Friday, 21 August 2015

A Day in Krakòw

Wawel Castle, Kraków

Hiiiiiiiii lovely people,

I believe we have reached my final blog post from Poland... Well, last touristy one anyway - there may or may not be a sneaky little foodie/cafe post still in the works!

While I was staying with Agata in Poznań, her father was called to Kraków for work and offered to take us along with him for the day - leaving at 5am, dropping us in Kraków to fend for ourselves and meeting us later on in the evening. 
This left us with the entire day to explore, experience and (unsurprisingly) eat to our hearts' content!

Driving to Kraków

Our first stop, naturally, was breakfast and coffee. We found a cute café called Karma near the centre of the city where we grabbed a light breakfast before heading on our way to fully immerse ourselves in our tourist roles.

Karma cafe, Kraków
Breakfast at Karma cafe, Kraków
Latte at Karma cafe, Kraków

A lot of our day was spent wandering through the beautiful streets and parks of Kraków. 
It was stunning weather - well okay, a few degrees cooler would've been nice but we really can't moan about it too much. 

When it's too hot, we complain. When it's too cold, we complain. You can't win!

Walking through a park, Kraków
Kraków
Paintings for sale in Kraków
Coming into the town square, Kraków

We wandered into the main market square, which happens to also be the home to St. Mary's Basilica.

We arrived just in time for the hourly trumpet "performance".
Every hour, a trumpet sound is played (we had read it was just a recording but I promise you there was a real life little man up in the top window playing it).
The tune cuts off mid-way through to commemorate a famous 13th century trumpeter who was shot in the throat while trying to sound the alarm to warn people of an attack on the city.

Pretty amazing, huh?

St. Mary's Basilica, Kraków
Town square, Kraków
Town square, Kraków

The basilica is a mighty old thing which boasts a pretty breathtaking interior.

St. Mary's Basilica, Kraków
St. Mary's Basilica, Kraków

(Look away now if cliché tourist photos aren't your cup of tea!)

St. Mary's Basilica, Kraków
St. Mary's Basilica, Kraków

We had a quick look through the Cloth Hall, a large building in the centre of the square that was once the main hub for all trading and business.

The hall housed a variety of imports from the east like spices, silk, leather and wax, while Kraków itself exported textiles, lead and a lot of salt from the nearby salt mine.

Rynek Główny, Kraków
Rynek Główny, Kraków
Rynek Główny, Kraków
Fountains in the town square, Kraków
Taking a break, Kraków
Horse and carriage in Kraków

Onwards we wandered, having only a somewhat dodgy map on Agata's iPad as a guide, but we made it to our next stop: Saints Peter and Paul Church.

(I make it sound all dramatic, really it was just in a straight line a few hundred meters from the market square.)

Saints Peter and Paul church, Kraków
Saints Peter and Paul church, Kraków
Saints Peter and Paul church, Kraków

As well as being a stunning Baroque building, its basement is the resting site to a very famous Polish poet, Slawomir Mrozek, who passed away just two years ago.

Saints Peter and Paul church, Kraków
Saints Peter and Paul church, Kraków

As I have mentioned in previous posts, churches (/basilicas/cathedrals/chapels/whatever else) really fascinate me and I just love visiting them so much. 

Sights like the next photo just never get old...

Saints Peter and Paul church, Kraków
Saints Peter and Paul church, Kraków

It was time for our last point on our map before heading off to find some lunch.

Wawel is a fortified hilltop complex dating all the day back to the 14th century, most famously known for the Wawel Royal Castle and the Wawel Cathedral.

Wawel Castle, Kraków
Wawel Castle, Kraków

After a quick climb up the hill you come into the large grounds, teeming with a ton of history and, well, a lot of tourists.

Wawel Castle, Kraków

We were no exception!

Wawel Castle, Kraków
Wawel Castle, Kraków
Wawel Castle, Kraków

The place was enormous and there was a lot of cool stuff to see, but after a while our tummies couldn't wait any longer so we had to make our way back down the hill and into the city for some lunch.

Of course we saw a few pretty sights along the way...

Cute building, Kraków

And a few funny ones...

"Come hungry, leave drunk", Kraków

We finally made it to Youmiko, a tiny sushi bar located in a damp, mossy courtyard.

It actually took us about 20 minutes walking up and down the same street trying to find this place but I'm so glad we stuck it out and kept searching because boy was it worth it!

For anyone wondering, it's through a (barely marked) door - seriously, the "sign" above the doorway is about 15cm long, explains why we couldn't find it for so long - and down a hallway that brings you into the courtyard and to the restaurant.

Youmiko Sushi, Kraków

The friendly sushi chefs prepare your order for you right then and there so it's the freshest it can possibly be. This was a very welcome thing in 36 degree heat!

Youmiko Sushi, Kraków

Super reasonably priced and so delicious. Can't recommend this place enough!

Youmiko Sushi, Kraków
Youmiko Sushi, Kraków
Youmiko Sushi, Kraków
Youmiko Sushi, Kraków

It was time for a bit more exploring through the Jewish quarter before making our way to our final stop: a cafe that one of my favourite coffee blogs, Sprudge, recommended and said, "if ever there was a cafe that gave you the excuse to visit Poland, it's this one."

Town square, Kraków
Jewish quarter, Kraków
Jewish quarter, Kraków

We stumbled along a closing farmers market along the way and grabbed a quick pick-me-up for the road - nothing beats fresh blueberries in the summer, am I right?!

Fresh blueberries from a market in the Jewish quarter, Kraków

I really couldn't resist taking a photo of this glorious sign outside a cafe we walked past.

Sign outside cafe, Kraków

Yes yes and yes again.

Window seat at a cafe, Kraków
Remuh Cemetery, Kraków

After a failed attempt to visit Remuh, an old Jewish cemetery, where many notable people are buried (couldn't find the entrance - whaaaaaat?), we crossed the river and made a beeline for this cafe...

Coffee Cargo, Kraków

The design was amazing, the coffee was great and the music was top notch - but I'll let the photos do the talking.

Coffee Cargo, Kraków
Coffee Cargo, Kraków
Coffee Cargo, Kraków
Coffee Cargo, Kraków
Coffee Cargo, Kraków
Coffee Cargo, Kraków

It had been a super long day and we still had a big drive ahead of us to get back to Poznań (around 5-6 hours if you're curious), so we met back up with Agata's dad and crashed pretty quickly in the car.

Sunset on the way home from Kraków

If you've made it this far through this monster of a post, I salute you.

I hope you've enjoyed experiencing a day in Kraków vicariously through my blog - it was a truly incredible city with so much to see. I hope to return there someday and have more time to see all of the other things on offer!

Tomorrow I'm heading to the Big Blogger Conference in London which I'm wickedly excited for - keep your eyes peeled for a blog post on that in the coming weeks.

Right, time to start sorting through my Vienna photos!
Have a lovely weekend,

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