It’s a Friday morning in the last month of summer, the people of Krakow are preparing for work in their usual routine. They get into their cars, wait in the stations, run to catch the bus and we are on vacation! What else could we ask for? In moments like this we think what lucky we are and what a beautiful life we have… Although it sounds like a cliché, we decide how we want our life to be, and we have decided that we want a beautiful life, we want to see the world, to know it, feel it, taste it, live it to the fullest.
But let’s get back to our things, today we said that we are talking about Krakow, a gorgeous medieval town. Although it has a pretty sad history during the Second World War, this part of history gives even more charm to the city. Perhaps people who see Krakow and pass through the same places where history is written will try not to repeat the same mistakes. As Claude Bowers said, “History is the torch that is meant to illuminate the past, to guard us against the repetition of our mistakes of other days. We cannot join in the rewriting of history to make it conform to our comfort and convenience”, but we can learn from it.
The trip to Poland started with a road trip from Romania to Krakow, in a small car with four girls and almost no luggage. One interesting thing about this trip is that initially when we entered Poland, we didn’t even know we were in Poland. We thought we were still in Slovakia. After we saw on the GPS that we already crossed the border, we wondered if we crossed it illegally. 😂 But in fact there is no border between Poland and Slovakia and we have not even seen a sign that we have entered the country. We got a little bit lost when we entered Krakow searching for the apartment we rented, but within a few hours after finding it and rested for a while, we started exploring the city. We walked through the city, visited the gothic churches, monuments, museums, markets and bought tickets for sightseeing Krakow by a golf cart. We got into the cart with the smiling and very expressive men, named Vlad (he was from Ukraine) and drove to the destination where the tour was supposed to start, listening to hip-hop music and going with 30 km per hour. It was really funny, we even have a video with that.😂 When the tour started, Vlad played the recording, it was a historical and cultural story about all the tourist attractions we were passing by. It talked even about Helena Rubinstein when we passed her house and her studio. She was a cosmetics entrepreneur and the founder of her own cosmetics company, which made her one of the world’s richest women. After the tour, we went to Krakow’s main square and on our way we saw the impressiveness of Wawel Castle, which is part of UNESCO’s patrimony. It has a unique beauty or others may say it is unpleasant from an architectural point of view, because it represents nearly all European architectural styles of medieval, renaissance and baroque periods.
In old town’s main square the square space is surrounded by historic townhouses and churches that have very different architectural styles. But in a strange way they all fit together, that’s the fascinating glamour of this city. One of the things that give a medieval air to it are the carriages just passing by with those beautiful horses. You can take a carriage tour through the city, its a nice thing to do early on in the trip as you get a feel for the area. Besides the old town, Kazimierz is the former Jewish district of the city and it’s well known for its many Renaissance buildings and picturesque streets. Both its Jewish and Christian heritage were restored, and colour has returned to its alleys and squares. It must be visited as it is an captivating place, and a place to reflect on what has gone before us. In the evening, we decided to dine on the terraces of the Jewish quarter and try their specialties and drink a glass of wine. It was delightful. On Saturday, we woke up in the morning and headed to Oświęcim. A town in the province of southern Poland, situated at 50 km from Krakow, commonly known as being the location of the notorious Auschwitz concentration camps (Auschwitz-Birkenau) during World War II when Poland was under the control of Nazi Germany. We will write about this in other pages of our journal. But that was all for today.
For us Krakow is a vibrant, energetic, medieval town, a place from which we learned a lot and it will definitely remain in our hearts.