European Mountains, Poland

Krakow sightseeing, July 2 2013

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From Market Square to Wawel Hill

From Market Square to Wawel Hill
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Our destination for this one-week summer holiday was the Tatra mountains in Slovakia, but Anne and me decided to stop by Krakow and see some of the city, meet some friends, rent a car and continue to Slovakia.

We flew out of Oslo on July 2nd and landed in Krakow in the afternoon. We stayed at Hotel Europejski - close to the Market Square. We had a couple of nice strolls in the central part of the city and were blown away by mighty architecture...


Krakow sightseeing - Wawel Hill

Krakow sightseeing - Wawel Hill
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Our stay in Krakow was nice but a burn I got from close contact with a stove in a mountain cabin had me a bit worried. I had treated the burn as best as I could but I wasn't sure if I had done it properly. Better have it looked at before heading to Slovakia.


A small hospital story...

On July 3rd, I went to the hotel reception and asked where the Emergency Clinic was located (Google translated the Norwegian word Legevakt to Emergency Services, so I figured I was safe with my own version). The receptionist drew a circle on the map and sent me on my way...

I found the address, but the place looked anything but an Emergency Clinic. No one spoke English so I just had to get in line. I stood in line for a while, together with a number of really old women. When it finally was my turn, the man on the other side of the desk (surely not a Doctor) turned his computer around and used Google Translate to explain to me that I was at a Bone Clinic and that perhaps I was lost?

I explained my case - via Google Translate - and the man gave me a new address...

After half an hour of walking the streets of Krakow, I found the address. I ended up in a new line together with young women with children. When it was finally my turn, the Doctor/receptionist told me - in English - that this was a Children's Emergency Clinic. And that I should just cross the street.

I crossed the street, then walked around for quite a while and finally ended up on a large hospital area. I was wandering about there for a good twenty minutes - completely lost. I finally found a guy who spoke English and he was crystal clear in his direction, and even gave me a house number.

I found the house number. The building belonged to the University but there was not a clinic there. I actually started losing faith...

I stopped another random person on the street, and this person pointed me down a side alley. I had my doubts heading into this alley, but the alley actually led me to a building  that DID LOOK LIKE an Emergency clinic! Hallelujah!!

I went in and headed over to the receptionist. He shook his head when I asked him if he spoke English. He handed me a paper with all sorts of questions I had to answer. In Polish, of course. I answered the questions - to the best of my ability - and returned the paper.

"European insurance?", the man asked and revealed some English skills after all. "Sure", I said - and showed him my "Europeiske Reiseforsikring" card. I knew very well that my travel insurance had nothing to do with the European insurance he was asking for, but I put up a firm look on my face. He looked at my card and seemed to shrug his shoulders. In any case, he asked me to go and wait.

Mentally, I prepared to wait for hours. After all, I had - seemingly - found the right place. But only one minute passed before my name was called. Two persons led me into a room with five other medical workers. Two of them attended to my burn (cleansing, cleaning,...), one took the blood pressure, one did an oxygen reading and one filled out a report. Very efficient and impressive, but all I could think about was: 100 Euros, 200 Euros, 300 Euros,...

Then I was led into another room and after a short while, a Doctor came along. She examined the burn and said to me "I don't think we have to operate!". My pulse skyrocketed. Not because I was disappointed, but because I hadn't even considered the idea. But then she said "it looks good" and dismissed me.

Back with the receptionist, I asked for the 3rd time what this would cost me, but he also just shook his head and said "it's ok, it's ok...".

I returned to the hotel with three things on my mind; 1) I will tell the receptionist where the "Emergency clinic" is located, 2) I was still very impressed with the Polish emergency services and 3) what the heck does "it's ok, it's ok" mean?

To be on the safe side, I called my insurance company (If Forsikring) and told them about the incident. They just told me to get in touch in case "it's ok, it's ok" means that "we will bill you".

And bill me, they did. Aug 30th, Szpital Uniwersytecki w Krakowie sent me an invoice of 450 Zloty. I paid the bill and contacted my insurance company. They just asked for my bank account and the whole thing was settled in an instant. No paperwork needed. Quite amazing, really...

Dinner with friends

Now that the medical situation was under control, we could focus on this afternoon's dinner with our friends Grzes and Patrycja from Krakow who we met during our holiday in Montenegro in 2012. We met at the restaurant Miód Malina on Market Square and had a very enjoyable evening!


Dinner with Grzes and Patrycja

Dinner with Grzes and Patrycja
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On July 4, we sat course for Slovakia and new adventures....



The pictures were taken with a Canon EOS 550D + Canon EF-S 18-200mm 3.5-5.6 IS


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Krakow sightseeing, July 2 2013

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