Farewell to Poland – and to story-book Krakow

Typical Krakow street

We are in the departure lounge right now, awaiting our Frankfurt flight and listening to news in Polish of the subway explosions in Moscow.

There are so many impressions and emotions associated with the last week I’d be very hard-pressed to sum them all up; we’ll be processing  what this has meant for our lives from some time to come I would predict.

A couple of things  came together to create a very contented feeling yesterday though, and I think I can sort them out in some sort of explainable way. They centre on what superb city Krakow is for walking. I edit Spacing Ottawa and have a deep and abiding interest in how urban space works, so to be in a place where pedestrian scale, old-world beauty, and a perfect pace of life come together so seamlessly was like some sort of happy dream. I’ve yet to see Barcelona, to my shame, but until I do I can safely say this is simply the most attractive city I’ve ever come across. I could bang on about it all day, but I’ll leave it at that for now.

That’s one thing. But to be walking its cobblestone streets with feet that don’t seem to trip up over their toes anymore was an unexpected joy. I’d have enjoyed walking -as such- just about anywhere last night. Barrhaven, the south shore of Montreal, Surrey BC, Mississauga, Transcona –  any unloved swath of suburban sprawl you can think of, really…but to be strolling through this magnificent old  city, a city from a story book, with feet that really work properly –well, it was almost more than I could take in all at once.

This picture above is not of any of the beauty spots of Krakow, it’s simply of a typical street in the old town. But look how confident the senior citizens are of their right to be on the street, look at the litter-free pavement, observe the low curb – these and a hundred other little details like them all subconsciously send messages to pedestrians that their needs are at the heart of the planning process.

The Poles can teach us a lot, and not just about vascular surgery.



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16 responses to “Farewell to Poland – and to story-book Krakow

  1. Lydia & Jacques

    Safe home, guys! Loved your impressions of Krakow! I am so proud to be the aunt of two such amazing men! See you soon!

  2. Bev Bentley

    Thank you for being so courageous to step out of “your old world” into “your new world” and for sharing your amazing adventure and recovery so descriptively. Your encouragement to others is so appreciated. I wish you continues health!!

  3. Melissa

    Wow! What a journey you’ve had. When will you be home?

  4. Charlie Smith


    I would love to hear more about your experience. I gather from the article that you had surgery and it was sucessful. All the best.

  5. Thank you for sharing your experience. I hope you continue to get well. You’ve given us hope. Please continue to update us on your health;-)

  6. Susan Rochon

    Welcome back to Canada after your succesful treatment. Thoroughly enjoyed our blog each day. So informative.
    I’ve emailed a Dr. Simka in Poland hoping to get an appointment ASAP.
    And all because of your great blog.

  7. tanya

    I am so very happy for you and your brother, I have emailed the clinic in Poland after following your blog, your courage has inspired many. I hope you have the time to keep us up to date on your health.

  8. Diane Ladouceur


    Loved your story. How were you able to get an appointment? Did you need a referral? I very much would like the operation. Who do I contact?

    Diane Ladouceur

    • Hi Diane; check the link to the Euromedic Clinic at the top of the page. I was told they are now booking for 2012.

    • The link to the Euromedic Clinic is at the top of my blog page:


      They are slow emailing back to people because they are so swamped with interest; but they are booking for 2012 now.

      Doesn’t hurt to get your name down for 2012; meanwhile you can fundraise and even look at getting MRI scanned at False Creek ( Vancouver) or the place in Montreal that is also scanning. Those two places can confirm if you have CCSV.

      Please do check the links under “resources” on the right side of my blog. There are some good lists there and they will be a good place to start your journey to more knowledge about CCSVI in MS.

      Good luck!

  9. It’s great to have you back, Evan. Thanks for keeping us informed.

  10. Penny White

    I am astounded by the revelation of intentions to head for Poland, & that the clinic might be booking by now for 2012. Would it not seem ‘safer’ to first determine if one HAS CCSVI, which is possible now in Montreal, right??? Has anyone actually contacted that radiology clinic for appointment info and has anyone asked his/her neurologist for a referral? haha, being skeptics, how willing will they be? I’m keen, but thinking that a preemptive strike is best in Canada…. ( I live in Ottawa.)

  11. Gina Massingill

    I can’t wait for one of those no toe tripping walks!! Hooray for you, I can’t wait to have my story!!

  12. Susan Rochon

    Hi Evan:

    I don’t know if you will get this, but I hope so. I did not save your telephone number when you called me, so I don’t have it.
    I wanted to let you know that I have to be in Poland on August 1st, with testing on August 2nd and hopefully, treatment on the 3rd. I return home on the 6th. Before I leave, I would like to speak to you again. Please call me.

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