June 16th..Our Last Day in Krakow

Good Evening = dobry  wieczór,
 
Well, it’s our last day in Poland and we decided to hire a tour guide to take us to the places we wanted to go and couldn’t get to.  Specifically, the birthplace of Saint John Paul II, and the church where he offered, and committed himself, to Our Blessed Mother at the age of 9.

The army coffee was great and we were packed and out front to wait for our ride just before 8:00.  Promptly at 8:00 our car drove up and Tomak our driver loaded our stuff. He was a wonderful guy and spoke perfect English. I informed him of the change of plans, that we had to go to the new Shrine of Saint John Paul II at Divine Mercy.  He said it would take too much time, because it was a long walk, but I told him we could drive right there.  I don’t think he believed me, but off we went and drove right up to the front of the Shrine. 
 
I didn’t tell him we had a priest meeting us at 8:30, which was the exact time we arrived.  He had never been there and was as amazed as we were at the magnitude of this tribute to St. JP II as well as the fact that we had a personal guide.   He took the camera and we went off with the priest for our private tour and it was great and he followed a little stunned as he told us later.  This is a must if you ever come here but unfortunately it is not finished and they are short of funds and need help to complete the project but I think it will get done.
 

Father was wonderful but had a doctor’s appointment and had to go to,  so did we, in order to make the 2 shrines we had yet to see and get to the airport on time.  Tomak was a great driver and I just totally relaxed as he chauffeured us to our next stop. 

It is a tradition here to have a slice of "Pope's cake"
It is a tradition here to have a slice of “Pope’s cake”

We arrived at the home of St. JP  II and after a coffee and some Pope cake we went to the church next door first where he was baptized and went to mass most of the time. 

We got to touch his Baptismal font as he did when he first returned here as Pope.   It was pretty special.  I needed a toilette, and when I got back, it was so crowded at the home of St. JP II that we had to leave and head for the shrine  at Kalaweia and the weeping Madonna.

 
When we finally got up the hill and entered the church, Mass was in progress and Susan and I just went in to attend.  Our Photographer had the camera and we didn’t care or worry, we had what we wanted, Mass and the  Eucharist. After Mass we didn’t have much time but we did get to visit all 13 chapels in the shrine that St. JP II said we all very special in their own way and they were.
 
Not wanting to go, but knowing we had to, we headed out for the airport about 1 1/2 hours away and our flight back to Paris.  We had decided  that even though we had a free day tomorrow, we were not going anywhere and  were just going to relax before the flight home Thursday.
 

Our final trip reports...we hope you have enjoyed traveling with us.
Our final trip reports…we hope you have enjoyed traveling with us.

We arrived and managed to find the hotel shuttle and got our room and the luggage we checked here and spent the night in.  I wrote trip reports and Susan started to organize and pack for the trip home.  We had a pizza and some pasta for dinner and a couple glasses of wine and were asleep by 10, I  guess.
 
Au Revoir;

Love Susan & Tom

 

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