Food is something that brings the world together. Each culture has its own traditions and favorite foods. As a self proclaimed foodie, I was so excited to try cuisines in the countries they originated in. During my travels, I have discovered and will undoubtedly continue to discover culinary treasures around the globe. I am honored to share with you, My Elephant Tribe, the amazing meals I have enjoyed throughout the world.
Day 106: Poland
Today, I adventured out to Zakopane via a tour through Krakow Tours that I booked yesterday. There were only 3 of us on the tour besides our guide. The other two were an older couple from Cyprus. They were very nice and also loved to travel. They were in Poland looking for retirement houses. Apparently, many people retire to the Zakopane area because it is cheap and you get the best of both worlds in terms of weather. There is skiing in the mountains in the winter and the summers are beautiful. While it is a cute little town, I am not sure I could live there year round. Its a good place to visit once a year like Lake Geneva or Galena for my Illinois Elephant Tribe members.
On the way up to Zakopane we stopped at different lookouts along the way. The only thing was that this was a repeat of our Mt. Fuji tour. It was cold, drizzly and extremely foggy. We could not see anything more than 100 feet in front of us. However, I wasn’t going to let the weather get me down. I was excited to see the cute little town that came highly recommend by Natalia, Elizabeth and Arkadiusz. As we pulled up to the town, I knew that the drizzle and cold air were not going to ruin the day. Bad weather can only ruin the day if you let it!
After parking the van, our tour guide let us wander the town for a few hours. He left us with recommendations on where to go for lunch. He looked at me before exiting the van and asked if I ate meat. I gave him a funny look. It was as if he was at my dinner last night. I explained that I do eat meat, but I am trying to stay away from red meat. He left me with a “good luck.”
Great!? I was up for the challenge of finding something tasty that wasn’t red meat. However, it was proving to be a struggle to find a real restaurant at all. There were a lot of buffets, but I actually am not a huge fan of buffets. I find it gross how food is sitting out for extended periods of time under heat lamps or in ice baths while people come by and take what they want and sometimes put back what they don’t, but I digress.
I ended up finding a cute little restaurant with a lodge type atmosphere. I ordered some pierogis and a kielbasa. Success!!! Not red meat was consumed! Both were good. This was my first kielbasa in Poland. I actually really like kielbasa generally, but there really is something about eating food in their native countries that make it that much better. Do you find that to be true as well? If so, what’s the best thing you’ve eaten in the country it originated in?
I finished my lunch and walked up and down the main street. The town of Zakopane has one main street and all of the shops and restaurants line the street. Although, its more of a walkway as cars aren’t driving up and down. I stopped to look at some trinkets and spotted these adorable children in strollers. A little boy and a little girl holding hands while in their strollers. It was so precious. They were so innocent, but you could tell that they loved each other. I don’t know for sure, but they appeared to be friends. Or best friends may be more accurate.
After wandering for a couple of hours I headed back to the van where I stayed for over 3 hours on our way back to Krakow. By the time we arrived back in Krakow I was hungry and tired so I decided to check out this cute restaurant around the corner from my apartment called Pod wawel. I started with a greek salad because I really needed some vegetables. It was overly salted, but the lettuce was crisp and my body was happy to receive the nutrients it had been missing. Given the somewhat limited menu and my exhaustion I wasn’t in the mood to try something new. So, I ordered some pierogis. They were the worst I’ve had so far. They were salty and overly greasy. I would not recommend this restaurant.
Since my day was long and I was exhausted, I went straight to my apartment and got ready for bed. Tomorrow will be an emotionally taxing day.