Thursday, May 17, 2018


Krakow has a reputation as one of the most beautiful cities in the world and is on the World Heritage List.

We set off to investigate the Old Town which is close to our bnb, but first a photo of our bnb building. It is a very nice place to stay and quiet except for the chirping of birds.

Our apartment is that heart off to the right. It's only a few yards to the Old Town.

The Old Town is surrounded by a park.

Interesting name for a hair dresser. Well we presume that is the business located within, but we all know people who might be able to go to this location for another purpose.

After all the good weather we have experienced, it was a shock to have a grey gloomy and chilly day.

The back side of the St Mary's Basilica which is located at the large Market Square.

Car free back street leading to the Market Square.

Krakow is a tourist city and there are lots of touts promoting tours in large golfing carts.

Or you can take a carriage ride. On such a cold dank day, a carriage ride would not be pleasurable.

The Cloth Hall which occupies the center of the Market Square.

St Mary's Basilica.

We briefly joined a free tour but as in Hamburg, it was too cold to stand around listening. There were quite a few stands set up under these yellow tents by vendors selling things.

The knife was supposed used by one of the two brothers who built the two towers on St Mary's Basilica to kill the other. Apparently the knife was also used to punish thieves by cutting off an ear. The authorities have a few spares because the knife is stolen periodically.

Wares for sale.

That is some serious looking bread.

This stall sells cheese.

You cut the cheese into slices and grill it.

It tasted great with some berry jam. It definitely had a grilled flavour.

There a lots of outdoor restaurants and cafes. I should imaging this city would be one to avoid in Summer if you don't like crowds.

The person who operates the bnb provides a map with a suggested walk though the old city. It passed by this church with statues lining the front. 

Impressive organ.

The gold on the black was quite striking.

The entrance door to the church.

Krakow escaped serious damage in WWII but some of the older buildings are in need of repair.

This one is covered by a fine mesh.

We arrived at the back end of the Wawel Royal Castle. People have lived on this hill for over 50,000 years.

Approach to the Castle entrance.

There are quite a few separate buildings in the complex.  Naturally there is a statue to Pope John-Paul II. This Castle used to be the residence of Polish Kings and now houses art museums.

It seemed crowded with lots of children. It would be worse in Summer.

Foundations of long gone buildings.

The Vistula River which we saw further north in Warsaw. The hill along with the sharp curve in the river made the castle an obvious strong point. This view is from the top of the castle wall.

The city at the bottom of the hill.

A decent wall.

The suggested route took us into the old Jewish Quarter. As you might imagine, the Germans shipped most of them off to concentration camps. The Germans also planned to evacuate all Poles living in the city and replace them by Germans so that the beautiful Polish city would become a become a beautiful German city.

A multi-sided market building in the center of a square in the Jewish Quarter.

This might have been part of an old synagogue. In our brief walk though the area it was not particularly apparent what made this area Jewish at one time.

Perhaps it was the miserable looking weather but we found Krakow somewhat disappointing. Gdansk was much better even if the buildings are restored. No doubt when we explore some more, we will probably change our opinion.

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