KRAKOW BACK IN TIME...
Our last visit to Poland was in the late 70's, when we could visit the northern part of the country, places like Swinoujscie, Gdansk, Mabork Zamek, Vistula Lagoon, Masuria, Olsztyn, Szczecin, Poznan, Bydgozcz, Torun and Warsaw.
We really enjoyed that trip while explore the country, the towns and getting to know the people. Again and again we wanted to see the southern part but we never made it.
Of course when we travelled Poland back then, there were hardly any tourists, only some guided groups in the well known places but we met no individual travellers.
In 2010 we managed to visit Krakow. We were amazed how nice and exciting the place was.
This time it was different: the city was overcrowded by tourists from all over the world. We experienced a very lively city which was dominated by the young people. Wherever you went, you met students and young travellers.
The place felt a bit mediterranean by the warm colours of the houses and the lively atmosphere of the market square and streets although we travelled there in October.
There are many places to see and to visit. I do not want to bore you with all the museums and historical places you can visit but there are some musts.
The castle WAVEL (you can easily spend half a day there), the Main Market Square with the Sukiennice. This lively place is surrounded by all kinds of cafes and restaurants, but the best place I would suggest is the "E. WEDEL" where you can enjoy all kinds of super drinks and pralines and cakes. For me the favourite was the "HOT CHOCOLATE" which is offered in all kind of varieties.
The Kazimierz district (the old jewish quarter) with its market square Plac Novy, a place where you can spend a visit at any time, but for me it can best be enjoyed in the evening.
There are so many nice little pubs, restaurants and snack bars where you can enjoy the traditional food in all price categories, a good drink and live music (like the Dawno Temu na Kazimierzu in the Street Szeroka) or just meet people to talk to on the square mentioned above.
Of course there are many more places to visit which will be mentioned in every guide book I want to encourage you to do a good walk.
We did it after we had spent the morning at the museum in Schindler`s plant. From there we walked back to the Ghetto Heroes` Square and found a little path from the road Rekawka south of the square, which led us through a wooden area up to the hill into a little chapel (Kosciol Sw. Benedyct) and some old fortifications (Fort 31).
From there you can follow some little pathes to the south east and you come to the old cemetary "Stary Cmentarz Podgorki w Krakowie". Although it is a bit neglected and disturbed by the noise of the main road close to it, you will like the atmosphere of light and shade that the old trees put the old graves into.
From there you must follow the main road (south of the graveyard) to the west along the graveyard and then cross the bridge across the main road to the south and a railway line. You will find a little path that leads you up to the Kopiec Krakusa (Krakus Mound).
From the top of this peak of a treeless hill you will have a fantastic 360 degrees view over Krakow with its old town centre and the castle Wavel (looking north).