Blogs from Kraków, Lesser Poland, Poland, Europe

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Europe » Poland » Lesser Poland » Kraków December 22nd 2019

I had two walking tours booked for today. The first was one was in the Kazimierz, which was the historically Jewish part of the city. The tour was about the Jewish history of the area. It took me quite a while to walk to the meeting point for the tour, maybe 30-40 minutes. I didn't mind though as I got to explore a different part of Krakow. I liked walking along the streets, there were a lot of restaurants featuring cuisines from different countries and ethnicities, and some shops that looked appealing. I think if i return to Krakow, I would like to stay in this area. I got a bit lost finding the starting point of the tour as the signposting on the streets wasn't great and I took a wrong turn. I managed to ... read more
Szeroka Street
Stara Synagogue
Synagogue Poppera

Europe » Poland » Lesser Poland » Kraków December 21st 2019

I had booked a food tour for the morning and was rather surprised to find that I was the only person who had. I'm rather glad that it wasn't cancelled and it was the guides first time to take a tour with only one person on it. I don't really know much about Polish food so I was looking forward to trying some new foods. The tour met at the Barbican and our first stop was a short walk away. We headed away from the Old Town into the nearby streets to Żywe Muzeum Obwarzanka, the Live Bagel Museum. Here I got to try Obwarzanka Krakowski, which is kind of like a bagel. They are usually sold in little street carts, which I had seen about on my first day in Krakow. This place is a ... read more
The statue of Jan Matejko
Żywe Muzeum Obwarzanka
Old Kleparz Market

Europe » Poland » Lesser Poland » Kraków December 19th 2019

I was very impressed with the train I took to Krakow. I had opted for the faster, newer train and it was immaculate. Even though I was in second class, it was really nice, there was even a free drink for passengers, but I missed it as I didn't realise it was free. I travel too much on budget airlines, so I am totally conditioned to saying no to things as I think they will cost money. The train was also pretty empty and quiet, perfect. I arrived in Krakow in about two and a half hours. I headed to the place I was staying, which was only about a ten minute walk from the station and just dumped my stuff, unable to check in as it was too early. I was staying on the edge ... read more
St. Mary's Basilica
St. Mary's Basilica
St. Mary's Basilica

Europe » Poland » Lesser Poland » Kraków September 9th 2019

Today was another early morning to go on the Salt Mine tour just out of Krakow. It was wet again but fined up early afternoon. These salt mines first started in the 13 Century when salt was scarce and expensive. But at the same time was needed to preserve certain foods. The tour only covers 1% of the mines(about 3km) and it is underground throughout the size of the town of Wieliczka. In fact you pop up in the centre of the town at the end of the tour. The 1% is huge as you slowly descend on foot (over 400 steps) 135 metres below ground. The walls around you and the floor below you is all salt in most of the mine. The miners worked an 8 hour day and certainly not in the conditions ... read more
The miners steps
Wieliczka Salt Mines bear Krakow -Salt Sculpture
Salt Sculpture

Europe » Poland » Lesser Poland » Kraków September 8th 2019

Sitting in the bar at street level as I write this. My hotel is on the edge of the Main Market Square so no cars are allowed. The sun is beginning to lower and buildings becoming covered in shade. The day began early as I was joining a city tour on foot and needed to be at the meeting place quite early. Wasn’t sure what the day would bring as it was quite wet as I looked out my window at first light. Steady rain and the only human life in the quiet of the morning was a robed monk strolling along oblivious to the rain. His pace was meditative and I wondered what his day entailed. There were temporary event railings all along the promenade which turned out to be a business half marathon for ... read more
Jewish Quarter Cemetery Krakow
Jewish Quarter Walled Cemetery Krakow
Jewish Quarter Square Cemetery Krakow

Europe » Poland » Lesser Poland » Kraków September 7th 2019

Up early for train departure. Walked to the station which was not far away. Only challenge being the cobblestone driveways every 20metres. Case wheels don’t roll too smoothly over them. But I soon got into the rhythm of 20 metres rolling my case and then pulling over the cobblestones. Not a fan of Warsaw Station- quite confusing if you don’t speak Polish and no officials on the platform to ask and information window were not helpful. Considering it’s the country’s capital it didn’t offer what it needed to. Anyway, finally got on the intercity train to Krakow. Very comfortable but a little bit disconcerting that my case had to stay on a luggage rack away from my view. Was relieved at the other end that it was still there. Nice surprise if someone took it- clothes ... read more
Scenery from the train from Warsaw to Krakow
Scenery from the train from Warsaw to Krakow
Scenery from the train from Warsaw to Krakow

Europe » Poland » Lesser Poland » Kraków May 29th 2019

Back in Krakow, and time to wander streets in the reviving former Jewish quarter. Music here and there weaving through the streets, and an immense sense of bustling life and industry behind the crumbling, ruined facades. A harshly-lit bookshop presided over by a tall and melancholy bearded man, and a gloomy bookshop in what had been a temple...our footsteps creaked and echoed on the arthritic wooden floors, I remember. Lots of art and craft workshops bubbling up, busy with the usual tat and second-hand clothes, and the occasional astoundingly beautiful odd piece of metal, or bark, or paper. I wonder if anyone actually remembers what each of those objects was used for. The stated aim is to bring Kazimierz back to life again as it was in the early 1940s....... read more
Kazimierz
Kazimierz
Detail

Europe » Poland » Lesser Poland » Kraków May 23rd 2019

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, ... read more
Our first cake sample in Krakow

Europe » Poland » Lesser Poland » Kraków May 20th 2019

It’s an early start this morning in order to reach Auschwitz before the 10 am compulsory, yet non-existent, tour guide cut off time. We make it with minutes to spare, although it means skipping breakfast. It feels inappropriate to complain about being hungry in a place like Auschwitz. I fail to gain entry at the first attempt as I have left my passport in the car. Then there is an issue with the spelling of my name on the ticket. Finally, on the third attempt (fourth if you count yesterday), I am admitted. The camp consists of around 30 blocks, most now form a museum detailing the history of Auschwitz. Some blocks deal with the history of the camp in general, while others recount the plight of specific nationalities of prisoners. The general blocks contain a ... read more
Arbeit macht frei
Auschwitz
Auschwitz

Europe » Poland » Lesser Poland » Kraków February 16th 2019

The best way to spend your free time? Active recreation! If you are a sports fan and you are not couch potato, come to Krakow, where you will not be bored! What can you do in this unique city? In addition to the party atmosphere and lots of tourist attractions, great adventure await you on the race track! Hit the gas, enjoy the speed and feel like a champion of the race track. But first a bit of history! If you want to see the true motoring gems of the past decades, be sure to check out the Museum of Urban Engineering, where you will find unique cars and move in time. You will find here cars and motorcycles made in Poland from the 1930s and learn a bit about the history of public transport in ... read more




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