Highlights from Krakow
If you think my internet access was bad in Vienna, it only got worse here in Krakow. There was one working computer in the hostel, being used at all hour of the day. I searched for an internet cafe, but could not find one anywhere!
Anyway, Krakow should not be judged on its internet access – It really is a wonderful city.
I took the night train from Vienna to Krakow, and landed here at 6:30am. The night train is an experience – Try cramming 6 beds (3 bunks on each side) in a very small cabin with no space for luggage. In addition, the train is bumpy and loud, and the curtains are so thin that there is still light coming in. Needless to say, it is not the best sleep, but at least you avoid paying for a hostel night.
Anyway, I arrived at 6:30 and headed straight from Flamingo Hostel. I booked last minute, so I wasn’t sure about this place, but I think it is the best hostel I have stayed at so far.
I got in, hung out in the common room and had breakfast with the earlier rises, and then went out for a day around town. My first stop was Wawel Castel. Following the castle, I headed to see the city. Most of what I saw consisted of beautiful churches. The difference with visiting churches in Krakow is that the Polish are very religious – upon entering each church, I found large numbers of locals praying. Out of respect, I have very few photos of the churches for this reason.
After a long day of walking, I headed back to the hostel to relax for a bit. Shortly after arriving, I ended up going back out for some window shopping with Emily. I left her and her friend after an hour as I wanted to go hear the Krakow Chamber Orchestra play.
I headed to St. Peter and Paul Church for the Chopin-Mozart concert. It was a small concert, but it was fantastic. The musicians were great and the acoustics in this gorgeous church were phenomenial.
After the concert, I grabbed some street food for dinner and hung out at the hostel. Its a very social place, but it is strange as I am one of few females around. I am staying in an 8 bedroom mixed dorm with 6 guys! I don’t mind because they tend to take quicker showers so getting to the bathroom is not a problem:)
This was a rough day – the day to Auschwitz. It is one thing to see a movie about it or read a history book, but I am speechless – the site itself is a very difficult place to experience given all that happened there.
Dan, Adam, and I spent the entire day there.
We got back around 8pm, and had not eaten all day. We went out for dinner, and also decided that it would be the right night to have a few drinks – Polish Style.
The Polish do not seem to have vodka tonics, rather they have a tray of vodka shots. The vodka is often flavored so it is much easier to have it as a shot. After shots at two different bars, we ended up at the club across the street from the hostel.
There we met Kam, Sanjay, and Raj. The vodka and drinks continued, the music was good so we danced, and it was a crazy night. Fortunately, our hostel was directly across the street. I found myself back at the hostel around 4:30am.
Day 3: My last day in Krakow
The alarm went off at 9:30am, and I was not ready to get out of bed. I also committed to waking Dan and Adam up, which was impossible.
After a long shower and some advil, we packed up our stuff, put it in the lockers, and headed to the salt mines.
Little did we know that it was a long weekend (holiday weekend) in Poland, so the lines for everything were really long. It took us almost 2 hours to get into the salt mine, but it was worth seeing.
After the tour, we came back to Krakow, and I spent the rest of the day in the main square – it was a party. there were food vendors, shops, music and dancing. I am not sure if this was because it was a holiday weekend or if they do this every friday, but it was a nice way to experience Krakow and try a bunch of polish food.
In a few hours, I am on yet another night train headed to Prague. This time I paid the extra $10 and upgraded to 3 bunk cabin.