Trains to Poland

Krakow Travel Blog

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Castle overlooking Krakow

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Things didn’t start too well in Krakow. 

I had no map with me and had used Goggle Earth to figure out how to get from the train station to the apartment.  It was only a few blocks and taking a taxi seemed too easy.  Unfortunately, I didn’t check my compass until we had left the station and started walking East and North.

  We should have gone West and South. (You’d think the rising sun would have given me a hint but I was a little brain-dead from the train.)   It was 6 am so there wasn’t anyone English-speaking around to ask for directions.  We took a deep breath, repeated the saying “Being lost is only temporary” and started walking in what the compass said was the right direction.  It worked.

Krakow was once surrounded by a moat which has been turned into a city park called the Planty that encircles the Old Town area.  I’ve never been so glad to see a park.  Our apartment was on the edge of the park so we found the apartment address and stood there, with our luggage, waiting for the agent who was to meet us at 9 am.  By 9:30 it was apparent that she wasn’t going to appear, so we walked to the Market Square to have breakfast and figure out what to do next.

view of Krakow from Castle
  We did find the rental office but it was closed since this was Sunday morning,  Now what?

We found an internet cafĂ©, looked up the cell phone numbers of the agents on the rental website and started calling.  Meanwhile our waitress at the restaurant had found us a room at a reduced rate at a nice hotel nearby (the waitress overheard us discussing our lodging problem). 

Kamil was the first rental agent to answer his phone and he agreed to meet us at the apartment in 15 minutes to let us in.  Everybody was very nice and tried hard to help.  With the exception of the train organization employees, we couldn’t have asked for kinder treatment during the entire trip.  Even the rental agent who didn’t show up was nice, just a little air-headed.  Instead of showing up at 9am on the 7th, she had waited for us at 7am on the 6th.

today was daschund day
  And then she went home taking the keys to the apartment with her. Kamil had to have her send the keys in a taxi which also met us at the apartment.  We seem to keep collecting an entourage when we arrive someplace.

This apartment was not as nice as the one in Prague but still comfortable and roomy.  After dropping off the luggage, my husband arranged for tour tickets for tomorrow and the next day to Auschwitz and the Salt Mines.  We planned to spend today, which was beautiful but warm, at Wawel Castle which overlooks Krakow.  Kamil had recommended that we also see Kazimierz (the Jewish Quarter) and have a typical Polish country dinner at Chopskie Jadlo.

We walked back through town to the Castle and noticed that everyone was carrying banners with pictures of Daschunds on them.

cafes always make me happy
  Today was Daschund Day and they were all over the place, most of them wearing little costumes and looking bewildered as only Daschunds can.

Trying not to step on all the little dogs running about, we continued on to the Castle.  It’s on top of a hill of course but seemingly a Daschund-free area.  We hired a guide to take us around the Castle and its associated Church.  This was a good idea of my husband’s because it really gave us a good overview of Polish history in addition to explaining what we were seeing.  I have a sneaking suspicion that he also appreciated the fact that it limited our time to 2 hours at the Castle.

At dusk we walked through Kazimierz (the Jewish Quarter) which is similar to what Prague’s Jewish Quarter must have been like before the Tourist Board got a hold of it.  There are 2 Jewish Cemeteries in the Kazimierz area, a market place and many little shops.  It’s also near the restaurant Chopskie Jadlo where I had a life-changing experience involving sour beet soup with small mushroom-filled dumplings.  Wow!  I’m going to eat nothing but soup while I’m here.  This was so good that I can’t even begin to describe it and the rest of the meal almost matched it.  My three food groups seem to be soup, gelato and beer.  I’m sure I’ll pay for this later but right now I don’t care.

hannah-lou says:
Excellent blog! Im really looking fwd to my future Eastern Europe trip =D
Posted on: Dec 15, 2008
festerwretch says:
I guess this is as good a place as any to say this ... Congrats on the feature! :D
Posted on: Dec 14, 2008
sylviandavid says:
Dashhound day... How funny is that???? I love it.
Posted on: Dec 12, 2008
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Castle overlooking Krakow
Castle overlooking Krakow
view of Krakow from Castle
view of Krakow from Castle
today was daschund day
today was daschund day
cafes always make me happy
cafes always make me happy
Castle complex
Castle complex
the Singer cafe had old sewing mac…
the Singer cafe had old sewing ma…
Krakow
photo by: EmyG