I’m having a hard time sending my blog posts in, fate is against me. First time I did it, my laptop broke. Second time, my new laptop went unexpectedly off to install an update. Could Windows warn you before it does that ? No. It’s the price you have to pay for being cheap and buy a windows laptop.
Anyway, let’s go back to Krakow where I am at the moment. My first impression of Krakow was good, it is a great city to be on holiday/not holiday in. I didn’t find a single ugly street in the city center and I’ve been walking a lot. Krakow, the city of Kings and former capital of the country deserve its denominations.
My favourite part would be the Old Jewish quarter, turned, in the 90s, into a trendy beer friendly district, by the hipsters of back then, the artists and intellectuals. That’s where the wealthy Jewish people of Krakow used to live before they were evicted by the Nazis and forced to move to the other side of the river in just 17 days. I was having a coffee where a scene of The Schindler’s List was shot, without knowing. Minutes after, I ran into a free walking tour about the Jewish Quarter, that I regretting not doing (the luck is definitely back on), so I happily joined. It took us where the ghetto used to be and to Mr Schindler’s factory. FOR FREE !
I learnt a lot about WWII and heard interesting stories, some moving, some utterly terrifying. Krakow’s ghetto was apparently not the worst one of all. 15000 Jewish people had to cohabitate in 320 houses, so it was still terrible. They were forbidden from driving cars or using the public transports, but the tramway had to go through the ghetto, so some non-jewish people were smuggling food from the outside. The guide told us the story of a lady she knows, who was smuggled out from the ghetto covered in blankets and then raised by a Christian family. It was clear there was no hope for them, surviving on 300 calories a day and working hard at the work camp nearby. More interesting is the sick sense of humor of the Nazis. They built the walls around the ghetto in the shape of the Jewish tombstones. Yep. Anyway, it was a long walk in history commented by a lovely young woman that I happily tipped (cause it’s free).
That’s the tomstone wall.
Then after a second stroll in the Jewish Quarter, I stopped in Nowy Square, probably the most friendly square in the city, known for its circular food stand, where you can buy the best Zapiekanki (long baguette with stuff on it) in town, presumably. As for myself, I tried out the Pierogi, traditional Polish dumplings filled with love, and all kinds of things : vegetables (mushroom and cabbage), potato and cheese (ruskie), meet… They’re cheap and you can find them in many places. I tried the ruskie pierogi in the nicest little restaurant ever « Smak Bar », next to my hostel. I now have a passion for Pierogi, shared with a lot of people I know and I will not stop… until Friday. Go pierogi !!
That’s the famous Pierogi
I don’t think I could have a better time here in Krakow. The hostel where I’m staying, Benedict Hostel, is cheap as hell (£23 for 4 nights) and the 3-bed rooms are really nice to sleep in, as you don’t have many people going around you when you’re holding hard onto Morpheus’ arms. Plus I’ve got earplugs, so life is great again. Despite a very talkative old Irishman sitting next to me, I managed to do most of my work for the week. It will all be done tomorrow. Next, off to the Saltmine and… Auschwitz.