a magical city like Prague, but a little more relaxed and rustic. (ie; perfect.)
Hello friends, strangers and acquaintances. I have been on the move again! Thrilling stuff. So much more of Europe to see, not nearly enough time or money to see it all… but I am doing my very best! I decided I didn’t want to be alone this Christmas, so I booked another tour, met another bunch of great people, and made another collection of amazing memories.
First stop was the wonderful city of Krakow in Poland. I didn’t really know what to expect from this city, I hadn’t heard a lot about it. Personally I think that is a magical way to travel. The trouble with places like Paris and London is you are always trying to find things people have told you about, or make your experience match up to this idea of what it should be like based on a recount that a good friend gave you. If you don’t know what the place is about, you can just follow your instincts and gravitate towards what feels fun.
So let’s start with food and drink shall we. Honey mead- big tick! I think it is only available in winter but if you are in Poland in winter definitely get your hands on some of this stuff; it is amazing. Although if you are not a beer drinker, it is essentially warm beer with herbs and honey in it, so maybe give it a pass. Glögg wine is also fantastic (or mulled wine… I am still not quitttte European enough to understand what the difference is). The food I had was pretty centred around the Christmas markets, just explore and you will find lots of things covered in chocolate, lots of meat, lots of potato and lots of yummy goodness. This brings me to my next point…..
……….CHRISTMAS MARKETS!!!!!! So these are clearly not exclusive to Krakow, but I love love LOVE Europe at Christmas time; so being back in those markets melted my heart a fair bit. These were some pretty good quality markets too. They kind of blend in with the markets that already exist quite famously all year round in Krakow known as the ‘linen markets’ in the main square. They don’t actually sell linen, but they used to and they have kept the same set up, so it is all really neat.
The sights are amazing. Take a trip up to the Wawel Royal Castle. It is really beautiful and worth a visit. The city kind of reminds me of Prague but with a more rustic vibe. I really enjoyed it. More importantly, take a chance to wander around the city. It is very walkable and has a lot a trendy spots hidden throughout.
I also visited Auschwitz Concentration Camp on the way out of the city. I have already dedicated a post on this blog to a concentration camp, and I feel that the sentiments said in that post are equally applicable here. Also, Auschwitz was set up quite differently from Mauthausen camp. It is much less deliberately confronting and much more like a museum. The guides give you every single fact exactly as it was. You see all of the rooms, the ruins, and the abandoned possessions, and then take away from it whatever stayed in your head the most. I think it is an incredibly important place to visit, and feel that it is designed so that you have a unique reaction to what you find inside.
Ok so that is Krakow… man it is good to be on the road again!... Till next time.