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Zapiekanka

The train ride back from Auschwitz is somber, but part of the deal with traveling is that you have to see the good with the bad. And sometimes the ugly is an important lesson. But anyway, by the time I get back to Krakow’s city center, dusk is quickly on my heels. I manage to get a couple of shots of the National Theater (now an opera house)…

As I’m thinking about what to eat tonight, I run across this kielbasa van. Let’s just say it’s a Polish food truck and the only item on the menu is the grilled sausage:

Shall we take a closer look at the kielbasa?

…yeah no, I have no desire to going back to being a carnivore.

So I keep walking toward Kazimierz, the Jewish Quarter, where I have no luck entering any of the synagogues that are now closed. There are many bars and restaurants here, and as night falls around me, I see tourists and locals alike ducking into dark venues for a meal. But I spot a long, noisy line in front of this stand and I have to go investigate.

It turns out to be a sandwich shop that specializes in the zapiekanka, which is a halved baguette grilled to perfection with melted cheese, mushrooms, chives, corn, ham or any kind of topping you can think of. It’s cheap street food that you can find all around town, but according to the people standing in line, this location is the place to get it.

The sandwich is the size of Florida (most of the ones you find around town are not this big) and as delicious as it is, by the time I’m half way done I’m exhausted. Need a stomach pump. But I can see why this stand is getting all the business while the nearby competing shops remain empty.

I need a long walk.

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  2. April

    We make Kielbasa and lentil soup in the winter here in Calif., I really like the sausage. I used to be a vegan, but only lasted about 3 years. I’m enjoying your photos and descriptions. Are you traveling alone? I hope you have someone with you.

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