night Lauren, Catherine, McCall, and I stayed up late talking again. We talked about our study abroad, first impressions of each other, and spent another night laughing into the night. My favorite part of the night was "GUYS. I LEAKED!" I'm not going to explain it at all, I'm just going to leave it there for my memories! The last two nights with everyone were probably some of my favorite nights on the study abroad (and yes, that includes Eiffel Tower night in Paris!).

Posted by cedevault 20:28 Archived in Poland

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