We started early as we wanted to beat the crowds at the salt mine. I told the boys at breakfast I'm done with the travelling. This is my last trip. I'm over the beds, the pillows, the over heated rooms, the dynamics of group travelling, the whole lot. I'm not sure they believed me. I had a terrible night... No sleep. The room was stifling. I had opened the window but at 1/4 to 3 people outside were still being rowdy so had to shut it. I don't think the cooling does anything. David said he thinks it's turned off. I agree. They have this old fashioned notion that there are seasons or dates that things start and stop on. We are out of season. The official season for travel finished just before we started.
So I guess I was feeling pretty miserable... My back is sore, my hip is very painful and my ribs just aren't improving. He has done something for sure because when I feel under my boobs it's all lumpy and hard. Something has gone very wrong. I'll need to get to a doctor when I get back. It's very wearing, and constantly painful to breathe, move, reach, sleep, dress and undress, manage my day pack and move my big bag around. It's also a pain to to list and shower. Miserable.
I was worried about going to the salt mine as I knew it would be a lot of walking and many many steps. I decided to give my knee straps a go as well as my walking stick as I really didn't want to miss out. Alan isn't endearing himself to me at all. He was calling me a cripple. I have totally and permanently changed my mind about him. He's not nice at all. I think he knows something is wrong and he doesn't know how to fix it, so is making it worse.
The salt mines are surprisingly pretty good. Didn't see or hear a huge amount about salt mining but the caves or caverns were very impressive. The salt carvings were just brilliant and the cathedral was breath taking. Even the chandeliers were made of salt. I will upload the photos. There were so many stairs that Lynne really struggled. At the cathedral she started to go down but then freaked out and went back up. She then decided to go down about 50 or more stairs on her bottom. She's truly not right. We have renamed her The Claw. She just latches on to whoever is nearest without asking with this very bony hand and digs in. It's creepy, sad and weird. When we went down into the mine and finally up again we went in one of those little lifts. We were squashed in like sardines, and then the guide got in... And then they had to manoeuvre us to get the doors shut. She was burrowed into David like a tick. We decided she shouldn't be here. Never happy never wrong knows everything Lynne can't walk any distance at all. Every time we turn around she is sitting down. When I got my stick out she came rushing up and said oh yes... My stick is like that but it has flowers on it and it's much better than yours and I need it more than you do. And on and on. Eventually I had to ask.... Well where is it?? In Perth... Nothing else needs to be said really does it.
After that Rita wanted to take us for lunch. It was 10.30. We rebelled. So back on the bus and back to the old town where we had to kill time until the guide turned up. She was very nice, but kind of loud and unruly in her manner. She showed us through stuff at the speed of light, the obligatory cathedrals, a history lesson in double quick time and a good look around. We were set free at lunchtime and Kevin and I made a beeline for the pretzel stand which we had passed but were too slow to buy anything on the first pass. We wandered back to the street where I'd seen leather gloves in every colour imaginable. I picked up a pair of chocolate brown ones. I'll have them if Kelly doesn't want them. They are lovely with little buttons down the sides. That done and being parched we found somewhere for lunch... A snack and a beer. Libby had a sausage salad. The sausage was obviously polish but it was delicious. It wasn't hard like kransky it was soft and so tasty. She left way too many pieces that I needed to make sure weren't wasted. We sat for a while and saw a popup dance performance and a flash mob. It was over as quickly as it started. Excellent. Then we were in the best spot to hear the trumpeter play from the tower of one of the churches. I'm not sure how often he did it, but it was good. It was 25 degrees and just a magnificent day.
On our way back the four of us disputed the right way to the hotel.. Kevin and I were proved right once the map had been dragged out. The names are so difficult to get your head around and to find on the map. I guess ours are the same for foreigners to make sense if too. We only had time for a quick break before we had to go back out to visit the Jewish quarter and the Jewish restaurant. David and Kevin had clearly slept as they looked bright eyed and ready for anything.
I had only done some exercises on the floor and caught up on emails etc.
Back on the bus with the same guide and whizzing around the Jewish quarter just on dusk. As a treat we were able to go into the Schindler museum. You know Oscar Schindler the German who saved many many Jews from certain death. Unfortunately it was very rushed, but the alternative was not to see it at all.. It was really worth seeing. I think we needed an extra day here and this museum should be a half day. Some of the others were so rude about it. Swearing at the top of their voices. Ted and Alan. Two pigs together.
The guide took us on a lightening walk as it was getting dark really quickly and then said what would you like to do? Walk more or eat. Of course the two Lynne's and Steve wanted to eat. Neurotic Lynne wants to eat at 5 and be in bed by 8pm, never happy Lynne can't walk and wants to sit down at every opportunity and Steve just wants to eat. David was pissed off about it. He wanted to walk... As it was now dark, what would we have seen? We really needed to do the walk earlier in the day. Or as I said, an extra day to see it.
We had a beautiful Jewish meal. It started with a chicken broth with noodles in it. They were homemade with parsley in them. It was a big bowl!
Quick smart after that came the main meal. Omg! 3 big boiled potatoes with parsley, a vegetable or chutney as David said of spiced carrot and raisins and then the meat... The biggest chicken breast I've ever seen coat with something vaguely peanutty and covered with almonds. It was a ginormous meal. I got through maybe half the chicken and half the carrot stuff. It was absolutely beautiful but I was defeated. David scoffed his and then we swapped plates. He polished off my chicken and most of the carrot stuff before he gave up. Bugger me, sweets and tea and coffee appeared as well. It was a chocolate roll with very thick whipped cream in it. It had a strong grog taste which none of us could safely identify but maybe it was kirsch? I ate the cake and left the cream. The boys polished theirs off.
Feeling overfill we were back on the bus and heading back to the motel for an early night as we leave at 7.30 in the morning.
At the restaurant I asked Rita about Rolandus the bus driver. She said he has to sit and wait for us while we are wherever we are. She takes him his food wrapped in foil. When we got back to the hotel I asked him if he would have a glass of beer with us one night before we go home. He said he's not allowed. He's not treated badly but also not well. I don't like it.
Steve has also been renamed The Flash. He never stops taking photos. Never. He doesn't look at anything we are seeing he is too busy capturing it on film. He must take thousands a day. He uses the rapid fire setting where he gets 5 or so each time he presses the shutter. That's all he does, run from opportunity to opportunity. Kevin is ready to kill him as he just keeps coughing and coughing and coughing. They are ear piercing dry coughs. We now have a few consumptives on the bus. Libby is sick, Rita said Ted was but we think he had a hangover. The claw coughs up her spleen every few minutes. We think she's been a heavy smoker. It's a very full wet cough that makes you want to dry reach. Yuk! Rita has the sore throat. So far we are ok. I was so sick before I left... I don't want it again.
A big night of way too many painkillers to see if I can get a good night sleep.