Welcome to Poland! This post will be devoted to “first impressions” of Poland. One of the first things to greet us upon stepping out into the walking paths of Poland was a life-sized mug of beer. The grounds surrounding the ancient castle and cathedral in Krakow have lovely walking paths, and some targeted advertising. The mug of beer is holding a sign that says “Free Beer”.
As we continued our strolling, we came upon this gentleman dressed in some sort of traditional garments and playing the accordion. He gives the camera a sophisticated, one-eyed glance.
We learned the legend of the dragon of Krakow, who tormented the city because he was eating farmers’ livestock. The king offered his daughter’s hand in marriage to the man who could rid the city of the dragon. A peddler’s son created a mixture made with copper and then filled the belly of a sheep’s carcass with the heavy metals. He sewed the sheep back up and planted the body in the field. The peddler’s son tricked the dragon into eating the sheep filled with metal. According to legend, the dragon’s belly grew hot and the dragon raced down to the river and drank water and blew fire, drank water and blew fire. Eventually, he drank so much water that he exploded. So, the peddler’s son won the king’s daughter, and the Polish have a statue on the Vistula River devoted to the dragon (not the peddler or the king or the king’s daughter). The dragon statue breathes fire every couple of minutes. Polish sculptor Bronisław Chromy created the dragon statue.
Along the river, Polish families, students, tourists, and Krakow locals enjoyed the cool fall air and the pleasant intermingling smells of leaves and smoke from leaf fires. Here, people feed the swans, ducks, and pigeons on the banks of the Vistula River, safe from the fire-breathing dragon of days gone by.
First impressions of Poland bring humor and history.