Krakow - Poland
I recently visited the historic city of Krakow in Poland. Krakow is the second largest city in Poland, the capital city Warsaw is the largest. I was meeting my brother and a couple of friends for a few days break in Krakow. One of my friends that I met was Funky English teacher and linguistics expert Johnny Simpson. I hadn't seen my brother Nick or my friends for a long time so I was looking forward to the trip. It was my first visit to Poland. It was also my first visit to Eastern Europe.
Meeting my brother Nick in Krakow
Johnny Simpson looking thoughtful in Krakow
We stayed in a friendly hostel called Mundo Hostel which is located close to the center of Krakow. The hostel was walking distance from most of the main tourist attractions so we did not have to worry about taxis or public transport. The most impressive tourist attraction in Krakow is the magnificent Main Market Square. This square dates back to the 13th century and is the largest medieval town square in Europe. You could almost fit 6 full size football pitches into the Main Market Square!
The Main Market Square is surrounded by historic townhouses, churches and palaces. We found a restaurant at the edge of the square to sit and enjoy the spectacular view.
Another of Krakow's famous tourist attractions is Wawel Castle. The castle was built in the 14th century, and rebuilt in the 15th century. It is located next to the edge of the Vistula River, which is the longest and most important river in Poland. Legend says that underneath the castle lives a fire breathing dragon - a sculpture of which you can see beside the river. If you are lucky you may even see the dragon breathing fire! There is also a very impressive courtyard inside the castle. On our final day in Krakow we went on a river cruise along the Vistula River and were rewarded with some magnificent views of Wawel Castle.
Krakow has some entertaining restaurants, bars and cafes. It's a very lively place in the evening and there are plenty of different restaurants serving a variety of food from the region. My favourite dish was called placki ziemniaczane, which is a type of potato pancake, served with a meat stew known as goulash. It was very delicious, but the size of the portion was unbelievable! I have never seen so much food. Luckily my friends (Johnny Simpson) helped me finish the dish.
Placki ziemniaczane - so much food!
Krakow is a beautiful, historic city. My brother has lived in Krakow in the past so I was lucky to have a knowledgable local guide! I especially enjoyed the history, culture and food. The local people seemed happy to speak English with me and I had no problem communicating. I would thoroughly recommend a visit to Krakow if you are travelling in Eastern Europe. Just remember - if you order the placki ziemniaczane you won't need a starter or a dessert!
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