From Krakow to Zakopane

July 21st 2009
Published: July 21st 2009
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Once we finally got to Krakow, we had a wonderful time. It is such a lovely city. The old city and the market square are filled with fresh flowers, buskers, amber, charming old restaurants, and lots of European atmosphere. It is a great place to stroll, shop, and people watch.

The Cloth Market dominates the old square and is the biggest indoor market in Europe. It was once the medieval market place for the cloth industry, but is now filled with amber, wood carving, and souvenir stalls. All around the market are outdoor cafes and street performers. Outside the old city walls, along the river, is Wawel Castle. It's a very large and well preserved castle. There are great views of the city and the river along its ramparts.

South of Krakow is the alpine town of Zakopane. Buses leave Krakow every 20 minutes and it takes about 2 hours to leave the city and climb into the Tatra Mountains. Zakopane is always crowded with people, but we love the area and have returned for the 4th time. Our past visits were always filled with rain, but the weather gods are still being kind to us and we had 4 sunny days and only 1 rainy day. We actually got to see the mountains, eat outside, and wear shorts. This was a first!

Poland, in our opinion, undoubtedly makes the best soup in the world, and Zakopane has some of tastiest. We've had soup every meal even when it's been hot and the locals look at us like we're crazy. The borscht, the zureck, and the wild mushroom are some of our favorites.

We've had free Internet in our hotel which has been so convenient. It was a great way to catch up on the details of the trip and get these last 3 blogs posted. Tomorrow we visit Warsaw, then fly to Finland to see one of our former students from our time in Brazil. We're very excited to be seeing her and her husband and also meeting her 2 children for the first time. They are renting a cabin in the lake district of eastern Finland. It will be a fun and memorable time.

Ron wanted me to share with you the convenience and low cost airfares that Ryan Air, Easy Jet, and Finncomm Air are providing to travelers. It has made our travel
Krakow Bugle player in the church towerKrakow Bugle player in the church towerKrakow Bugle player in the church tower

Every hour, the bugler plays an incomplete refrain. The story is that the watchman who tried to give an alarm of an attack on the city in 1241 was shot in the throat part way through the alarm. So they honor him every hour by replaying the part of the alarm that he completed before he died.
through Europe so much easier and faster. In many cases the airfare has been cheaper than a train ticket. You just can't beat it!!

Additional photos below
Photos: 37, Displayed: 23


Krakow Cloth MarketKrakow Cloth Market
Krakow Cloth Market

This is the largest indoor market in Europe. It used to be a cloth market, but now it is mostly amber and tourist souvenirs.
Coronation Church in the Wawel CastleCoronation Church in the Wawel Castle
Coronation Church in the Wawel Castle

This is the church where the Polish kings were coronated.
Krakow DragonKrakow Dragon
Krakow Dragon

The dragon shoots fire out of his mouth periodically. He wouldn't co-operate for my photo.

21st July 2009

Very Cool
Great pics once again. You keep giving me new places to want to hit on our travels. Love to you both. Jim and Jan...
21st July 2009

Set out the soup plates
We'll be right over. Continue to enjoy!! nancy
21st July 2009

stinky cheese
I know you two love that cheese but it is sure not my favorite! The rest is awsome. Did you stand in the proper place for high energy - chakra-at Wawel castle? Did you have to move the sign to find it??

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