sobota, 16 sierpnia 2014

A short visit to Kraków

American students form the "Semester At Sea" project were given the opportunity to go to Kraków. The ship remained in Gdańsk while I took them for a 4-day bus trip.
Fran, the coordinator  and I had a really good time together, strenghtened by the necessity to handle various adventures to which we were exposed by some daring students :)

The major stop was in Częstochowa for lunch

We had the meal in the Town Hall Restaurant "Pod Ratuszem":

the Townhall

It was on the eve of the Assumption of the Holy Mary Day, so we had the opportunity to see some pilgrims heading for the convent seen at the far end of this photo.

Virgin Mary Alley leading to the Monastery with the sacred icon of Black Madonnna
(the tower in the background)

Coming back to the coach after lunch: Daniel on the left, in front of him Fran with her daughter Hannah, and her mother on the right
In Kraków there was much to do in terms of organisation and discipline:) We visited the city and Wawel Castle - City Guide Marta Szydłowska - thank you :), Auschwitz, the Salt Mine and Schindler's Factory where the latter showed a very good and comprehensive exhibition of the German occupation time in Kraków.

The two nights after sightseeing were fairly free. I was invited to dinner in the city centre by my American staff members, Fran, her Mum and the Mum's friend. We had a meal near the Main Market Square, the carriage ride including :)

Some quick snapshots during the guided tour:

The Cloth Market

St Mary's Church

One of the facades

Wawel Castle Yard

Royal decorations

Kraków is a vibrant city and features all kinds of entertaiment all over the week. Here a well known soprano Bożena Zawiślak-Dolny

Some photographs taken in the evening on the way to the city centre:

Marshall Piłsudski and the soldiers of the Legion formed by him in 1914.
My Grandfather Stanisław Thun was one of them

The Legion soldiers and the first stanza of a very famous Legion song
that was forbidden under the communist regime.

A famous Kraków-based lady painter of 19 c.

The plaque by a private sponsor for unkown reason  as the writer never had home in Kraków

On the way into the Old Town and the Jagiellonian University district
Jagiellonian University's Collegium Maius

The Jagiellońska street - a plaque commemorating the organisation "Zegota" bringing help to the Jews under Nazi occupation. Placed on the wall of the house the clandestine seat was located

Group photo taken down the Salt Mine in Wieliczka in the Chapel made of salt

My perfect company and me sitting to the left:
above me Lourdes, little Hannah and Fran, next to me Fran's Mum

Thank you Fran Slayton, the programme's coordinator, for the great time together, specifically when handling the results of the students' exploration of the city of the "total immersion" type which, as every language teacher will say, is the best method of learning :)