It had been too long since the last mid-winter group trip to eastern Europe, and the sense of disappointment amongst colleagues was getting too much to bear, but Philip finally got his act together, and organised a visit to Kraków. In recognition of these efforts, Dr Toni Mey became an honorary member of the group, to accompany Georgia, Rui, and Philip to southern Poland.
Day 1: 4 January 2018
We had a beer at EDI, flew to Kraków, were transferred to an enormous apartment by friendly driver Tomasz, went to a 24-hour pierogi place nearby, went to a 4 zł bar, also nearby, and then went to sleep.
Day 2: 5 January 2018
In the morning, we were picked up at the apartment by Professor Tomasz Pańczyk, from the Jerzy Haber of Catalysis and Surface Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences, for our seminar talks beginning at midday. We were hosted by Tomasz and Professor Tomasz Borowski, who were presented with bottles of port, Greek brandy, and whisky. After the seminars, we had a look around the Institute's very nice building and facilities. In particular, Dr Maciej Guzik showed us the results of his family of polymer-producing bacteria! We then went back to the city centre, had a very quick lunch with Tomasz (well, quick for him, as he had to catch a bus to Lublin), and then the drinking started, punctuated by sausages in Market Square. It was a late night...
Day 3: 6 January 2018
... and the next day did not start early for anyone, except Edinburgh alumnus Dr Nathan Goodfriend, who joined us from Prague. So, we missed the Three Kings Processions and events in Market Square, but eventually we got going for an afternoon of sightseeing and an alcohol-absorbing meal. After a quick rest, we had a quiet night with some drinks, a genuine Polish delicacy, zapiekanka (delicious), and some desserts.
Day 4: 7 January 2018
Meh. Time for the journey back to Edinburgh, but not before a last look at Kraków on the way to the train station, and some vodka and chocolate purchases at the airport.