A Swiss in Krakow – surprises: both the globe and the Wisla are turning

The pendulum demonstrates, how the globe is turning

In St. Peter and Paul’s church there is an installation that demonstrates, how the globe is rotating. Kraków is proud of Kopernikus, Foucault and Coriolis.

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Every Thursday, a pendulum is installed above a carpet. The man presenting it shows humor. He hangs the pendulum on to a string, keeps it attached with a rope and asks one of the spectators to burn the rope with a  lighter- the pendulum starts to swing along the carpet.

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There are lines on the carpet, and I understand that every six minutes the pendulum reaches a new line

Towards the Wisla – now I understand – it turns forming a right angle

Next I walk to the Wisla. My plan is to visit Zwieryniec. But I mess it all up. I cross the Wisla using the Grunwald bridge… and, believing this is enough, I follow the Wisla, taking fotos of the Paulinow Church on the rock

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and of a Swiss advertisement that made me feel at home.

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And then, I am confused. I do not recognize the streets here as being part of Zwieryniec. Dlugosza Uliza? Where am I? I have to take a rest and think about this. The small bar Swinka looks inviting. It is lunch time.

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I take a seat on the cosy sofa and eat placki with a light mushroom sauce. I am happy to have found placki without the heavy Gulasz, just a plain meal like the Kartoffelpuffer that my mum (originating from Berlin) prepared.

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As I have calmed down my stomach I have another look at the map and now all becomes clear to me. The Wisla forms a right angle under the Wawel Castle, and crossing the Grunwald bridge coming from the Wawel Castle, I have only crossed the river once, but should have done so twice to reach  Zwieryniec. Actually I have ended up in Podgórze instead. Also the Wisla is “turning”.

The Mangha Museum: Japanese theatre and Max Ernst

I decide to walk back and visit the Japanese Mangha Museum. In an astounding architectural setting it shows woodcarvings that illustrate and advertise Japanese theater from the 18th and 19th century.

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Harmony in the pictures. The plays must be tragedies, because the men always look angry, while the faces of the ladies (also played by men) look mostly gentle.

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Max Ernst is a surrealist. There is a temporary exhibition of drawings and book illustrations he made.  His drawings are fun, but what astounds me most is the ballad of the soldiers that he illustrated: “Soldaten… verteidigt unsere grosse Kultur, die nur wir allein besitzen. Soldaten.” This sounds frightening to me: “Soldiers… defend our great culture that only we and only we own.” I am not sure, whether this is meant seriously, but this is an utterly dangerous statement. Kazimierz would look different today, if such thoughts had never existed.

Back on the Rynek

There is activity on the Rynek: The Christmas market will soon open.

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and I find another trumpeter or hejnal  inviting guests to a hostel in Florianska.

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The hippolite museum – charm of our gran-gran-parents

To top off the day, I visit the hipolit house which shows, how a bourgeois family lived from the 17th to the 19th century, mixing furniture of various styles and being afraid of any empty space or horror vacui. The bourgeois saloons and sleeping rooms were not without charm.

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The hipolit cellar shows fotos of theater plays, and I am surprised to find Dürrenmatt, a Swiss author, here.

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Drinking a cidre in the hipolit bar, I sum up my day. Well, it was not evolving according to my plan, but the unexpected kept great surprises.

The last surprise of today was an Aztecan soup in the Mexican restaurant. It tasted like ten years ago in Mexico, when I had shared it with Ernst. Joanna had created that surprise for me – thank you.

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