This weekend I spent in Krakow, Poland with my friend K. I had never been in Poland before and was captured by the charm of Krakow. A beautiful city with plenty of interesting history and culture. We flew with Easy Jet, a flight taking a little over an hour from Basel. We arrived in Krakow early afternoon and thus had the entire afternoon and evening to explore the city and walk around.
We stayed at a hotel close to the main square within the old town district. We saw many of these handsome horse carriages passing by. Loved how the women driving were wearing beautiful old fashioned folklore dresses.
Everything seemed to happen around the main square. This was a place bustling with life lined by restaurants and cafes. The yellow umbrellas was a smaller part of an open market area.
More pictures from the main square. This building in the center held smaller shops with various souvenirs.
Bubbles are always popular and pretty and a fun thing for kids.
A detail about Krakow was that there were so many beautiful churches around town.
We walked up to the castle and monastery that was located up on a hill. An impressive building that was very majestic.
Krakow is a city rich in both history and culture. It is a city that did not get heavily bombed during the world wars thus offering a large amount of older buildings from the turn of the century.
A symbol and souvenir of Krakow is the dragon. The den and dungeon of the dragon is according to myth located below the castle.
The river Wisla flows through the city. All the larger boats are docked and stationary as the bridges do not open allowing only the smaller boats to pass under.
A beautiful city and a clean city. We did not have time to explore all parts of it. My friend K stayed for an extra couple of days as she also was going on to Warsaw and thus had time to explore the Jewish quarters of Krakow where Schindler's factory museum can be visited. The movie Schindler's list was also filmed in Krakow.
The Communist era also played a major part in history here. Some of the buildings and huge ad signs from that era in the 80:ties when communism had its stronghold here are still very much present. Overheard a guide telling a group about how difficult it was to get hold of various food items during that time. People would queue for hours and days to try to get extra items. Everything was on ration and people would get 2 kg of potatoes per person and week. The only thing that could always be found in supermarkets would be mustard and vinegar.
A local specialty were these Bretzel kinds of breads. Baked, twisted and sprinkled with seeds. There were sold like this in almost every street corner. We passed by this man that was playing music using glasses filled with different amounts of water thus giving rise to different tones. He was really skilled.
More of the beautiful horse carriages and the lady drivers in their pretty outfits.
The main square bustling with life also late in the evening.
Fell in love with these pretty flower wreaths. Wished I could have brought one home. I was travelling only with my backpack and I don't think they would have made it. It was actually a mix of both fresh and dry flowers. I am sure the flowers would still continue to look really pretty dry.
Our hotel was located on a quiet side street about a five minute walk from the main square. A perfect place to stay. We had a big spacious room and breakfast was included.
Something I discovered was how wonderful it can be to make a weekend trip like this with a friend. A totally different trip compared to what I would have done had I travelled with C. It is fun to sometimes experience things on your own and travel with others. A great thing to develop a deeper friendship.
We were also curious about the Polish cuisine and therefore tried two different Polish restaurants on our two evenings. I would say the Polish cuisine is partly influenced from Russia with their own version of red beet soup that we tried. In the dairy section of a store you can easily finds plenty of different kinds of Kefir and the Russian Smetana. Another dish we tried was Dumplings with various fillings that were really good. The Polish cuisine is otherwise quite meaty offering various kinds of meat, potatoes and cabbage.
The following day we had a busy program with a day tour both to Auschwitz followed by the Salt mines. That will have to be another blog post.