kraków to meißen.

We were a tiny bit sad to leave Poland, because well, Poland was a big surprise. It almost immediately became my third favorite European country that I don't live in. You can't really tell from this day of photos, but Wroclaw was kind of wonderfully shabbily beautiful and Krakow was surprisingly grand and everywhere just reeked of history and atmosphere.

The people were without exception sweet and quiet. There was music everywhere. And Poles seem to put a little bit of extra effort into atmosphere and gezelligheid, more so than maybe anywhere I've ever been. Sure there are shitty soulless bars and cafes and snackbars, but it was very easy to find a place that was dark and candlelit and crammed with the furniture and belongings of millions of dead people. That's a horrible joke but A) I'm apparently half Polish and 2) it's true.

Above: the breakfast room of the Klezmer Hois. Below: trying to find kielbasa to take home, because somehow I managed not to fucking have one while I was there. Below that: gas station sandwich calling out to my apparently blood-genetics based Polish love of pickles and eggs. Below that, boomkanker, or as most people refer to it, mistletoe. It was everywhere along the Polish highways and its presence engendered a week-long discussion of the history, science and myth around this mysterious parasite. I guess we had a lot of long drives. Below that, the only bad meal we had in Poland, a case of the #1 TripAdvisor restaurant in town feeling like a depressingly inauthentic experience. There were real Polish people there, construction workers and what not, but 75% of the diners at my table didn't eat even half their food, some much less. The whole place just felt kind of off, and it was an unfortunate end to a few days of unexpectedly good eating.

Below that, the next logical step after our continuing to watch the temperature drop in five-degree increments from 55F to 35F as we headed west across Poland. Below that, arrival in Meißen.

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