A Travellerspoint blog

Poland is awesome

Pottered this morning and didn't leave the hostel until 10.30am. Went to an info booth and found out which tram ( 24 or 3) to catch to Podgorze to visit the Oskar Schinder Factory Museum from the movie Schindlers List. Tram tickets 2.80 PLN for 20 minutes once validated $1 AUD

He was the German owner of an enamelware factory that employed Jewish citizens. In 1943 he contributed towards the establishment of a sub camp Plaszow at Lipowa St where the prisoners who worked in the factory and other local plants were accommodated. The conditions there enabled 1000 people to survive the war. In 1944 he evacuated the munitions part of the factory and 1000 workers to Moravia which saved their lives. The admin building we visited showed a walk through presentation of Krakow under nazi occupation from 1939 - 1945.

Only took 5 minutes to get there and there was a sign pointing in which direction to walk and the there were no more signs and we had to keep asking for directions. It cost 21 PLN ( $7.40AUD) to enter and we spent about an hour there.

Then the frustrating part was trying to walk around the old Ghetto area just nearby to see remnants of there ghetto walls and other locations. We saw bits but there were no signal and it we spent a lot of time just walking and not seeing anything. I would recommend to spend the money for the golf cart tours out the ghetto are to save a lot of time!

The ghetto was an area that had previously housed 3000 people and they moved 17,000 jews into that area. we went into the Eagle Pharmacy 9 PLN. He was the only Pole to have permission to continue to operate in the Jewish ghetto. He and his staff at risk of their own lives were liason officers between the Jews and beyond the ghetto providing information and smugged food products.

We caught the tram back to the old town and grabbed some bakery lunch. Poland has the best ad cheapest bakeries and food. I had an open egg sandwich and donut for 6 PLN.I was going to do the free walking tour around around Jewish Quarter but decided instead to just stay local and climb some more steps in towers! We found a great square full of stalls selling interesting carafes but amazing food and decided to come back here for dinner.

We paid 10 PLN each to visit the St Mary's Basilica and I paid an extra a15 PLN to climb b the tower. The church was probably the most ornate of any church I have ever seen. The wooden altar is the largest altar of its kind in Europe created in 1477.

The church has 2 towers 69 and 81metres. I am loving getting a work out and view climbing every set of steps I see and definitely feel like I am getting fitter cardio wise! Plus, The view is always great! A bugle call is played every hour from the higher tower . The tune was first played during a Tatars invasion in the 13th century by a guard who wanted to warn the citizens against attack. He was shot while playing and still today the the melody breaks off at the moment he died.

Next I went visit the Barbican and remaining city walls and towers and paid 8 PLN to explore through the walls and towers this old defence system. Walking back to Mum I discovered the lovely Opera House ( Teatro).

Mum had met some girls from the Netherlands and had chatted with them while I was off exploring and we then went back to have our showers and get packed ready for moving tomorrow,

That done it was walking back to the old town to have our nightly ritual of sitting at one of the cafes on the massive town square and read our books, watching the passerby and have out wine.

We decide the large number of school and groups we saw must be in town for Catholic Word Youth Day. We also noticed with it being Friday night so many large groups of very loud British men here for stag parties all wearing matching t shirts. This was also the first city that there was not large groups of Asian tourists, There were however LOTS of tourists in this lovely city.

We had some pierogi ( 12PLN) to snack on with our drinks and sheltered under an umbrella while a storm passed over. Once that had stopped we headed to the small square with local dancing and music and food and got plate of veggies, mushroom, potatoes and cabbage and meat to share. ( 44 PLN) We decided to shout ourselves another carriage ride just on dark and enjoyed the slowness and melodic sound of the horse hooves on cob stones. Walking back home we got some groceries from Spar or Express ( one of the many small almost hidden supermarkets) changed our remaining money back into euro and walked through the lovely parks that rings the city to our hostel and were in bed by 10 pm

The Krakow ghetto

The Krakow ghetto


Area of the ghetto

Area of the ghetto


Ghetto sign

Ghetto sign


Ghetto sign

Ghetto sign


Pretty cafe area

Pretty cafe area


River

River


Remains of the Ghetto wall

Remains of the Ghetto wall


Ghetto wall

Ghetto wall


Amazing food market

Amazing food market


Pork Knuckles

Pork Knuckles


Breads

Breads


Big pots of food

Big pots of food


Big pots

Big pots


View from church tower

View from church tower


Looking down to the square

Looking down to the square


Rooftops

Rooftops


Rooftops

Rooftops


Massive town sqaure

Massive town sqaure


Massive town sqaure

Massive town sqaure


Massive town sqaure

Massive town sqaure


Inside the tower

Inside the tower


Liquor shop

Liquor shop


Buskers

Buskers


Big storm emptied the town square

Big storm emptied the town square


Yum - pierogi

Yum - pierogi


Carriage rides

Carriage rides


Carriage rides

Carriage rides


Carriages lined up

Carriages lined up


Local dancing

Local dancing


Carriage ride home at night - so pretty

Carriage ride home at night - so pretty


Cafes

Cafes


Cafes on the square

Cafes on the square


Church on the square

Church on the square


Beautiful horses

Beautiful horses


Teatro - opera House

Teatro - opera House


City Gates

City Gates


City Gates

City Gates


City gates

City gates


City Gates

City Gates


City Gates

City Gates


View from City gates

View from City gates


Square

Square


Afternoon wine spritzer in the town square

Afternoon wine spritzer in the town square

Posted by hillbillyramsey 17:00 Archived in Poland

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