We were out of bed at 7, together (no coffee in the room) and went down for a cup of coffee. The waiter from the night before was on duty again and we laughed and asked what room he was in. He was a very educated young man in his early 20 and was studying chemistry with dreams of going to America.
Over coffee we made our plan for the day, check-in was 2 and we wanted to go to Mass so why not the St. John Paul II shrine in Krakow. I figured it was about 1 ½ hours away so went to shower and pack our 2 grocery bags we used for luggage. I think we are done lugging all these bags in and out. It actually worked out pretty good except we looked like homeless people.
We went back in for breakfast and forgot the camera again, I think it’s tired too. They made us eggs to go along with the nice buffet they had and refreshed and ready we paid the bill and got into Jag. Susan set the GPS and it said we would arrive at 12:10, late for the noon mass. Have no fear Jag is here, we arrived at 11:40 and time for a cup of coffee.
We went into Mass downstairs where it usually is and to our surprise we heard beautiful music from the main church upstairs. We were excited, for in the 3 times we have been here we never attended a Mass in the upper church.
Click here for more information about the John Paul II Center in Krakow, with some great photos from Tom & Sue’s previous trip.
Today they were celebrating a high Mass and there had to be 20 priest and 2 Deacons. Mass was beautiful and when the homily started I took a walk to the little boys room, the long way and slowly climbed the stairs back figuring it had to be close to the end. Wrong, it was another 20 minutes and we really get disappointed………we can’t understand, especially when the voice of the priest is so inviting.
After the Mass ended we got in the car and headed for our Apartment. There will be plenty of time at the shrine and I have to clean this stick I just changed in the camera because all the photos are from last year in Krakow and we have different clothes, well at least Susan does!
The apartment is only 10 minutes away with traffic and when we got there the girl meeting us hadn’t arrived so Susan got out and I went around the block. They we talking and she didn’t realize I booked parking and I passed the entrance so around the block I went again and we were finally in. This is the hardest part of booking apartments but we are used to it and it is worth it, as was with this place, pretty nice and big. For the next week we will be very comfortable and the Old Town is just around the block, trust me I know.
Susan unpacked, as usual, all the suitcases for the last time and I went to the market hopefully for the last time. We don’t know where the time went and every day has been a spiritual adventure like we have never had before. We didn’t know if it would be difficult traveling the country, especially into small villages and where we knew people hardly or ever see Americans but we made out fine. It has been truly a marvelous adventure we will never forget.
Krakow is like home and we know our way around the Old Town pretty well, so we have our favorite places to go and that’s what we did around 6 PM for dinner. We left the apartment and after 4 minutes when we got to 3 Franciszkanska, where we have met with Cardinal Dziwisz 3 times and where our friend Fr. Tomasz still lives, it started to rain and it was cold so I did the noble thing and bought an umbrella (like we needed one, we had 2 of our own in Jag and 3 in the apartment). It stopped raining right after I opened it. I tried to sell it for 1/3 of the price but I didn’t get any takers. Hopefully it will rain again before we get home so I don’t feel so stupid.
We got the last table at this Hungarian restaurant that has the best goulash we have ever had, plus a mixed sausage and kelbasa casserole full of wild mushrooms. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, so that’s what we ordered, the same as the last time we were here. The owner recognized us after we started laughing and joking with our waitresses. The owner said hello and waited on us the rest of the evening. We all laughed and laughed, as everyone else in the place was reserved and somber.
I tried to sell her the umbrella when the bill came and I was going to throw in the plastic handle wrap and sheath for free. More laughter and down right stupidity and then we all hugged and they were still laughing as we went out the door.
Still no rain so I lowered the price and as we passed the stand where I bought it I thought she might buy it back and sell it again for a tidy profit but Susan wouldn’t let me. We were home in less than 10 minutes and it started raining as soon as we got in the door. We had BBC on the TV and watched some news and checked e-mails, we had a bunch and it was great. One of our friends sister, whom he had been forwarding our reports to, sent him an e-mail to thank us so he forwarded this beautiful response to us and we thought we would share it with all of you. Things like this make these pilgrimages all worth while.
I got ready for bed and Susan wanted to watch TV so I laid down to say my prayers and that’s all I remember.
God bless all of you
Susan & Tom