Because we were so tired from our crazy day on Thursday, we took it easy on Friday instead of going to Czestochowa as planned. It was a bummer I didn’t get to make the pilgrimage, but I’ll be back someday. Plus, Niki and I got to spend some more quality time together in Krakow.
That really was one of the best parts of the trip… catching up with one of my best friends! We had lots of long train rides, tram rides, and walks from place to place during which to talk about everything. As we do. This time, because we were in Poland, we ended up talking about our families a lot, but of course then the subject would change to weddings, and then to relationships, and then devolve into our usual gossip and propensity to fixing our friends’ problems. Totally normal.
So yeah. We went and saw the castle, Wewel, up close and personal.
The castle is actually connected to the cathedral, so we got to see that, too. The cathedral is pretty boss… a whole lot of former Polish monarchs are buried there, many of whom are now saints! Including St. Stanislaus. I got to see some relics of his, and also the crucifix which according to legend spoke to St. Hedwig in prayer. I think relics are pretty sweet, and I feel like there is a proportionally greater amount of them in Europe than in the US. I’m sure there are official statistics about that somewhere.
We walked around in the main square again so I could see it in the daylight sans bike race, and also so that I could buy presents that my family had so kindly requested that I bring home to them. At this point, we were pretty tired and thirsty, so we stopped and had a drink on the square. I love Europe.
For the rest of Friday, we spent time with Niki’s family who continued to cook us delicious food, watched YouTube videos, and took part in ridiculous shenanigans which you can now find on Facebook.
Saturday was my last day in Krakow, sadly. There was one more important landmark which I had not yet seen, but fortunately it is relatively close to the airport, so I was able to go shortly before I departed for Prague. Mrs. Demkowicz drove us over to the Divine Mercy sanctuary, which is built around the convent where St. Maria Faustina once lived and the chapel where she had her visions of Christ and wrote her diary on which the Divine Mercy devotion is based.
We were able to enter the chapel, venerate a relic of St. Faustina, and pray for a while there. Then, we got to see the newly-built and very modern basilica and the many chapels therein, and we went up to the top of the attached tower and see a fantastic view of Krakow.
All in all, a great way to end a fantastic week! In continuation of my current trend of barely doing any schoolwork and being generally irresponsible, I am going to Vienna tomorrow. Stay tuned!