Our Krakow – What I Loved and Learned
What a wonderful summer vacation, with most roads travelled in Spain, and at Polish beach resorts close to my hometown in Szczecin, where we unexpectedly ended up again in August.
Summer finished off visiting friends in Krakow.
Krakow was almost a culture shock after Szczecin. Poland and Poland are just not the same at all. Lesson learned. And there was just so much more in Krakow…
❤ What I lOvE about KRakOW ❤
.:*・°☆. The great food, fresh fruit stands, around the clock bakeries, the choice of restaurants serving the hungry, picky, snobby and vegetarian! Perfect mixture, quality and quantity of culinary options are to be found in Krakow.:*・°☆.。
Pierogarnia. One of many dumpling restaurants.
.:*・° 彡The hippest area in Krakow – that is Kazimierz – and I also really enjoyed our apartment right smack in that district. Kazimierz is a historical location and as of today, the coolest bar, restaurant and night life area in Krakow. Once a separate town, founded by Kazimierz Wielki in 1335, it partly turned into an enclave for the Jewish community in the 15th century, when Jews were banned from the city. From our street in Kazimierz we could see the enormous High Flyer Balloon rising. Located on the opposite side of the river, more or less facing the Wawel Castle this fun ride gives great views over the city. I am a bit sad we missed it but that will be one more reason to come back! .:*・° 彡
Our home in one of the historical streets of Kazimierz.
.:*・°☆. Major sights in Krakow can be visited for free! If you are not under time pressure, you can enjoy many gratis attractions. Almost everyday various museums open their doors free of charge! .:*・°☆.
★彡 Everything that is going on in Krakow, like theatre, music, festivals, events, sights, all attractions are listed in this handy KARNET brochure. For a few zloty anyone can turn into a cultural insider of Krakow. You will find a copy to browse through at most popular attractions, clubs, restaurants and bars. I am reading through this one at the Galicia Jewish Museum ★彡
.::・’゜★。Definitely… the night life is great! Lots of events going on all the time in Krakow .::・’゜★。
Visual treats at the Sacrum Profanum Festival 2014.
★☆★☆ For the Japanophile, there is the Manggha Museum and enough Sushi places to prepare for a trip to the land of the rising sun ★☆★☆
－－★ I also liked that Krakow provides plenty of public bike rental spots. Open 24h and if you only use your bike for 20 minutes, it is free, too! You need to register on the net beforehand (easy) and then pick a bike that isn’t damaged (moderately easy) and find a place to return it (maybe harder near major sights. But relax. If you call the bike rental number, you can easily get rid of it anywhere). －－★
✘✘✘ WhAT I lEarnEd – My Personal liSt ✘✘✘
✘ There are Volleyball World Championships every four years ✘
We happened to arrive at exactly that time of the year. Admittedly, Volleyball was completely new to me. But in contrast to soccer, the players speak in full sentences, there is no contact foul play, less running and more ball action. I am not a sports enthusiast when hectic movements over any ball are involved but some volleyball players are just honey to look at (despite an average shoe size of 46 and 2 meters in hight). We followed some of the final volleyball games and I guess I can boast that we won twice – Poland (1st) and Germany (3rd) were both standing on the winner’s podium!
✘ There is more to chestnuts ✘
One very rainy day, seeking shelter underneath a huge chestnut tree in the middle of Krakow’s beautiful Planty gardens, we were first bombarded by chestnuts, then soaked by the rain. But we returned with a backpack full of chestnuts. These pretty auburn pellets can be assembled into more than just stick figures. While I was totally into stick figures, The One created outside the chestnut box. He claimed the structure to be a bouquet of flowers for me but we all agreed that he made a trophy cup for the above mentioned sport event.
And I totally agree that swings inside the house are awesome.
✘ Communist nostalgia is a luxury we can now afford ✘
And astoundingly some businesses (or signs) are still around. The sign says: Ironing service for underwear. Fast, cheap, reliable.
✘ “Gender” has grown to become a Polish term for all the political topics that are sparking heated debates in the country ✘
Despite colliding with the final volleybal match, we dived right into a seminar – „Mówiąc «gender» – czy wiesz o czym mówisz?” (Speaking of Gender- Do you know what you are talking about?). Perspectives on “Gender” were elaborated by Bogdan de Barbaro, Jacek Prusak and Zuzanna Radzik, a healthy mix of psychiatrist, clerical, humanist and theologian views.
Jacek also draws the masses in one of Krakow’s Jesuit Churches (Kościół św. Barbary) close to the Rynek. Transcending from mass, to coffee, through Gender, to volleyball in one afternoon might be one of the Almighty’s mysterious ways. Or a glimpse into the life of our Krakowian friends.
✘ In Poland, energy drinks are defined differently. And sweaty guys with shovels in the mud are kinda hot. So are girls in folk slippers or wellies going for grzybobranie (mushrooming) ✘
Helping out a friend’s friend at their new house in Grabie (the village name fittingly means rake in Polish).
We will be sightseeing for free in Krakow in the next post!