I am busy, busy, busy! I had a good-bye celebration with my host family on Monday morning. Dad made a big breakfast, then opened a couple of bottles of wine. Mom made me two sandwiches and Dad gave me a bottle of wine for the road...so I wouldn't go hungry or thirsty. Then they took me to the bus station, where I headed off to Budapest.
Now, you all know that I am an optimistic person and can usually make the best of any negative situation. Unfortunately, Budapest broke my spirit. I'm not sure if it was the constant rain and freezing cold, or the fact that everything I wanted to see was under construction, or the fact that every street was under construction, so I couldn't find my way. The possibilities are endless. Needless to say, I couldn't wait to get out of that city. I did stay over one night, and was able to see how the city could be very charming on a beautiful day. Oh yeah, in my fit of self pity, I broke down and ate Burger King. It was the best Whopper I've ever had!
So last night I took the night train to Krakow. I upgraded to a "couchette" so I could get some sleep during the 10 1/2 hour ride. I didn't get much sleep, but it was nice to be able to lay down. I arrived in Krakow around 6:30 this morning and guess what...it was cold and raining! It was too early to get a map, exchange money, or even get a cup of coffee. So I wandered the streets for 3 hours....in the rain...checking out hotel rates that were all too rich for my blood. That's when I realized it was time for a reality check.
I stopped in a coffee shop, grabbed a cup of coffee and a delicious pastry and took a time out. I pulled out my guidebook, which I hadn't read yet (no wonder I'm always getting lost)! I read about a few hotels and discovered the one that I was determined to find. It took me awhile, but when I arrived, I think I heard angels sing. I even got a 10% discount for just showing up! The rooms are so cozy and warm. I took a HOT shower...trust me, it was waaaay overdue. I am now doing laundry in the bathtub, checking my email, and feeling like life is back on track.
So, Negative Nancy is out of here and Jenni D is back. In all of my wandering this morning, I did get to see about half of Krakow and it is amazing. I can't wait to explore. Tomorrow is supposed to be warmer with very little chance of rain, so I should be able to get some sight seeing in. I know I'll be here for two nights, then will probably head off to Prague Friday morning and do a couple of days there. It's crazy how fast the time has gone by...one month isn't even close to enough!
I will write again tomorrow with more after I've done a little more exploring. This city is awesome, I'm sure I'll have lots of stories to tell! I'll try to get these pictures uploaded too :-)
One last thing, I don't know what the heck you're all doing over there in the US, but I'm watching the value of the dollar drop multiple times a day! It is very interesting to watch it all on the news from the European point of view.
I miss everyone so much! I'll be in touch soon.