London to Krakow Poland for the weekend!

My Hotel before heading to Poland

My Hotel in England before heading to Poland

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!

Did I tell you the one about the Polish Airline?

Did I tell you the one about the Polish Airline?

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.


The way in…

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 more20151112_070137 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?

20151112_070721Once 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.

I found the fort!

I found the fort!

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.

About JSH

There are more than 195 countries in the world by my count and I want to see them all before they all start to look the same – The United Nations has 192 members, but they do not recognized two independent countries, the Vatican City and Kosovo. U.S. Department of State recognizes 194 independent countries around the world, but their list has a political agenda and is missing Taiwan. All of this is without getting into the dozens of territories and colonies that are sometimes called “countries” such as Puerto Rico, Bermuda, Greenland, Palestine, Western Sahara, and even the components of the United Kingdom (such as Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England) and without counting states and provinces like Texas and Montréal that think they are independent countries. No madder how you count or tag them they are changing, starting to look the same and losing a little bit of themself every day. I do not want to see the world through the eyes of Las Vegas or Disney, like reading the Cliff Notes of a Hemingway novel; you get the idea but miss the point! Life is short, but how long live is up to you…
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