Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Exploring the Dragon's Den

Today I decided to take advantage of having a day off from classes and channeling my inner kid, decided to explore the legendary Dragon's Cave at Wawel Castle.

According to legend, there once was a terrible, fire-breathing dragon who inhabited a cave underneath the Wawel Castle. This monster beast would reek havoc on the townspeople and their livestock, seeing them only as tasty morsels. Prince Krakus (who the city is named after) wisely decided to throw a sheep's hide with sulfur into the cave. Long story short, the dragon exploded and the town was saved.

It's funny because they have a saying in Krakow. If you don't know the origin of something, make up a story for it.

The dragon is Krakow's "mascot," and is seen replicated endlessly in every tourist trinket imaginable. To access the cave is quite a workout, where you have to descend a narrow, winding staircase of approximately 135 steps. Afterwards you enter into a cluster of spacious caves. It was mostly frequented by tourists and large groups of school children, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

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