After a long few days of work outside an iconic village in the south of England, I am off to Poland. The reason is simple, I have never been!
It is 10:30PM in Boston, 4:30AM in the UK and with 3 hours of sleep I exit a nondescript hotel at Heathrow and step on to a bus… my trek to Krakow Poland begins. First up Polish Airlines, and yes all I can think about is did you hear the one about the Polish Airline? As I board my flight, I realize just how little I know about Poland.
Via Warsaw, I land in John Paul II International Airport, Kraków. Avoiding the easy choice of a taxi to my hotel, I found a train to Krakow center or so I think. With no time table and only a backpack with me, I feel like a challenge (I left my luggage at the hotel at Heathrow so I would not be dragging a suitcase all weekend). I wander the train station or a more appropriate description would be a large shopping mall with a bunch of trains close by, not what I was expecting. It dawns on me at that point, I have no map and only vague understanding where my Hotel is. I could google map it, but that would be no fun. I remember it’s in the direction of a River, near a Castle and not too far out site the “old town” in the direction of the Czech Republic, what more would I need?
Once I finally found my way out of the mall / train station”, I quickly located the large wall that encircled the old town. With the wall as my guide, I followed a park outside that acted like a moat but only inviting people in vs keeping them out, until coming across a beautiful entrance. I stumbled in to the Old Town with its soaring churches, museums and huge market square (later I learned it was Europe’s largest and called Rynek Główn or should I say spelled because I have no idea how to actually pronounce it). I passed what must have been hundreds of restaurants, bars and clubs, as I drifted through the streets. It was hard not to love the way the quiet back streets mixed with the afternoon sun, the people and the architecture making up thissection of Krakow.
Eventually I did find my hotel after hours of just walking and wandering the streets, shops and cafes of Krakow’s Old Town. Unfortunately, I then found the back half of the Ease Coast work day before reversing my walk and exploring the same street at night seeing it all anew.