So we just got into Firenze and I am settling into my pensione “My Friend’s Place,” which is quite small but has a welcoming atmosphere thanks to the vivacious Max and Sylvia who are the managers and who swoop around singing “Bene Bella!” all the time. The food is amazing! We had pesto pasta and turkey with mashed potatoes for lunch. Dinner was pasta in red sauce with a bit of meat and then mozzarella on top of tomatoes with olive oil. Delish!
School starts tomorrow, which should be fun and then this weekend is exploration time!
Now I suppose I should catch you up on Poland and Prague….
I really like Krakow, at the least the old town where we were. It was a beautiful area with a small town feel but still with plenty to do. My first impression was walking into the main square (it is surrounded by a belt of greenery that used to be the castle moat) with the cathedral and market building and surrounding little cafes all lit up with twinkling lights. Walking home, my roommate and I paused to listen to a bugle playing from the top tower of the Cathedral. The bugle is played to commemorate the man who woke up in the night to see the Tartars invading and blew the trumpet to warn the city before the Tartars managed to shoot him down.
The Cathedral is gorgeous inside-every surface is painted, gilded, carved or stainglass. I fell madly in love with the angels with rainbow colored wings (painted to match the stainglass). We went to the castle and learned the local legend about a dragon that was terrorizing the city hundreds of years ago. Many KNights tried to fight it and lost and one day a clever tailor came up with an idea to get rid of the dragon. He killed a lamb and cut open its stomach placing sulfur inside and left the lamb outside of the dragon’s cave. The dragon woke up the next morning, saw the lamb and ate it. The sulfur ignited in its stomach and it raced down to the river to drink the water to try to put it out. It drank and drank and eventually EXPLODED. The tailor was given the princess’s hand in marriage and half of the kingdom. Our guide pointed out a statue commemorating the dragon below the castle walls by the river.
That night, a group of my friends and I went decided to buy a bottle of wine and go sit out by the river and keep company with the dragon. We took climbed up on to its rock and took all sorts of silly pictures and then sat on the ground in front of it just talking and enjoying the evening as it got dark. At one point in our conversation with hear this funny snapping sound and suddenly the sky is lit up with FIRE. We all SCREAM like ninnies and clutch each other. Then all the sudden it stops and it is dark again. The dragon SPIT FIRE! We are completely shocked! Polish people passing by after that probably thought we were crazy. All these american kids laying on the floor with their cameras pointed at the dragon statue just waiting for it to go off again. Eventually it did and we all got pictures..I’ll put some of them up here soon. That was a hilarious evening and a great adventure.
next up Prague!