The Final Journey II - Kraków

On the fourth day I continue my trip from Brno to Kraków, former capital of Poland, whose beauty has been praised to me by other volunteers in Hungary more than once.

Sunday - Off to Poland

After a hot chocolate from one of the Kofi Kofi bikes, which you can find everywhere in Brno, I’m starting my five-hour-journey to Kraków. I’m meeting there with my first of three couchsurfing hosts for this trip, but because of the starting rain we’re going first to his flat and not directly into the city centre.

The rain stops in the early hours of the evening and after dinner in an Indian restaurant - there are a few good and authentic Indian restaurants in Kraków - we are talking a walk through the city and enjoy the absence of most of the tourists around this time.

Monday - Salt Lords and Oskar Schindler

With finally better weather I’m starting to explore the city a little better on Monday - with the help of Free Walking Tours from Walkative! Our guide makes jokes about the structure of the old town of Kraków, because most of the buildings are build either like a cake (old foundation, younger building, youngest roof) or like an onion (old core and, depending on the architecural style and time, new layers added on top).

The old town of Kraków is pretty fascinating in general, because it was rebuild from basically nothing in 1257, after being destroyed by the Huns. The local lord found out that there was salt to be mined, got incredibly rich and, with that money, got new citizens to come and rebuild the city in a very systematic way.

After Pierogi for lunch I’m continuing to Kazimierz, the old Jewish quarter, where I join a second tour about Holocaust Traces in Kraków, including the visit of the Ghetto and a stop at the factory of Oskar Schindler. It is a more subdued ending of a very informational day.

Tuesday - Marked for Life

After a rich breakfast including the in Kraków originating Bagels I make my way to Kult Tattoo Fest, a tattoo studio in Kraków where I got myself an appointment for today.

The view from the studio is fabulous, it lies directly next to the Vistula River and with a good line of sight to the Wawel - the castle of Kraków. The tattooing session takes until early afternoon, and to restock my energy levels I’m having a taste of Galonka, the Polish version of the pork knuckle, in a hidden pub in Kazimierz the Free Walking Tour guide recommended me.

My last night in Kraków I spend in Pychowize, a village about five kilometres away of the city, but accessible by bus in just about ten minutes. Even though it is close to the city, it feels a lot more rural than I thought, because it lies in the middle of a beautiful and lush green park.

Thus, I not only got to see the city, but also a little part of the surrounding area, but Kraków still has a lot to offer that I couldn’t take in during my short visit - which certainly makes me want to come back in the future.

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