After a solid few days at work, we were back on a plane and heading to Krakow for a fleeting visit before heading to Slovakia for a week of Snowboarding. We had planned to check out the city in the afternoon, however, fog vetoed our plans and we were diverted to Warsaw where we sat on the tarmac for a few hours before finally getting to Krakow. For the faults that low cost airlines have, I think EasyJet did a great job dealing with the delay and handling the constant whinging from all the obtuse people who seemed to blame them for the weather. People can be weird! Calm finally resumed after the Captain allowed passengers to view the cockpit.
With its cobblestone streets and huge Market Square, Krakow’s Old Town is quite beautiful and has a really nice laid back feel about it. We were staying just outside the OId Town walls in Flamingo’s Double Rooms, which were definitely a step up from standard Hostels we had stayed in previously. As we had missed most of the day exploring, a few of us went out to find some local food and a few Polish beers to quench our thirst. We managed to find a nice little restaurant of the main square that fed us delicious Georgian & Polish Dumplings along with a few beers for less than £5 each. Bargain. The waiter told us to head to the Kazimierz (Jewish Quarter) where there are plenty of bars to keep us entertained. We only needed one, Propaganda. It is decorated with old Soviet propaganda posters and while the barman wasn’t the outspoken type, he gave pretty clear instructions about what beer to choose. There were 2 on draught and when I asked which was best, he shrugged his shoulders said “Same Shit! I drink that one” pointing to Lezajsk Beer. It was quirky little place that some probably would of walked past as it had the resemblance (and some cliental) of a dodgy hangout, but would recommend resting your legs and spending your zloty’s on a pint/vodka.That was all we got to see of Krakow this time, but thankfully, after a week snowboarding in Jasna, we returned for a full day and one more night. This time, we had our bearings from the train station and headed to our new hostel, Greg & Toms. Again we ended up in big private rooms for less than £10 each with great staff; great facilities and they even do free breakfast, dinner & beer tastings. The polish really know how to do hostels. As it was Australia day, we headed straight for the bar in their sister hostel, Greg & Toms Beer House to celebrate with a couple of beers and the quintessential ½ Meter Pizza.
Maybe it was the atmosphere, or maybe we just needed to purge the kg’s of pizza, but we stayed for another beer before wandering out onto streets again. It had a completely different feel to it this time, as in the week there had been some fresh snow so gave it a really Christmassy vibe. We mainly just wandered around and went inside different churches whenever we
felt cold wanted to immerse ourselves in the culture of the city. We managed to venture slightly further than the previous time and made it up to Wawel Royal Castle that had a great view over the partially frozen Vistula River as the sun was setting. It would have been a great way to finish our stay, but thankfully we weren’t far from the Propaganda Bar, so we it was back there to finish off the week with a few more Lesajsk’s.