7/1- Krakow, Poland
Another day on the phone (about 2 hours in the morning and about 1 hour in the afternoon). I called Pisa, Italy to make sure I could land next Monday. They told me I would need permission from the Army. I called Rome (the number they gave me), sent them a fax as requested, and called again in the afternoon for a "Permission Number". Sounds easy but the total time was probably 1 1/2 hours. My Italian is a little weak. Fortunately, I was able to speak with Steve Fisher who arrived in Pisa today for 6 weeks. His Italian is perfect and he will be able to help me with the arrangements.
We walked around a bit (top pix) and for lunch we went to the Jewish Section, called Kazimierz. Before the war it was a city unto itself. Now it is part of Krakow. There were 60,000 Jews living in Kazimierz when the Nazis invaded Poland. They killed them all. The area is now growing and there is definitely a Jewish community. There are a few Kosher restaurants. (I had chicken livers & onions.)(2nd pix.)
The center square in Krakow is about the same size as St. Marks Square in Venice. Sharon did some shopping for her daughter and daughter-in-law (and her grandchildren)(3rd pix). For dinner we went to a restaurant out of town, up in the hills. It's a beautiful (but old) place with a great view. The Nazis liked it. They used it as a sanitarium for the Luftwaffe. The food cost here is quite low. The food is "just OK" but the service is quite formal. Dinner with wine and caviar was $74. Without the wine and caviar it would have been about $35 for the four of us.
I just called the office and they told me that "the bills are coming in." I don't mean parking, landing, fuel, etc. That I pay as we go. I got a bill from England for the use of their ATC (Air Traffic Control) system for about $42. I also got a bill from Sweden, where we just stopped for fuel. That bill was $250. $200 was for the use of their airport and $50 for the use of their ATC system. The fuel and other aviation costs here have been hefty. On the other hand, this is the trip of a lifetime. I guess if we wanted to go cheaper, we would have chartered the Concorde.
The bottom picture has led to some controversy. I have continued my research on the dress code of European females. (I distorted the face since I do not have releases from the subjects.) This obviously is another example (this time in Poland) of the disgraceful way women dress. The controversy is due to the fact that Sharon & Judy feel that in order not to be considered "sexist" I should also include pictures of men. I DID therefore look around for a suitable example to include, but the only good looking model I found was me, but no one would take my picture and my delay timer does not work on my camera.
Tomorrow it is on to Budapest, Hungary. The weather is supposed to be rainy between Krakow and Budapest, as well as in Budapest itself. I don't mind flying in it but it sure is a pain (mostly for Sharon) to repack clothes in wet weather.