Saturday 15th October 05

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 We all woke around the 9am and congregated in the main living area of the Big Florian Apartment.

 We had a compact kitchen and could quite easily have cooked ourselves a breakfast but none of us felt like playing chef this morning.

Instead we switched on the TV and flicked through the thousand channels available from the satellite dish.

We were quite shocked to stumble across several unscrambled porn channels at this time of the day! "Hello my friend, do you like porn for breakfast?"

We couldn't quite believe it so we had a second look before settling on some Bundesliga football on Setanta Sports.

When I got up to open the window for some fresh air (with five men in a room it was getting a little smelly) I noticed for the first time that we had an amazing view of the Florian gate and the old wall.

I risked life and limb by leaning out of the window to get a decent photo!

It was turning into a gloriously sunny morning so by 10am we all decided to finally brave the new day and hunt out a decent breakfast.

We were aiming for the street where we ate pierogi yesterday. We spotted a cafe there that advertised breakfasts.

We walked alongside the old wall looking at the colourful display of artwork that covered it.  The artists stood below them trying to make a sale. I did have a brief look but I couldn't spot any masterpieces.


We continued to walk along ul. Pijarska under a bridge that resembled the Bridge of Sighs. The architecture here was superb. I wondered if it was part of the historical Jagiellonian University?  It remnded me of a similar bridge in Oxford.

Then right on the corner of ul. Slawkowska we noticed a tiny little blue tit in the road. He must have been struck by a car. He was bleeding from the mouth but was still clinging onto life with his little wings twitching in agony. It was a tragic sight and I couldn't allow him to suffer a moment longer.

So I put my size 11 boot over his delicate little body and shifted my weight over. I heard him chirp his last tune with his final breath. It was followed immediately by the awful noise of his fragile little bones cracking. Then it was over. He was no more, he was a dead tit.

Whilst I felt sad I had justified it to myself as 'doing the right thing' and anyway, I didn't dwell on it for too long.

Moving on down ul. Slawkowska we found the 'Nikita Bar' which we had noticed yesterday. It listed "breakfast" as one of its specialities and it didn't disappoint as I really enjoyed my blinis with cream cheese, fried onions and mushrooms.

Everyone else went for what the Nikita Bar described as the 'Anglo-Saxon' breakfast.

It was only toast with scrambled eggs and ham but it was greatfully received but it was the nearest thing they had to the traditional hangover comfort food of a full cooked English breakfast.

Oh, when I said everyone I meant everyone except for Nathan who went for the peculiar choice of Penne Arrabiata for breakfast !  I suppose it was almost lunch.

After our feeding we came down to the main square where there was a Breast Cancer Charity event taking place. There were pink ballons everywhere. We arrived in time to see it officially opened by a military marching band.

I don't know if it was just me but I thought there was something incredibly camp in the way they marched!?

It was like "Left, right, ooops a daisies ...."  almost like a dance routine!

A large stage in the centre of the square was in place for some bands to entertain the crowd. I waited for a while to see the first act.

The city's mayor, stood on the stage and spoke with a awful monotonous voice over the loudspeaker system. What little crowd that was there were beginning to look bored already! I gave some zlotys to the cause and made my excuses.

We left the excitement of the fundraising behind and walked around the stalls inside the cloth hall for half an hour.

Before coming to Poland Julie had told me not to buy her some 'waste of money' token gift such as perfume or amber jewellery. So I didn't.

I tried to find something interesting to buy her but I found most of what was available to be touristy rubbish or garish jewellery.

Both David and Steve did buy amber jewellery for their respective partners but they somehow managed to find some that wasn't at all garish!

With hindsight I really should have bought some token gift though, some slippers or a traditionally dressed doll. Especially as I did buy myself a 'POLSKA' T-Shirt and a large Polish flag!  That could be misinterpereted as being a little bit selfish! Ah well ...... too late now.

We left the cloth hall behind, some of us laden with gifts and some of us not, and followed ul. Grodska all the way down towards the castle. The streets of Florianska and Grodska that lead from the Florian Gate to Wislaw Castle is known as the Royal Way.

Historically the king would have a ceremonial procession along this route when he entered or left the city. 

Despite the absence of cars there was still the real danger of being run over by speeding horse drawn carriages!

The problem was that they drove like they were being chased by a band of blood thirsty Cherokees! The speed they galloping at was ridiculous! They followed a route starting at the main square Rynek Glowny, trotting down to Wislaw Castle, round along the planty, up to the Florian Gates and back down to the square.

The "sightseeing" trip must have been a blur!  I wonder if they have actually run people over?

Grodska was a bustling pedestrianised street full of buskers and beggars. The best buskers by far were two elderly performers who were joyfully playing their music with great gusto.

The guy sitting down was the spit of Robin Williams and he was merrily squeezing his huge accordion to produce a stomping great tune.  The old lady accompaning him, who must have been his mother, was surprisingly nimble enough run her fingers up and down the neck of the double bass at quite some tempo, despite looking as if she was crippled by arthritis.

©Steve Jones

Down Grodska we did see one or two beggars on the street. They appeared to be old ladies, bent over on the floor, begging, crying, woefully moaning, dressed in mournful black rags. Any sympathy gathered however was lost when Steve noticed her sparkling new Nike trainers!

They were probably recovered from a skip and three sizes to big but it was so funny to see Steve's face when he saw them!

At the end of the street we reached the magnificent view of the gloriously gothic/renaissance Wawel Castle. It was built in the early 16th century by King Sigismund who employeed the best Italian & German architects and artists.

We had the option of spending sometime exploring the castle. It houses a museum, a church, and a fabled dragon's lair, but I was particularly interested in finding a bizarre phenomenon that existed there.

According to Hindu scholars, they believe that when Lord Vishnu threw seven sacred stones across the world they landed in Rome, Jerusalem, Mecca, Delhi, Delphi, Velehrad, .... and Krakow!?

The Earth Chakra on Wawel Hill is meant to be a vortex of energy release that would improve your well-being.

Not feeling particularly vibrant and buoyant we all could have done with a dousing of those negative ions but we decided to leave the castle and her supernatural power shower for a return trip to Krakow.

Instead we decided to make the effort to find our way over to another of Krakow's attractions. The world renowned Salt Mines of Wieliczka.

But first we sat down for a rest in the shadow of the castle, outside Hotel Royal, for a very British method of acheiving a sense of well being. A cup of tea.

The waiter who served us was quite shocked that we weren't ordering beer!

"No Beer?" he asked, scratching his head and looking perplexed.

Raising the question like that almost tempted us to start drinking before lunchtime but we managed to control ourselves!

With our dehydration quenched we made our way back across the old town towards the main railway station for the shuttle buses to the salt mines.

Along the way we saw this lady who was wearing a very unflattering wig. She looked totally ridiculous so I just had to take her photograph!

It was quite shameful that we found her wig so comical, especially if she had a terrible medical condition that meant she suffered from chronic hair loss, but she would have been better off wearing a hat!

All the guide books said that shuttle buses run from Krakow Glowny train station to the salt mines at Wieliczka and would only cost 4 zlotys each; but could we find any? Not a chance! In fact there wasn't one bus to be seen, anywhere! It appeared that the bus stops were now behind a two metre fence and inaccessible to the public because of some major construction taking place. The buses must have been re-located somewhere else, but where?

There were plenty of tour touts inside the station trying to get us to go with them to Wieliczka but they certainly weren't going to tell us where the buses were hiding, especially when they were asking 60 zlotys each for their trip!

After searching the vicinity of the station, (which was a bit run down as most areas around train stations seem to be), we decided instead to hire a taxi to take us there and back. Steve had enter delicate negotiations with a driver at the taxi rank at the same that the rest of us had been approached by another taxi driver.

We agreed a price of 200 zlotys for him to take the five of us to the Salt Mines, wait for two hours, and then bring us back to Krakow. In the meantime Steve had also agreed a price with the other driver but had his reservations because there was something dodgy about the guy.

"Steve, We've got a taxi." I said, "he'll take us there and back for two hundred."

"Alright then."

As we were walking away the rejected taxi driver went mental. He was not at all happy. He launched into an avalanche of angry Polish words, mostly directed at our taxi driver. They exchanged unpleasantries as their tempers escalated towards the precipice of punching each other! They only just stopped short.

©Steve Jones

The driver we hired told us to walk over the bridge and wait for him on a street corner whilst he sorted things out. Some five minutes later he called us back over the bridge towards him, then when we got their he sent us straight back to where we came from!?!

He was acting very oddly and nervously.

We seriously wondered what the hell was going on. By the time we had reached the street corner again, he called us back over once more. He introduced us to another driver we hadn't met before and told us to go with him.

This guy looked like a proper gangster with greased back hair, pasty skin, pencil thin moustache, a fitted tweed jacket with brown leather patches on the elbow, chunky gold jewellery, twizzling his sunglasses and chewing a cocktail stick. We were all thinking how suspicious he seemed, and each one of us had serious doubts about getting into a taxi with this 'diamond geezer' but none of us said anything!

We all got into the back of his mini bus and we left the train station feeling a little apprehensive!

After a few minutes we turned off the main road, through a raised barrier, into a yard. He brought the minibus to a halt and turned around. "Shit, the bastard's going to rob us!" was the thought replicated in the mind's of five petrified Boyos.

He reached deep into his pocket and brought out a dark object, placing it to his side. "My God, did that look like a gun??" I thought.

He looked at us with a smile that his face seemed unaccustomed to and said "I won't be bringing you back to Krakow".

We looked at each other thinking, "Shit, the bastard's going to kill us and dump our bodies at the Salt Mines!"

"I take you only one way" he continued, "You catch the Luxbus back. OK?"

"Thank fuck for that" We all nodded with great relief.

We left the yard through another raised barrier and returned onto a main road out of the city. We were still a bit anxious about his intentions but we didn't have any other incidents, thankfully!

He charged us 100 zlotys for half the agreed journey but we were quite happy with that.

One thing I must mention was the quality of the roads. We were at the outskirts of Krakow, in a stretch of three lanes, where the tarmac had sunk in the middle of each lane, yet it had held firm at the edges.

They had formed tracks from which you could hardly switch lanes without a physical battle to force the wheels out of the rut!

We arrived at Wieliczka at about 3:50pm in time by the skin of our teeth to join a scheduled English language tour of the mines at 4:05pm.

It cost us 55 zlotys each for the tour plus an additional 10 zlotys for the permission to take photographs.

We stood and waited in line as the German Language tour went in before us and wet ourselves laughing at this one guy who had obviously just descended from the mountains after tending to his goats. (for which he's probably handsomely rewarded with an EU subsidy!)

He was decked classic Alpine costume, complete with the feather in his hat. Wonderful fancy dress!

Next it was our turn and we were introduced to our tour guide for the afternoon. I've unfortunately forgotten her name but she certainly had a bit of the Joan Cusack about her? [Are the Cusack family of Polish descent? It's not a derivitive of Cossack is it? ]

She spoke good English but her pronunciation was very peculiar; sounding as if her batteries were running out and the tape was being stretched!

We were quite a large group, of many nationalities, from all over Europe and further a field such as Japan. I suppose English is a good common international language.

We followed Ms.Cossack into a small room where she explained that we were about to walk down over a thousand wooden steps.

Down to the first level, 65 metres below ground. It's called the Danilowicz Shaft and the staircase just went on and on forever!

It was enough to send someone mad going down and around and down and around and on and on and on and .. aaargh!

The first chamber we entered was called the Nicholas Copernicus, and had a carving of the great Polish astronomer who was also a student at the University in Krakow about 1493. Our guide told us that the statue was carved from a single block of green salt. In fact all the rock that surrounded us was salt. The walls were salt in its rawest form. I had never before thought about "where did salt come from?".

I had often heard about Siberian salt mines but I'd never imagined what one looked like!

She then shone a light at a thin piece of protruding stone and I was amazed that we could see the beam illuminate through the rock. It was unbelievable!

©Nathan Welch

She then added "If you taste the rock you'll find that it is salty".

Well, I just had to have a go! So a little further down the tunnel I stepped up, found a good white seam, and licked like I was licking someone's armpit! She was right however, it was very salty!











©Steve Jones
















The next chamber was St. Anthony's Chapel, the oldest of the preserved underground chapels, created during the late 17th Century.

It was incredible to see the nave, a pulpit, statues of saints and of Christ all carved from rock salt. It was quite dark as the only source of light was being gradually covered in a salt crystal deposit!


We continued to walk along tunnels through smaller chambers with further carvings. Some depicting Polish folklore and the dangers of mining.

The next major chamber was The Kazimierza the Great Chamber. Its centrepiece is a large wooden treadmill that could lift two tons of rock salt up to the surface.

It would have been operated by horses that apparently would have lived entirely below ground, never to have seen daylight!

From Kazimierza we entered a vast cavernous area called The Pieskowa Skala chamber. This was huge with several smaller cave-like holes in the sides, all attractively lit. We entered from the top and walked down a further hundred wooden steps, down to another level, a further 25 metres below the surface.

One thing that caught my attention in this chamber were several statues that had a fiery glow lit up inside of them. They looked quite ghostly.

From here we walked along a tunnel past carvings of several Dwarves in the Kunegunda "Shaft Bottom" Chamber. (what a crappy name!?)

At the end of this long tunnel we were absolutely astonished by the salt mine's main attraction, the incomparable St. Kinga's Chapel.

This enormous hall looked every bit as impressive as any cathedral and to think that it is carved into the rock a hundred metres below the ground.

It was an amazing achievement.

Work started here in 1896 to convert the empty chamber into a chapel. Most of the credit goes to the Markowski brothers, working on the carvings for over thirty years!

Aparently Josef, the elder, did most of the work.

He carved in rock salt the exquisite centre piece of a statue of St.Kinga, backed by a wall of halite crystals.


Tomasz, the younger Markowksi continued his brother's work from 1920 to 1926, where another sculptor, called Antoni Wyrodek, picked up the baton and continued with the work until 1936.

Work is still being comissioned today.

In 1999 a miner sculptor called Stanislaw Aniol carved a statue Pope John Paul II in thanks for canonising the "Blessed Kinga".

We left the impressive chapel behind and walked down to another large chamber, but this one was pitch black.

It was called the Weimar Chamber.

When we were all in position the place came to life with a light show to the triumphal music of Johaness Brahms.

The lake in the centre reflected the light beautifully.

Onwards and downwards we walked through further tunnels. At this point we had already walked over 1km, but the entire mine system has over 250km of tunnels!

We had reached the entrance to the Józef Pilsudski Chamber which was guarded by a statue of this proud looking soldier with a phenomenally bushy moustache. "Look at that porn moustache" said Steve, "Hello, my friend, do you like porn?"


Our guide didn't find his sense of humour at all appropriate as she said "Hmm, He is Marshall Józef Pilsudski, a Polish war hero during the First World War. He is actually very famous for his moustache. Yes, very famous man"

It was as if Steve had commented on what a fat bastard Winston Churchill was. He was suitably embarrassed!

We walked through one final chamber, called the Stanislaw Staszic Chamber, which was just one hugely tall cavern.

There was an elevator to take you all the way up to a viewing platform but it wasn't operational today.

[The photo to the left is from the Wieliczka Salt Mine official web page.]

They had the proverbial gift shops here where you could buy the usual suspects that tourists go for. I did buy Julie a bag of salt!

When I got home she wasn't impressed! Neither was I when I opened it to sprinkle some on my chips. It was rock salt similar to what they use to grit the roads in winter!!

Our tour had now come to an end.

All we had left was to walk down to the shaft bottom for the lift back up to the surface.

Along the way we passed the entrance to the Warsaw chamber which was hired out for a function. What a great place to have a party! Apparently St. Kinga's Chapel can also be hired out for weddings.

Even Presidents and Royalty have attended functions here!

We finally walked down a beautiful mahogany staircase to a depth of 135m below ground where we saw a pretty little chapel with a wooden finish, called St.John's Chapel.

We were knackered having walked for over 2km through the mines and when we arrived at the Danilowicz Shaft Bottom to find a bit of a bottleneck we were a little disheartened.

We queued for quite some time, standing at first, then thankfully we got to park our bums on benches whilst we waited for our turn.

We occupied our time by reading the graffiti that covered every square inch of every piece of timber in this salt mine!

Eventually we got into a lift. Four of us got into the cut with another five strangers. David had to go into the next lift with eight giggling teenage school kids!

We stepped in and thought "You're not going to get NINE people in here!" but they did!

It then shot up to the surface at a speed of 4 metres per second, rocketing skywards and rattling like a rusty bucket!

We safely reached the top despite all the noise and shaking, then when it came to leave we couldn't! The doors only opened inwards and we really struggled to get out !

The time now was 6pm so the whole tour, including the queuing took us two hours.

We had enjoyed it greatly and were so glad that we made the effort to come out here and visit this UNESCO World Heritage site. It was truly an unique place!

Waiting in line just outside the main building was a row of Lux Buses ready to take us back to Krakow. It was only a small 13 seater mini bus and charged four zlotys for the journey. We sat down ready for the off when a group of German blokes came on board and filled the bus to capacity. That's when Steve said "Hello Robert" to one of them!

Well, this guy turned to Steve with a priceless puzzled look on his face!! That "how the hell do you know my name" look, but when Steve winked at him, there was almost panic set in his eyes!

It then suddenly dawned on him. "Ah, the bar" he said with a great sigh of relief!

Steve had recognised him from the night before when they had met at Pub Goraczka and had a conversation about football. It was so hilarious to see this guy's reaction!

Just before we left, another guy came on board. He was passenger 14, and being a 13 seater there was no seat available for him, so he stood. Whilst we found this a little strange we were utterly besides ourselves with disbelief when by the time we were nearing Krakow passenger 21 was getting on board the Lux bus, and sitting on the dashboard!!!

Back safe in our apartment by 7pm we tried to get some sleep but most of us couldn't because of this guy outside playing this annoying melody on continuous loop on what sounded like a hurdy gurdy. I won't tell you what Steve wanted to do to this guy, but it wasn't pleasant!

We left the apartment at 8:30pm and went directly to the restaurant we tried last night, Cyklops.

As yesterday, it was full again tonight but by some stroke of luck a table of six were getting up to leave just as we arrived. What perfect timing!

It was a great little place, complete with an open kitchen and a wood fired oven, 'al rustica' !!

We sat down and scoured the menu.

I decided to go for their signature dish, the Pizza Cyklops. It was described as having 'egg' as a topping.

Now I'm not alien to the idea of having egg atop a pizza, in fact I regularly make my own spinach & egg pizza at home. I was a little disappointed though when it arrived because I had pictured it as having one egg cracked on the top, (giving it that one-eye concept); and also having only been slightly baked, keeping the yolk runny. It turns the pizza into a wonderfully moist experience!

Sadly slices of hard boiled egg didn't have the same effect but it still tasted good. Everyone else enjoyed theirs, and we had to agree, after three successive nights of eating pizza, tonight was the best standard.

We left Cyklops and quite literally stumbled next door down the steep steps into Czasem Trzeba. It was the busiest we had seen it during our visit. The beer was cheap, the music was good and it was a great little venue but we downed a round and moved on.

Walking back towards the main square we heard someone screeching in English "I want to take you to a Gay Bar, a Gay Bar" as in the song from Electric Six, and we all shook our heads in despair for what is to become of this city.

I hope it doesn't become the next Stag Night capital of Europe where all the lager louts that the British culture has propagated suddenly descend en mass and ruin this superb friendly city.

Prague suffers from this phenomenon so much that it's recommended that you now avoid the weekends! By some incredible coincidence the next bar we walked into, (called Rooster) seemed to specifically cater for stag nights!!

It was down ul. Szczepanska, off the main square. The other four had gone in whilst I spoke to Julie on the phone. I couldn't believe it when I followed them in.

It was decorated like an American Roadhouse with a kids corner complete with lego bricks under the stairs. People were mostly eating.

It reminded me of several family friendly pubs in the UK. I expected to be given some crayons to colour in a picture whilst I drank my milkshake.

But then this waitress walked past wearing red hot pants and a tight t-shirt. No wonder the fathers bring their kids here for a cheeseburger!

The waitresses however were very sour faced. I felt sorry for them. I guess it must feel very demeaning to be exploited in that way.

All this ogling must have had a dizzying effect on Garry because as we left Roosters he missed the step and twisted his ankle! I'm a big fan of slapstick and someone falling over always makes me laugh, even when I shouldn't!

We didn't walk far, Garry only had to hobble across the road to Sesja Pub. This had a great atmosphere in one sense because it was full of people sitting around, having a laugh, talking loudly over the music. It had a good vibe.

In another sense the atmosphere down their was abysmal because it must have been 8% Oxygen, 32% Nitrogen, 5% Nicotine, 55% Carbon Monoxide!! After a while it became difficult to breath, so we left after a round.

Our next destination was going to be the il Louisa club where we enjoyed watching the salsa last night. It was on the opposite side of the main square.

As we crossed Rynek Glowny, near the base of the tower, one member of our group, who shall remain nameless, [his face has been pixilated to preserve his anonymity], sprinted across pulling his trousers down for a trademark moony!

A word of warning. If you're coming to Krakow, and you don't want to see anyone's crack then avoid the weekends because it's too late!

The British have already landed!


Thankfully we made it to il Louisa without anyone getting arrested! As we walked down into the bar we were disappointed not to hear the same gyrating rhythms pulsating from the dancefloor as last night. It must only be salsa night on Friday? Nevermind, we all sat down on some really comfortable seats and relaxed.

Garry went to buy the drinks and befriended a lonely German business man who was sat at the bar. He brought our drinks to our table and returned to his stool to chat with this guy, Bernhard, for a good half an hour.

Nathan and I thought it would be clever to drink some Tequila but when it arrived it must have been the one with the worm in it because it tasted like shit! I refused to drink anymore citing a conscientious objection. Drinking dead maggot juice was against my principles!

By now Nathan was feeling the pace and asked our permission to catch some sleep. "Only five minutes and I'll be fine" he said. Within seconds of being given the all clear he was gone, eyes shut, dead to the world!

Steve then performed an experiment on Nathan and it actually worked! It was unbelievable to watch. He slowly waved his left hand across Nathan's face as a hypnotist would do to his subject. He then drew his hand away as if he was pulling on a string, then lo and behold Nathan's head dropped forward slightly as if he was a puppet.

He repeated this several times, with the same result. Each successive wave brought his head lower and lower until the final critical point where the weight of his head was enough to bring him off balance and his body instinctively jerked back to the upright position. To prove it wasn't a fluke we demanded a repeat performance, so he did, with exactly the same result! Amazing!

A little later Garry left his new found best mate at the bar and returned to the fold, chuckling to himself saying "I asked him in my best Ukranian accent "Hello my friend, do you like porn?" and he said "Yes, some times" then I didn't know what to say!! I started to talk about the weather!"

Another round of drinks was needed and Garry returned to the bar once more. We then heard him shouting "What? How much? Fuck off!!" when he was presented with a bar bill for 119 zlotys! We all turned around half expecting Garry being carried out by the bouncers but fortunately the barman explained to him that he hadn't paid for the first round!! "Oh, that's alright then" he apologetically replied!

Even so that was quite expensive. We had a few shots of a delicious herbal vodka that Bernhard had said was "good for the stomach" but vodka is usually quite cheap. It turned out that it was the imported Red Bull that made the hole in our pockets.

When we all reached the bottom of our glasses we weren't too sure whether we should move on to somewhere cheaper for the next round or stay put on these really comfortable sofas. David was on his feet and halfway up the stairs before Steve got the chance to suggest staying put! I wasn't too far behind him because it was my round next!

We walked back across the square to ul. Szewska, which when literally translated means Cobblers Street; but before ending up in our usual haunt, (Pub Goraczka), we tried somewhere new. It was called Music Bar 9 and was incredibly busy, dark and way too loud! We stood near the cloakroom for a while then left. (after finishing our drinks, obviously!)

Our final drinking hole of the evening was our tried and trusted venue, Pub Goraczka. As with the pizzeria earlier our timing was impeccable because as we entered the cellar a table of six were just leaving.

It was on a mezzanine level above the bar area and we had it to ourselves. It was a great place to sit down and talk about the meaning of life and the European Common Agriculture Policy.

Being high up in this canopy also meant that we stayed together as a group, which was vital this evening because earlier this evening I had snapped my key in the door to the apartment. This meant we only had the one key left, so it was critical that we all stayed together!

Hello My Friend, Do You Like Piss?

It was 2:30am when Garry was starting to feel the pace. He was doing the nodding donkey routine, fighting the sleep. Steve wagered a 5 zloty bet with him saying "You'll be asleep by a quarter to three"

"No way" came his response as he sat bolt upright with an unblinking gaze, for a good thirty seconds, before slipping back into the state of rolling eyes and wobbling head. Within ten minutes he was out for the count!

Despite being in a deep sleep he still managed to keep up with the drinking! In a superb act of consumption, that Oliver Reed would have been proud of, he somehow woke up, drank on auto-pilot the drink before him then fall straight back to sleep again! It had to be seen to be believed!

This is when we hatched a plan! I honestly and truthfully can't remember who was the first to suggest it but someone, and it may have been me, said "When we get back to the apartment we should shave his moustache off!"

Steve refined the plan by adding "No, no, we should leave him with just a Hitler moustache!"

We found the prospect of doing this absolutely hilarious!

Within the hour we had left Pub Goraczka and made our way back through the square and up towards the Florian Gates. It was here, when we were queuing for a kebab on ul. Florianska, that we finally got to hear the Krakow Signal.

It was 4am and the bugler blew his merry tune that abruptly comes to an end. (It apparently is a real bugler.) Anyway, the tale began way back in in 1287 when a bugler warned the city of an imminent attack from hoards of marauding Tatars by repeatedly playing the signal. He saved the city as the citizens had time to prepare their defences but he lost his life as he was shot in the throat by an arrow in mid trump.

I was hoping to join in the Turkish culinary experience by having a falafel in a pita but the kebab house couldn't be bothered to cook it for me. So I had to stand and watch as they all shoved their greasy reconstituted meat filled pitas into their ravaneous mouths.

We only had a few hundred yards further to stumble back, saving along the way a damsel in distress who didn't want saving. (Apparently the two blokes who looked like they were mugging her were here friends?)

Garry immediately crashed onto his bed when we arrived back but we couldn't get to work straight away because David was persistently trying to wake him up.

He himself suffered the same fate on his stag night when I found myself with a razor in my hand shaving off his eyebrow, a week before his wedding. He had to have one pencilled in for the photographs! Naturally having been a victim he tried his best to thwart any attempt we made at shaving Garry's moustache.

We knew that David would be the next to fall asleep, so we waited some twenty minutes before he finally put his head on the pillow and slipped into a coma. With the objector silenced we set about our task.

Steve stepped up with a razor in one hand and a glass of water in the other. He was laughing so much that he couldn't hold it together and spilt the water all over Garry!

He ran out of the room and buried his face in a pillow to muffle the sound of his uncontrollable cackling! Tears were running down our faces as we rolled about on the floor, trying not to wake him up with our laughter.

He decided to try again, this time he held it together enough to bring the razor to the moustache and move it upwards. It must have been a blunt blade however as all he achieved was snagging the hairs and making Garry's lip curl like Elvis.

Not accepting defeat it was time for the professional to step in. I got out my electric beard trimmer and got down to business.

It shaved well, leaving some stubble. Nathan then supplied shaving foam so that I could use the blunt razor to tidy it up.

The finish effect was priceless. I'd like to say that we had given him a Charlie Chaplin but I don't think there's any doubt that there was an uncanny resemblance to the 20th century's most demonic dictator!

We quite literally rolled about bursting at the seems with laughter. Our kidneys ached through the exertion of trying to keep it together. Steve had even resorted to shoving a towel into his mouth to act as a silencer!

We finished the cruel joke by filling Garry's hand with shaving foam and placed the beard trimmer in the other hand.

It was now 6am. Mission completed.

I just know that one day my karma is going to repaid. One day I will wake up having been waxed from head to foot!!

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