a last visit to kraków

There’s not much more I could say about Kraków that wouldn’t sound like gushing. I loved the city, and I dreamed up ways I could move there and spend every day exploring its streets. And someday, I might. After all, it’s only 3 hours by train from my family.

Family: if you’re reading this, don’t tell Babcia & Dziadek and get their hopes up!

A few favourites from Kraków which stick out in my mind:

Szambalan
A little nook full of liqueurs and meads and nalweki and some non-alcoholic goodies that I don’t recall tasting… erm, seeing. I think I made it home with honey and nut liqueur, and a rose/turkish delight liqueur for my bestie. More would have come home with me had I needed to drag it to Prague and then through Canadian customs.

Sukiennice
Central Europe’s first shopping mall, the Cloth Hall has been tempting buyers for centuries. Today, full of touristy trinkets, it’s still a great spot to visit.

St. Mary’s Basilica
Easily one of the most beautiful houses of worship I have ever visited, I’d happily sit in a pew and stare at the starry skies above for days.

House of Beer
Let’s not judge that two of my favourite spots involve spirits. The House of Beer had some great local draughts on tap and a lively atmosphere. I think.

Kazimierz
Kraków’s Jewish quarter has experienced a revival over the last decade. This area is now teeming with tourists and filled with cafés, but there is much work still to be done, both in restoration and education.

Piwnica pod Aniołem
M’s guide pointed us to this lovely little restaurant – Cellar under the Angels – which is one of Kraków’s top restaurants. Serving up traditional Polish delicacies in a gothic cellar, the ambiance alone would be worth a visit. The food was wonderful, the service quite good … for Poland. But a note for the squeamish: the fish is served with the head still on. I won’t tell you how M dealt with that!

I also have to say that the staff at the Kraków Sheraton and Cracow Tour were unfailingly helpful.



Click through to facebook to see the full images, and stay tuned for a visit to an ancient salt mine 300m below ground, and then off to Warsaw for a little rainy visit.

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