My Magical Home Town – Krakow

This week’s post is a bit different as it does not involve wearing my trekking gear, walking up any stairs or overall prepping for the trek. This week I am going to take you on a tour of my home town – Krakow in Poland.

At the end of July, I made my annual journey back to see my parents and also to leave my two children with them so they can immerse themselves in the Polish culture, language and spend some quality time with their Polish grandparents. This has become the custom now and the kids always look forward to seeing their grandparents.

International Youth DaysHowever, this year’s stay was a bit different. It coincided with the World Youth Day where over 1 million young people from 180 countries came to Krakow to take part in a series of events led by Pope Francis. The streets, hotels, restaurants and mainly the Market Place were packed with the colourful crowds of young people carrying flags of their respective countries, chanting and enjoying their experience in this beautiful city.

As the majority of the roads were blocked, me and my husband decided to walk everywhere. We were doing an average of 15 km a day so I can say I still did some training for my trek although this time I chose my Nike trainers to carry me on my feet.

The Old Town Walk

I love walking the streets of Krakow. The place is full of history – every building and every street tells a story. It always brings back nostalgic memories from chasing the pigeons in the Square as a little girl, walking past the Wawelski Dragon at the foot of the Castle to studying at one of the oldest and most prominent universities in Europe – the Jagiellonian University. Let’s start our journey through the streets….

Street Paintings
Street Art – Paintings
St Mary's Church from Florianska Street
St Mary’s Church from Florianska
Krakow Folk Costume
Traditional Krakow Costume
Florianska
Florianska Gate
St Mary's Church from Sukiennice (Cloth Hall)
St Mary’s Church from Sukiennice
Igor Mitoraj - Eros Bendato
Igor Mitoraj – Bound Eros Sculpture
Sukiennice
Sukiennice – Cloth Hall
Collegium Maius
Collegium Maius – University
Wawel Castle
Wawel Castle
Krakow building
Krakow house – Old Town

Food in Krakow

Lard and pickle

Last but not least, let’s talk food… If you like bread and you are a meat eater this place is for you. This is not to say that vegetarians won’t find anything to eat in Poland. No – we just like our meat and carbs. This, for example, is a traditional pre-meal snack in the traditional Polish restaurant . A slice of rye bread with lard and bacon and a dill pickle. Personally, I like it but my husband hates it – I guess it is like Marmite. The origins of this snack go back to our peasant past when a meal like this was cheap and provided a tonne of calories needed to do the work.

We also found this lovely traditional restaurant called Slawkowska 1,  just on the corner of the Market Square. To be perfectly honest, it was the menu that attracted us to this place. It looked amazing and it was very cheap. It offered 3 courses for 25 zloty (around £5). I don’t think this was a standard menu but just a way of attracting customers in one of the busiest times for the city. The food was delicious. We washed it down with some cold Polish beer which was so refreshing in the 30C heat.

Menu
Choose 3 courses for £5

My choices

Beetroot soup
Barszcz – Beetroot soup
Beef meal
Minute steak, Dill potatoes and salad

Fruit cake

This was amazing – a homemade fruit cake 

 

 

To sum up…

I had a wonderful time in Krakow. I always say I wish I had stayed longer. It was good to eat my mum’s food and just chill for a few days. I would urge you to visit Krakow which is a gem in itself but also a gateway to other places like Zakopane (the Tatra Mountains), Wieliczka Salth Mine or Auschwitz. I would definitely come in summer unless you like cold!

Hopefully, I have painted a nice picture of my hometown. You can probably tell I am really proud of my Krakow heritage. Please like my post and share it with your friends. And I might see you in Krakow!

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