krakow, poland

November 14, 2010 - Krakow, Poland

after a surprisingly good night's sleep on the train from budapest - krakow, we arrived to a morning that was not as cold as i was expecting (i had seen snow in poland on tv earlier in the week). we walked to the hostel in about 20 minutes, it was about 7/7.30 am in the morning so just light.

our hostel in krakow was brilliant. it's called deco hostel, and was 10 euro a night for an 8 bed dorm. the staff were lovely, the wi-fi was good, the common room was comfy and well-stocked of dvds, the decor was awesome (brown scheme with deco posters, photos and writing scattered around), and it had free breaky too. the first night our room was full, but all night after that it was empty, so we had it to ourselves. (we ended up staying extra nights because we both liked the city so much)

the first day, saturday, we couldnt check in because it was still too early, but we had the common room to ourselves and were quite content watching movies on the internet until the beds were ready. i had a nap in the afternoon (on the best hostel bed ever!) and scott amused himself. we cooked ravioli for dinner (everything is cheap in poland, woohoo!) and it didnt taste the best but oh well.

our first full day was spent exploring the old town, along with what seemed like all of the locals as well! it was quite busy, but not overly, and the weather was brilliant, warm enough for t-shirts! (in november, in poland?!?!)

we went to the shopping mall first (it was so weird being in one after such a long time!) and found me a new wrist strap for my watch, so i could finally stop bugging scott about the time every 20 minutes. also got some blank dvds and a charger w/ rechargeable batteries for him (i think he finally started listening to me when i said it would cost less in the long run than buying batteries every 3 days) there seemed to be some sort of chess competition going on, and there were tables and tables of people playing chess with serious expresions on their face right in the middle of the mall!

krakow is a beautiful city, and the buildings are terrific. it luckily managed to escape the WWII without a lot of damage, and you can tell the difference when you compare it with other cities which have been rebuilt. the architecture in other cities is still really neat, but krakow is even better. the old town is FULL of awesome buildings, old churches etc, and is mostly for pedestrians, which makes it much nicer to slowly wander around without worrying about lots of cars! there is a park (planty) going right around the old town, which is popular for a stroll on sundays. good for people watching : )

the main sq,, rynek glowny, was really busy on sunday! in the middle is the sukiennice, which is a covered market, now full of souvineers and jewellery stores (but was established ages ago and one of the first ' shopping centres'  (covered markets) in europe apparently. nearby, at the bazilika mariacka, every day there is a local fireman who sounds a trumpet from the highest tower, but abruptly stops. this is a homage to centuries ago, where a guard spied foes approcahing and sounded the alarm with his trumpet, to warn the town, before he was shot in the neck with an arrow. the modern trumpeter stops the tune right when legend says the old-school trumpeter was shot.

we sat down in the park at sunset, and people watched while the sun went down behind the tree skeletons (what i call them when they have no more clothes left!) we cooked spaghetti for dinner, yum!


atti's handmade kayak
inside atti's handmade kayak (so light!)
atti's handmade kayak
adrienn's family
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