Saturday, December 3, 2011

It's time to visit the Saints in Krakow!

This is the Guy you don't want to get to know in Poland.
An interesting picture to post on our way to Krakow...right? Not really, especially if you are on a first name basis with this guy who sits at the bottom of a hill in a discreet 50 KPH zone 47.6 kilometers away from Krakow. This time, President was behaving, and we just waved as we slowly drove past him. Once he stopped us going to Krakow (just to say "hi") and two days later stopped us again (to say "hi" again...). Just a friendly guy... He gave President a 'receipt' (we were smart enough to ask for one!) and as we drove off, we saw it had been made out to someone named 'Agnieska'. Smooth, President.....smooth! I think we may have donated to his retirement fund..
As we were entering into the city of Krakow we saw this curious 'mound' that we decided to check out since we were not meeting the Elders until later....

It is the Kosciuszko Mound located in the city limits of Krakow. It was constructed in honor of Tadeusz Kosciuszko who is a war hero who is beloved by the Poles for his continuous fighting against Russian occupation. It was built by volunteers in 1823 using soil from the battlefields where Kosciuszko fought. (Kosciuszko is also beloved by the Americans as well for his important role in the Revolutionary War in which he served as a Colonal.)

Starting up the 'snake-like' paths leading to the top of the mound.

The paths are steep and quite narrow. Guess who is a little afraid of heights? "Come on, President Nielson... I'll help you!"

The view is stunning from the top of the mound. It is well worth the walk up the steep path!
Years after it's completion, there was a fortress built around the mound, and it was used as a look-out point. On a clear day, you can see the top of the Tartra Mountains located in the southern most part of Poland. A great place to spot approaching enemies!
A view of beautiful Krakow. On the far right is Wawel Castle and on the far left is the Old Town Rynek....that's where we will head next!

Krakow's Rynek is a very exciting place to be this time of year. As you can see, it is filled with all kinds of small stands selling Christmas items, gifts and lots of great food!

Look who we found on the Rynek! Do you recognize the knight on the right?

It is our friend, Pawel, who is a member of the Krakow Branch. He is a professional knight....for real! And when he is not in a tournament, he and his buddy are on the Rynek posing for pictures with all the tourists that are visiting for the holiday season. As you can tell, they have lots of personality and have tourists lined up waiting to pose with them.

The Rynek is full of people. The smells coming from the food stands were delicious.
And the people were lined up wanting to try everything!
Towards the back of the Rynek we found this beautiful Christmas Tree.

This is the back side of Cloth Hall. It is beautiful and serene. It's hard to believe that on the other side of it lies..

....this scene! And the crowd is growing by the minute! This is Christmas in Krakow. It is almost magical! We still have a few minutes to wait before meeting the Elders, so President and I decided to walk down one of the streets leading off from the Rynek.
We found this great musician playing a ????? Not sure what it was, but it had a beautiful sound and the music added a special feeling to the night!
We found our way into this little shop and met our first hat maker! Here she is adding mink to a great hat. I could not justify the price, however, it was gorgeous! But we did buy something.
We met our great Elders who are serving in Krakow... Elder Kalinowski and Elder Pofelski. They were busy and in a hurry so we ate some of the great food that the vendors were cooking. We bought a little of this and a little of that. Everything the Elders told us to buy was great. Isn't that the way it always is?
Elder Kalinwoski decided we needed a little more of the 'Barbequed something'. It was sure good.

The weather was changing on us. As the missionaries headed out on appointments, we headed back to the Hotel which was on the other side of the Wisla River. Earler it was pretty clear and now the fog was upon us. This is one of the walking bridges that spans the river.

This side is the bicycle lane and pretty spectacular at night.
This also is one of those bridges that couples place locks on. One day, as we did in Bydgoszcz, President and I will place a lock on this bridge as well.

This side is the pedestrian side. As we walked over the bridge and then home, we disappeared into the fog. As usual, we have never felt unsafe in Poland. What a great place to serve a mission. I love this country, the people, the members, the future members, the missionaries, the nice policemen who stop my husband on the roads to say "hi" and everything else about Poland!!!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sister Nielsen,
    That instrument you saw was a large and mounted Hammer Dulcimer. By the way, I don't know how else to contact the President except through this blog. I'm wondering if I can be of any assistance in putting together a choir and a couple special musical numbers for Elder Christofferson's visit this coming March. You can write to me at


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