FIVE BOYOS GO MAD IN KRAKOW

Sunday 16th October 05

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As I rolled over on the very comfortable sofa,the first thought that entered my head was "Oh my God!? Did we really shave Garry's pride and joy off last night leaving him with a ridiculous Hitler 'tache ?"

I heard him stir so I popped my head around the door witnessing the moment he woke up to find himself in bed with a beard trimmer! I could see him desperately trying to remember the events of last night to find an explanation but he found nothing and fell back to sleep.

"... Oh shit, yes we did!" and I started to chuckle again.

An hour later we all woke up, all waiting for the moment that he would discover his new look. He got up and went to the toilet from where we were all expecting to hear him shout, "You Bastards!" but we heard nothing.

He came through to the living area and asked "Whose shaver is this?"

I feigned surprise and said "Uh, that's mine! What are you doing with it?"

Garry gave a superb Gallic shrug and said "I dunno? But I've checked that I've still got my eyebrows!!"

"Come to think of it, you were acting a little odd last night", I added "you were saying how much you admired Hitler. " but despite the clue no penny dropped.

We decided to leave it, as none of us wanted to be the one who confessed to the crime of violating the moustache that he has worn for the last thirty years!! Instead we busied ourselves with packing our bags in preparation to leave around midday. But first breakfast!

I had read of a cafe called Prowincja along ul. Bracka as having a "rather good breakfast" so we decided to try it out. It only had a tiny room with a few tables downstairs, with a gallery level upstairs. We all piled in and stepped up to the counter where a miserable looking waitress was busy serving another customer some coffee and rye bread. She was avoiding any eye contact with us. Five minutes later she was still refusing to lift her head up from making the latte.

Perhaps we were in breach of cafe protocol but our patience ran out and we asked "Menu?"

She looked at us with such a startled face as if we'd asked her if we could shit on the floor! She shook her head with a firm no.

We were a little bit confused by now. "What? no menu?" She looked at us dumb so we all piled out again. I guess a grasp of the Polish language would have helped us, but even so that was such a bizarre experience!?

Nevermind.

We returned to ul. Slawkowska along which Nikita Bar was located; at least we know that they serve some kind of breakfast.

Along the way however we walked past a hotel called Hotel Saski, where attached to it was a cafe advertising "brunch" on a blackboard outside .

Now that sounded perfect!

And perfect it was!

Four Full English Breakfasts were ordered and they were just what the doctor ordered as a hangover cure for everybody.

It was asking too much for them to have a veggie breakfast opiton so I had to make do with a double helping of a cream cheese and sundried tomato bagles.

They were very tasty but did nothing to sort out my hangover!

We all agreed that this had to be the best breakfast in Krakow!

Garry was receiving some attention from the waitresses but not in the way you're thinking, more like in the staring at him, pointing and giggling sense of the word "attention".

I just wonder if they were noticing his distinctive style of facial hair?

We returned to the apartment to collect our bags, and deposited the keys back through the letterbox.

Making our way over to where the airport bus dropped us off on Thursday we came across Mr. Hurdy Gurdy man still playing his annoying tune.

Steve was however denied his retribution for keeping him awake yesterday because the poor guy was blind and smelt of piss so we felt sorry him.

I dropped a few zlotys in his pot and we left him alone.

We reached the Radisson Hotel where Garry went inside to ask for the nearest bus stop to take us to the airport.

The Radission's concierge recomended us to walk clockwise along the plany area towards the next stop. This we did but after walking for quite some distance without finding a bus stop we felt little lost.

This is when Nathan approached a passer by and asked for directions. She was heading at speed in the opposite direction yet despite this she stopped, turned around and told us to follow her back down Straszewskiego crossing over the road, and turn down ul. Smolensk. What a wonderful act of kindness.

If it wasn't for her we'd probably still be wandering the streets of Krakow!

The 192 bus was thankfully running late. If it were on time we would have missed it and had a half hour wait for the next one.

Fortunatley it arrived within minutes of us finding the stop. Unfortunately it was absolutely packed as we even struggled to get on!

There was hardly any room for us to stand let alone find a seat. With all those bodies in such an enclosed space it was getting pretty sweaty in there! The hangovers didn't help it from being a long and stressful journey.

One thing made us laugh however was a sign inside the bus with a picture of a brass instrument with a red line across it, which we interpreted as being the international symbol for 'No Bugling"!

We arrived at the airport in plenty of time. We sat around for an hour waiting for the check-in desk to open, and waited for Garry to discover his retro new look. It may sound funny but I thought it rather suited him!

The flight before ours was an Easy Jet flight to Berlin. "Hey, let's get on that one instead" joked Garry.

"I don't think they'll let you into the country" replied Steve, followed by a "because you look like Hitler." under his breath!

Still we waited. No penny dropped, he mustn't have heard.

There were a few souvenir shops here but nothing much. I had hoped to buy Julie some perfume but I couldn't see any. I guessed that there would be more choice in the departures lounge.

We all had Polish currency left over but we couldn't spend it on much. "We should spend our zlotys on the zloty machines" suggested David, pointing towards the Penny Arcades!

Nathan used up some of his spare cash as he paid 17 zlotys, (now that's ten times the UK price) for The Sun newspaper and to add insult to injury it was yesterdays!!

After checking in our luggage we decided to go through to the departures lounge where we expected better shops; but that wasn't the case.

Once we cleared through passport control and security we had access only to two departure gates with a tuck shop on wheels being the single retail outlet. The only thing I could buy Julie now was a bar of chocolate!

Garry still hadn't noticed his dictatorial appearance so in the end we told him. We just had to. At first he didn't believe us. "But surely I would have noticed?"

But once Nathan showed him the photographic evidence on his digital camera there was no denying that the deed had been done.

His reaction was a little muted and you could tell that inside he was a bit upset.

We all felt a little guilty, well, all of us that is apart from David who justifiably sat there saying "I had nothing to do with it"!

Luckily Garry is the salt of the earth, the kind of bloke we all like to have as a friend. We knew he'd be OK with this, given time and perhaps some therapy!

We boarded the flight at 4:30pm Krakow time, and after an uneventful two and a half hour flight over we landed back at Luton Airport just after 6:00pm, home time.

A slow five hours later we finally reached our homes in North Wales. Julie was waiting for me outside and she gave me such a wonderful welcome. It felt as if I had just returned back from the war! She had missed me terribly and made me promise never to go away with the Boyos again.

To which I solemnly declared my agreement.

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