Krakow – Art Galleries

As I mentioned yesterday, I was looking to visit some Art Galleries while in Krakow.  However, there are many ‘Museums’ in the city and it wasn’t clear which would have what I was looking for.  So I popped into the Tourist Information Centre, where a young lady swiftly put 5 crosses on one of her free maps. (The map was upside down so I was very impressed with her knowledge of the city – especially when I subsequently discovered that each one was precisely marked!)

My plan was to visit 2, maybe 3, so I set off for the furthest away, which was the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow (or MOCAK for short).  There I discovered a particular exhibition of sculptures by Krzysztof M. Bednarski entitled Karl Marx vs Moby Dick.  (Now there’s a match you don’t see every day).  I’ve shown only a few of his items below, but what that man cannot do with heads of Marx and metal shapes representing a whale is not worth knowing about.

Note that I’ve split this post into the different galleries that I visited, so don’t forget to page further down…  🙂

Next up was the National Museum.  Here there were a number of different themes, including some Henry Moore sculptures, various arts and crafts and an extensive collection of works by the prolific Stanislaw Wyspianski.

I still had some time to spare so I wandered along to the Jozef Czapski Pavilion.  Here I was a little disappointed.  There are one or two paintings on display, but the building is a sort of annexe to the Emeryk Hutten-Czapski Museum.  It houses an important collection of Polish coins and medals, which is OK if you like that sort of thing…

Just around the corner was, perhaps my favourite of them all, the EUROPEUM or Centre for European Culture.  This was to be the last I visited.  (The 5th is above the Cloth Market or Sukiennice in the Main Square in case you ever decide to visit).  And, I think it’s perhaps fitting, given the reason I went to Krakow, that the last image is of the inside of a Tavern!  🍻 Cheers!

 

 

Krakow – Stag weekend

I’ve just returned from a fabulous extended weekend in Krakow, Poland.  I was invited by my future son-in-law, Karl, to participate in his Stag weekend together with his dad, his 3 younger brothers and 3 of his best friends.  We arrived on Friday night and after a few beers, (of course), found a nice restaurant and a few more beers in a local bar.

The following morning, it was down to a nearby Park for the 5k (3 mile) Parkrun which started at 9am. I wasn’t going to run (due to my dodgy calf), but decided to give it a go.  It lasted about 4.5k before I had to nurse it along to the finish to be 125th out of the 201 runners and 3rd of the 6 of our group who ran.  🙂  I mention this ‘result’ because the next event was Go-Karting, where I was soundly beaten into last place!  It seems Karl and his brothers played the Super-Mario Karting game a lot when they were younger and Karl always chose to be Yoshi.  So Karl was suitably dressed up for the occasion – as he was for the trip to the Games pub in the Old Town for the après-Kart celebrations.

After a nice breakfast and a quiet walk around the Old Town on the Sunday morning, it was down to the Bull Pub to watch the Liverpool v Burnley Premier League match.  The guys had to leave by 6pm to catch their flight back to the UK, but I stayed on for two more days and I’ll post some more pics of that tomorrow…

 

Winter walk from Arolla to Les Haudères

After several more days of sub-zero temperatures in the Val d’Hérens (both during the day and overnight) the forecast for today was for up to 4 degrees C (39 F).  😅  So, to take advantage of this balmy weather, I decided to take the bus up to Arolla and walk back to Les Haudères.

Again I decided not to take the snow shoes, which was a big mistake, (some people never learn 🤭), as the snow was thigh deep in places and, even where people had gone before, it was much more difficult to wade through than I expected.   However, after one or two detours via the road (and a quick refreshment at La Gouille), the path thereafter became much easier and I soon made it to Les Haudères.

Note that the first 3 photos below were taken from the bus on the way up to Arolla.

 

Merry Christmas Everyone

The clock is ticking and we are nearing Christmas Day here in Western Europe, though I do know it is already past midnight in Australia.  So I’d like to take this opportunity to wish all of my followers a Merry Christmas and a very peaceful new year.

The photo below was taken by my wife a few years ago now and features a very festive looking male Eurasian Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula).

Cheers everyone! 🍻

Merry Christmas

Circular Walk via La Sage, La Forclaz, Sépey and Les Haudères

Grass plays a very important part in the lifecycle of the mountains.  It’s around this time of year that the farmers take their second cut to feed the animals during the long cold winter.  And, of course, where there is grass, you will often find an abundance of tiny creatures, which leap out of your way as you walk along the paths.  Below are just some of the grasshoppers and crickets that I managed to capture.  (They are devilishly quick at jumping out of the way when you approach with a camera).

I’m often asked what’s the difference between a cricket and a grasshopper and the answer is that, in general, crickets have very long antennae, whereas the grasshopper’s are quite short.  The same sort of distinction can be made between moths and butterflies where, again in general, the latter have a sort of bulb at the end of their antennae, while moths don’t and theirs can be more feathery or saw-edged.

The Inn Way to the Peak District (4 of 4)

From Tideswell Colin and I followed the official route east to Eyam and then north across Eyam Moor.  However, as we approached Stoke Ford we veered off east to Hathersage, instead of west to Castleton, to complete our circuit.  It was possibly the shortest of the 4 days at around 11 miles or 17.5 km.

Throughout the 4 days we had been in just shorts and tee shirts all day, but the fine weather finally broke as we approached the penultimate pub.  So there was only one thing to do – take shelter and wait for the shower to pass by… 😊  Cheers! 🍻

The Inn Way to the Peak District (3 of 4)

By contrast to all the ‘Edges’ of Day 1 and the many villages visited during Day 2, Day 3 included two very tranquil and secluded riverside walks – one along Lathkill Dale and the other by the side of the River Wye up Monsal/Millar’s Dale.  Despite it being the longest day at 16 miles or 25.5 km, the less hilly terrain gave us plenty of time to have 2 very pleasant refreshment stops.  The first was at the Cock and Pullet, in Sheldon and  the second at the Monsal Head Hotel.  From there it was a very easy stroll (or should that be stagger? 🤔) to our finish in Tideswell.

Just in case you are wondering about the last picture… (“Not another beer?” or maybe “That’s a different tee shirt!” I hear you say…)  It was taken by Colin at the end of Day 2 and I should have posted it yesterday, but I forgot.  I thought it deserved an airing as it captures the true spirit of the walk. 🙂

The Inn Way to the Peak District (2 of 4)

With another fine day forecast, Colin and I left Pilsley, heading south east and along the road, back onto the official Inn Way at Chatsworth House.  The route then followed the course of the River Derwent south, through the very peaceful villages of Beeley and Rowsley before turning south west through Stanton in Peak to Birchover.  From there we turned north west across Harthill Moor to Youlgrave.

Around early afternoon, we considered going slightly off the route and downhill to the pub in Stanton, but decided to press on to stop at one (or maybe both 😉) of the two pubs in Birchover, only to find that both of them were closed!  (Mondays in the Peak District must be very quiet normally).  So, like the day before, but for a different reason, it was a very ‘dry’ day.

 

The Inn Way to the Peak District (1 of 4)

Regular readers with good memories may recall that last year my mate Colin and I did 4 days of the Inn Way to the Yorkshire Dales.   Well, we had so much fun (how could you not, with all that fresh air and real ale available 😊) that we decided to tackle another of the five routes in the Inn Way Series – this time, the Peak District.  As before we only did 4 days of a possible 6, by cutting across back to Hathersage instead of continuing on to Castleton.  (See overview route map below).

We had trouble finding accommodation in Baslow, so our first day would take us, slightly off route, to a wonderful B&B, with a HUGE cooked breakfast, called Holly Cottage, in Pilsley.

Our aim was to start at 11am but, thanks to not one, but two, cancelled Northern trains from Sheffield, Colin’s arrival in Hathersage was delayed by an hour an a half and we set off at 1pm.  This meant a cracking pace had to be set in order to reach our destination 14.5 miles or 23km later.   The route took us over the top of Stanage Edge, then south along White Edge, Froggat Edge and finally Curbar Edge, before dropping down through Baslow to Pilsley.