Feeling very proud for writing my first blog, I entered Kraków airport with a big smile. Kraków airport is very small airport but probably the one where Immigration took the longest time. Not sure if they don’t have Indian visitors, but it was the first Schengen country where I had to provide my fingerprints at the immigration. People standing behind in the queue was probably thinking what did she do. 20-25 minutes and I was out.
Welcome to Kraków. My home for next four days. On one hand, I was very excited to explore this new city but as I was going to stay (or more of like crash ) at Anton’s place (my teammate), I was bit worried. When I met Anton, Marina and cute Ewa, my worries disappeared within few seconds. After a short 15 mins ride from the airport, I was knocking on Medvetskiy’s door. Anton welcomed me to his place with his amazing smile and a cup of tea. He the only person that I know who always smiles.. literally always 😀
In evening, Four of us went for a stroll in the old town. How to begin with exploring this amazing city.. obviously Food ️And when you are with the local experts, all you need to do is follow their suggestions. Feast began with one of the Polish national dish, Pierogi. Pierogi are dumplings with sweet or savory filling. I went for cheese and potato filled dumpling.
Next stop Oscypek (os-TESH-peck) with Zurawina or cranberries. Oscypek is traditional smoked sheep’s cheese, which should be enjoyed with cranberries marmalade. Once again Yummy 🙂
Okay Too much talk about the food. Along side food stalls, there are lot of stalls as well as shops for Polish souvenirs. While driving from airport to Kraków town, you can see lot of trees everywhere. As per Wikipedia, forests cover about 30% of Poland’s area. No wonder there are so many wooden products that you can buy as souvenirs. As I will be moving back to US soon, sadly I couldn’t buy anything heavy or bulky. However, I found two cute coasters 🙂 Just few hours in Kraków and I was done with my souvenir shopping. A very well spent Saturday ! #Success!!
Whether I am at home or on vacation.. Sunday morning is always lazy morning. I was planning to attend Free Walking Tour of old town in the morning 10:00AM but then I just gave up to warm blanket and my sleep 🙂 We decided to check out Wawel Castle to pay our respect to former Polish monarchy. Entry to grounds around Wawel Castle is free and definitely worth it.
Wawel Castle is home to the oldest legend of Krakow, a fire breathing dragon, known as Dragon of Wawel Hill. Story goes like this ( taken from urbanadventures blog) the dragon was a monster on a feeding frenzy, targeting innocent virgins. These maidens were sacrificed to the dragon in order to prevent him from plundering the countryside — that was, until he was thwarted by a local shoemaker, who tricked him into eating a sheep’s carcass filled with sulphur. The dragon became so thirsty from the sulphur that he drank and drank and drank from the nearby Wisła River, until he eventually exploded. In present world, luckily it is just bronze dragon statue by the local artist Bronisław Chromy, which is designed to breathe fire at regular intervals.
We then continued exploring the castle.
We then walked over to St. Joseph Church. Perfect Sunny Blue Sky 🙂
Now it was time to listen to the need of inner soul..Lunch:) Marina suggested a lovely restaurant.. Thanks Marina. The menu reminded me of my school days. With summer vacations coming to an end and before starting our new semester, we would spend hours and hours covering our new school books and notebooks in the brown paper.
Evening was well spent in exploring the Jewish quarter, Kazimierz with Krakow Free Walking Tour . Kazimierz consists of lots of tourist attractions as well as some of popular cafe, bars and restaurants.
Isaac Synagogue was one the many sites that we visited on the tour. Krakow’s largest synagogue, you can see the remains of original stucco work and wall-painting decorations inside.
When you are in Kazimierz, you have to visit Alchemia or Propaganda cafes to feel the communist nostalgia and try Polish vodka 😉 And then end the day with amazing Belgian fries.
It feels so good when it is Monday and you do not have to wake up to alarm. My day started with exploring Market Square, this time just by myself. I can go on and on about the old town and market square but I will try to be short. The Old Town is filled with many cosy, cobbled streets leading to Market Square. Market square is surrounded by many historical buildings and monuments, reminded me of Prague.
Afternoon was spent very well shopping at Galaria Krakowska with Marina. Enjoying Pumpkin soup and the best ice cream in Krakow.
With lot of great memories, Anton and Marina as great friends, and a Kitty Mug (had to buy something in the Galaria ), now waiting for my overnight coach to Bratislava. I feel like I already miss this city and amazing people here. I will be back here in future.. one day definitely.
Oh yeah. Forgot to mention that I did manage to find sometime from having all the fun to book an AirBnb in a family house in Bratislava. Excited to wake up in another city in the world 🙂