Krakow May 18-23, 2019


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May 23rd 2019
Published: June 2nd 2019
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Warsaw to Krakow


The sun came out during our bus ride to Krakow and by the time we arrived the day was perfect.
I was a little anxious during our trip as I had not yet received check in information for our next airbnb but finally about 10 mins before arrival the host communicated with me and sent cryptic photos referring as to where to locate the key.

Anyhow! it turned out to be a great location and big bonus that we had the whole apartment to ourselves. Only downside was that we had no Internet because the host hadn't paid his bill and wouldn't respond to our messages. Our worst airbnb host experience so far.

Arriving on a Saturday in beautiful weather, Krakow put on an impressive show for us. Sunny and buzzing with tourists, amazing buildings, cafes, cakes, food; a very pretty city! First things first we each sampled Krakow cakes.

Aparantly Krakow escaped destruction of the Second World War leaving it's buildings and history as a tourist mecca now. Everyone is making a buck out of Krakow now and every school group in Europe appeared to be travelling here in their masses. Get in their way and they
would just mow you down and trample you in the street.

When we first arrived the weather treated us very well. Our first lazy morning I fed the pigeons on our window ledge and it was sunny and beautiful. A Sunday with heaps of tourists in town. Galleria Shopping on one side of the river with access to bus and train stations was ultra modern and a huge. Old town on the other side was ultra touristy and pretty. The whole of Old Town surrounded by parkland. 

The good weather didn't last and rain returned and stayed bad for most of the rest of our stay giving us an excuse to hang out and relax more than we had been since leaving Sweden. I couldn't keep up with dry socks in my minimalist baggage as the rain kept soaking through my shoes.

Sunday, I did a few walking tours. A Jewish Old Town tour in the afternoon, which was deeply disturbing and then an evening "Macabre" tour about the darkside of medieval Krakow. After that I was happy to wander alone and take in the beauty of the city at night before returning home late.

Monday
we strolled to the far side of the railway station into the suburbs and spent time in a beautiful Polish cemetery away from noise and tourists. This place had almost as much history as the city. So green and colourful with squirrels running about. It didn't feel at all "dead"  and we both enjoyed it's peace and nature in contrast to the tourists and noise in the city. We both agreed it was the prettiest cemetery we had ever been to and it was "normal", untouristy places such as those that were most special.

Later I showed Tomas the night life I had experienced the previous night alone and we ate dinner at a restaurant which was better than expected. I had a memorable serving of fried "breaded cheese" with cranberry jam; heavier than I am used to eating. It was great but sat like a lead ball in my belly.

We then meandered through the city ducking into the little alleyways seeing what was hidden behind the facades.
Krakow is so much easier and more interesting to wander around than anything we found in Warsaw.

We moved to a new airbnb closer to the city for the last few nights. Just dropping our bags in the morning and then I did an old town tour before we sat in a cafe and caught up on small jobs.
Our new host was a Mexican girl who had lived in Krakow for 6 years working as a chef. Nice for us to see a different corner of Krakow and discover new cakes, cafes, nooks and crannies.

Dinner was at a new, unpretentious but intimate place we discovered whilst walking the evenings before called Chimera. A really good find with Polish food that you could just point to as they loaded portions onto your plate. Loads of fresh veggie dishes using basic ingredients that had me excited. Dishes are so much more creative and nutritious than we regularly eat in Australia or New Zealand. Back again the following 2 evenings for more.
On our second evening we started chatting to a young french couple who were travelling on a shoestring for 9 months. Gave up their jobs and were couch surfing and hitch hiking around Europe. It always amazes me how people travelling like them always have funds for nice meals and alcohol but not for the basic securities of life. Oh well! Each to their own. Tis not for me to judge.... and I remember how my priorities were so much different when I was younger and took for granted all the energy that I had. Their couch surfer host for Krakow had stopped communicating with them and they were waiting until as late as possible until they checked into a hostel. We left the restaurant to trudge home in the heavy rain at 10.30pm.

Unfortunately, the relantless rain foiled our plans to go to the mountain town of Zachopane. An excuse to return maybe????

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