Thursday, July 10th we moved apartments. If you remember from my blog of Diaster and Destruction, we were in a five floor walk up in Kazimierz with my Mother (Bubie) due to arrive on July 11th. True to their word, Jacek and Natasha met us at our old apartment at 10:00 and moved us to our new apartment 1/2 way between Old Town and Kazimierz. It's a beautiful apartment and a great location. It is located on a main street so it is a lot noiser than before but we have markets, bakeries, a butcher and a gelato shop all within a block. Most importantly, it is only one flight up! (Thank you again Jacek and Natasha for your help in our crisis). We spent the rest of the afternoon settling in and exploring our new neighborhood.
Friday morning we took the train out to the airport to meet Bubie who's arrival we anxiously awaited. It was a successful meeting but with a sad result. Avocet left her new purse that she had purchased in Zakopane in the bathroom and by the time she realized it, it was gone. There were lots of tears for the loss of a well loved purchase. Hopefully the lesson that came with it will help her hold on to future purchases.
After a day of rest on Saturday (it was the Sabbath after all) we headed to Kazimierz. Kazimierz is the old Jewish Quarter of Krakow and is now a lively area with restaurants, shops, cafes and of course, a lot of Jewish History. When you arrive in the Szeroka Plaza area, you are greeted by cobblestone streets, lovely trees and some of the many cafes and restaurants. In the middle of the Plaza is a memorial to the 65,000 Krakow Jews who were murdered during the Holocaust - a very sobering monument in the midst of such a pretty Plaza. While there are numerous synagogues to see, we choose to see only two, Remuh, the smallest synagogue and the only one still actually used and Isaac's Synagogue which was Krakow's largest.
The Remuh Synagogue was established in 1553 with one of the best preserved Renaissance Jewish cemeteries anywhere in Europe. The synagogue is simple but very stylized. For me, the most moving part of the synagogue were the plaques that you could see in the courtyard. Donations were made to the synagogue in memory of loved ones, many who perished in the Holocaust, and in reading them, you could feel the loss of these individuals as well as of this city.
Isaac's Synagogue is no longer used as a synagogue but instead, is strictly a museum. This synagogue is new in comparison to Remuh having been established in 1640. It is huge compared to the Remuh Synagogue. At the time we were visiting the Isaac's Synagogue, there was an Israeli Art Exhibit going on with many moving photographs of the early days of Israel (Palestine).
Food and drink were in order at this point so we stopped in a nearby outdoor cafe. We all had Italian food except for Avocet, our "picky eater" who went Polish and had a plate of Pierogi Ruskie (a potato filled dumpling).