A Day to Krakow

Today was my 3rd full day of travelling and I’m finally in Krakow. By my basic estimation I’ve covered almost 20,000km to get here since I pretty much overshot it yesterday going to London. This was certainly the most interesting travel day.

I started this morning with my very early wake up and transfer from terminal 4 to terminal 3. You can read about this in an earlier post here. The plane ride was good, it was a BA “Euro Flyer” flight, which is roughly the equivalent of JetStar. No free food, seats don’t recline, no entertainment etc. although they did give out free news papers. The plane was very new and since this was only a two hour flight, very very quick compared to yesterday and Friday. It still blows my antipodean mind that I can travel such as short distance and have crossed 4 countries.

I haven’t read a proper newspaper in print form for who knows how long, and it was great to have a decent broadsheet to relive the memory. Made the digital deprivation on the fight bearable, even if it was only two hours

 

Once in Warsaw, cleared immigration and customs very quickly, the airport is well signed and I found the train station in seconds. Bought a ticket (about $2) for the ride to the main Warsaw Central station for my high speed train to Krakow. I had 1.5 hours to wait, so grabbed some lunch, which turned out to be a surprise.

Transfer train to Warsaw Central

 

At Warsaw Central I was first impressed with the platform layout as it labeled exactly where each train carriage would arrive, except it didn’t and my carriage was in a completely different location to what they specified.

 

The train arrived, found my seat and was sitting next to this lovely Polish Grandma, who from what I could gather spoke Russian, German, Spanish, Italian as well as Polish, but unfortunately no English. Even more unfortunate is that I only speak English, but with Google Translate and some photos we were able to have a conversation, even though it was a little slow and she told me about her family, the cooking she does and the most amazing looking mushrooms picked from the forest behind her house outside Krakow.

She even generously shared her pastries she had purchased for the trip with me (which were delicious). Her daughter apparently works in the shopping centre just near the train station in Krakow. I did have a carved spoon that my mate Virgil did for me, which was originally destined for Cafe Finska (a shared art cafe in Krakow) however I discovered it was permanently closed now and wasn’t quite sure what to do with the spoon. Thankfully these things sort themselves out and the spoon now has a new Polish owner who loves that she now has a souvenir from Australia. It may even end up mentioned in a Polish food blog as her daughter blogs about cooking and food here in Poland. This turned out to be an amazing train trip being able to really interact with a true local, the two hour trip seemed like it took only minutes.

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The Airbnb apartment I have is fantastic, pretty much exactly as described online and more than large enough for my needs. Its on the third floor with no lift, so I’ll be getting my exercise in each day. Still can’t believe the value on this place. Krakow in this section is a bit of a party town, but its not as noisy or crowded as I expected. When beer can be had for around $2 a pint, its going to attract a lot of people from Western Europe

 

I think the thing that surprised me most about Krakow is that it has this fantastic old town, and right next to it, it has this thonking large shopping mall, as big as any you would see in Sydney. As its been raining, I made a trip there to find an umbrella as well as pick up a few supplies for the next few days. When I came out it was pouring, so the umbrella came in handy immediately. I did a quick circuit of the main square before heading to the shopping centre, and it lives up to its expectations. Its massive and the Cloth Hall is fantastic.

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Of course my first dinner in Poland *had* to be Pierogi. A quick google of “Best Pierogi in Krakow” turned up a handful, with¬†Pierogarnia Krakowiacy in the top 5 and only a few streets from me. Headed down there and had a mixed plate of Beef/Pork and Turkey/Tomato Pierogi.

The Square on the walk back to the apartment

Stats Update

  • Days : 3
  • Trains : 6
  • Planes : 3
  • Coffees : 10