Friday, July 29, 2011

Ummm ... Beetroot soup, perogies, and potato pancakes

It was our last night in Krakow. Of course we had a full day of touring planned, which began with a walking tour of the Jewish Quarter (which was really interesting), followed by a bus trip to the local Salt Mines (which was less interesting ...) 15 kilometers out of town. On the way back, we managed to hop on a – literally – moving mini bus to get back to town in time for a last meal before boarding our night train to Budapest. The Salt Mine tour was longer than we had expected and we had a train to catch – so when a mini bus stopped, with beeping cars behind him, he started moving before we were all on board! Doug jumped on last just making it, before the bus gained full speed.

Safely back in familiar territory, Devora had picked out a restaurant close to our hotel (where we had left our bags), and close to the train station (for a quick get away), called Kuchnia U Doroty. We had limited time, so we reviewed the menu for vegetarian options and ordered a magnificent assortment of perogies, potato pancakes (latkes yay!), sides of beets, cabbage and kasha with mushroom sauce, and of course beetroot soup. This has been our staple since arriving in Poland, and we were not at all unhappy to eat this combo over and over again. Wash it down with Polish beer and you are in heaven.

The gals serving us were adorable. They served us quickly, and we managed to lick our plates clean of every last fried onion, morsel of kasha, and spoon of beet root soup. Off we went back to the Hotel Eden where we ordered a cab large enough to take all of us and our luggage to the train station. Our driver was amazingly kind and helpful, and dropped us off at the train station with instructions in broken English on how to figure out which track our train would be on.

With his help, we sent Devora as our scout, to find out the platform information and we made it down to our track in plenty of time to find our train, and our specific car. We had not left ourselves enough time to find a grocery store to use up our remaining Polish currency, so we were left with the bottle of Cherry Vodka we had bought earlier in the day, and the – oh so delectable – packaged chocolate croissant that were complimentary with our train ticket! Good thing we had a big dinner!

We divided the small bottle of Vodka between us in plastic glasses as the train left the station, with all of us squeezed into one berth for a nightcap. We can't keep up with the proper toast in the proper language in all of the countries we have been in, so we have kept to the one we know. "L'chaim", we all chimed in as we clicked our wobbly plastic glasses. After a few sips, Devora and I were giggling and appropriately sedated to hopefully fall into a deep sleep with the help of the lullaby of clicking tracks all the way to Budapest ... The adventure continues!

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