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As a former flight attendant, I've visited all European countries except Albania and Poland. Poland is Europe's 5th largest country. Aside for Lech Walesa, Copernicus, the Pope and 10 years of Polish jokes I never understood, I knew nothing of the land. However, my interest peaked because it will soon be hot on the tourist trail and because my Chicago husband's family is from here. He accompanied me with a sense of delight in discovering his roots. I went along to become educated and enriched by something new. We flew from Atlanta via JFK and Warsaw to Krakow for only 4 days. No rest for the weary with a head spinning itinerary. I prefer to see cities in the off season to mingle with the locals. It gives an even more authentic and intimate atmosphere.www.cheap-london-escort.com

On airport arrival, we're cheerfully greeted by Pavel who is likely to be our driver throughout. He holds a welcome sign "Suza Davis ".I say, "Hi, I'm Suzy from Atlanta." I chuckled when he responded, "Yes, downstairs of USA." We checked into Hotel Amadeus, a 16th century posh inn in one's heart throb of town center. Prince Charles once bedded in our room, I'm told. We attempted to hunt for dinner. The illuminated Old Town was stunning and full of so many young adults, it made me feel elderly. 150,000 students reside in this university town. Krakow is Europe's premier party scene where they stay out before the birds sing. This historic district holds highest concentration of bars and restaurants in the world. We suddenly discovered Pierogi Garden, home of the freshest Polish dumplings. They certainly were stuffed with sauerkraut, lamb, beef, berries, chocolate and even peanut butter. There have been 6 forms of soups, all with beets which I abhor. After a dozen dumplings, I'd a melted ewe's milk cheese pancake which was beyond delicious.

Poland experienced countless invasions throughout its history. After being ravaged by the Germans and then your Russians, it finally achieved independence in 1989 with the collapse of Soviet communism. Krakow was wired for destruction near the conclusion of WWII by the Germans. They planned to blow it up once the Russians took over, fortunately the war ended hours before the master plan was carried out. Today it remains one of many few cities remaining in its original form. With a population now of 780,000, it has morphed in to a trendy international capital. Vibrant and modern yet somehow retains its traditional culture with regal architecture. It is in Krakow where one finds the spirit of the new Poland.

On day 2, we were greeted by Anna who was strikingly beautiful. We began in the web of cobbled streets in Old Town which was meant for walking. It was a maze of museums, chapels, galleries, cafes and hole in the wall pubs. Even in winter there clearly was entertainment with street dancers, mimes, accordion players and on a single corner, I watched a knight in armor break-dancing. We entered Market Square, Europe's largest medieval square where little has changed since 1257. It is crowned by the Bell Tower in which a bugler plays at the top of the hour. It drives the residents crazy at night. A necessity see is Cloth Hall where fishmongers, cloth merchants and bakers have sold their wares considering that the 14th century. Now it's a wonderful arcade of handicraft stalls.

We walked to the well preserved Jewish Quarter which can be now edgy with artistic character. Poland once held Europe's largest concentration of Jews at 3.5 million. Poland's kings during the center ages noted they certainly were being expelled elsewhere and invited them directly into augment the economy. Here they thrived before the holocaust and forced communism after WWII. There are now only 180 left. We viewed the ghettos where Spielberg's famed movie was filmed and looked throughout the river to see Schindler's factory.