The final instalment to the exploring Krakow series is a combination of the final two days so prepare yourself for lots of photos!! Thursday was our free day to do as we pleased. After all our tours we were thinking of doing a relaxing day but we decided to book a walking tour through the jewish quarter of Krakow. It was really easy to book through SeeKrakow recommended by our hotel. We found a local booking office on the Wednesday & on the day we ventured to breakfast, then over to the main square to our meeting point.
To kick of the tour our guide met us in the main square with a huge sign announcing his company. You’d think that would be enough to notice him but only us & another couple took note. There was another two ladies who ignored his advances (he even asked if they were booked for the tour!!) & a second group who arrived late so once we had set off we had to stop for them to catch up. Slightly annoying but it meant I could grab something to eat since I hadn’t had breakfast. We first ventured over to the jewish quarter where the jews were sent to live to avoid any confrontations between the different religious groups at the time. This wasn’t the segregation we all came to know so of course the jewish citizens were free to roam the square but were to live in their own sector (still a bit odd I know!).
In the Kazimierz district we were told stories of the jewish places of worship that remained & the old practices that took place. The square is still kept as it was with a few modern addition such as a restaurant & a few shops. If we were to revisit we’d definitely try to go for a meal within the jewish quarter because you can get authentic food. The building above remain from the original structures but have been converted. They look really fabulous & I love the saloon style entrances!!
As we ventured we passed the graves behind the first synagogue which holds importance to the jewish community. You can see it through the small opening & we were told the stories of those buried. We were also told how the German’s actually used the gravestones to pave the concentrations camps which is just horrifying; just imagine being that evil & disrespectful.
During our path towards the bridge we passed the area in which the Schindler’s list movie was shot. I have to admit I haven’t seen the movie (I know I am going to watch it soon) so obviously I wasn’t as in the know as the others but the buildings were beautiful. As you can tell from my photos I was really enjoying the whole shots through plants theme. The stories these buildings held are really amazing & the district is steeped in history but also a modern living space.
On our journey to see Podgórze district we crossed the modern built bridge which held beautiful sculptures within the structure. It was really beautiful to see something so modern in this area, as most of the towns are still authentic to their history, The sculptures were so simple but looked really breathtaking in the natural setting. The bridge also held tonnes of love locks & I really wanted to take part of course, unfortunately we didn’t walk back so we didn’t get a chance to!! it was also quite funny to see how people had cut the bars to remove their love locks. Towards the end of the bridge we took an ice-cream break & then passed the St. Josef church which really stands out from afar. It’s a beautiful structure & really brings a feature point to a local community.
Okay so I didn’t take many more pictures during the tour because even though the buildings are still intact the district is now used by locals so obviously the authentic feel has been lost. We visited the ghettos used during the nazi era & heard lots of stories about the places involved along the tour. It is a great tour to go on if you’re interested in knowing more about the history but you can also easily visit the districts without a guide. It’s just about what you want to see & learn along the way. We stopped the tour at the memorial for the jews that were slaughtered during the holocaust; 65 chairs for 65,000 lost lives. It was quite weird to have such an important memorial in the middle of a town but it really packs a punch!
After the tour we decided to go into the Schindler’s factory museum as we finished on its doorstep. This wasn’t a highlight of my day because I just didn’t particularly like it. It was great to learn a bit more about the history but it felt much more about the nazi memorabilia than respecting the jewish history. I just didn’t feel very comfortable & tbh got a bit bored wandering around seeing the swastika everywhere. I wouldn’t recommend this museum but that’s just my opinion.
To end the day we popped back to the Italian we had previously lunched at & had some yummy pasta. We actually went home straight after the tour to relax because there was a tonne of walking in very high heat so we needed it. By the time we left the hotel it was raining & the restaurant we had planned was packed so we headed back to Fabryka Pizzy. There’s a bunch of veggie options & a few vegan options but I have to admit I caved & went with an old favourite!! Trust me I know my holiday was terrible for my diet & my skin is now paying for it but I’m still transitioning.
Our final day was pretty simple; we packed up & left the apartment, headed to the hotel reception to drop of our bags & then went off to the local shopping centre. We had passed the centre before & thought the last day may as well be a shopping day right?? Anyhow we stopped at many coffee shops during the day including the cute one above!! Yes it had a garden theme; of course we had to stop because y’no plants!! We didn’t really do much shopping because we didn’t want to spend too much but we did causally stop for snacks everywhere. I had to add this pic of the Macdonalds cafe because my god do they have fancy Maccy D’s, even having separate cafes. Well I was impressed!
|Urara sushi & shabu shabu
Our final meal was rather delicious & healthy & inexpensive. We stopped by the restaurant we previously planned to go to & had the coolest meal. We ordered the hotpot for two which you can choose two flavours which we went for the spicier options. It also comes with a bowl of veggies within the cost which you pop in as you please. I know it’s basically you brewing your own lunch but it just felt really nice. We had a portion of rice & of course soy sauce alongside our hotpot & it was just really fresh. We paid about £20 for the whole thing & it was just amazing. I would definitely go back & I’m now on the hunt for a local Japanese joint who offers something similar (yes drop me suggestions if you have any).
So there’s our final days of adventures & with that comes the end of my exploring Krakow saga which makes my holiday blues even greater. I can’t wait to book another holiday once I’ve paid off all my expenses!! I hope you’ve enjoyed my travel rambling & I haven’t bored you too much; hey there was lots of pretty photos to look at though!! It’s back to the regular posts as of next week & I’ve got a few exciting things coming up so keep an eye out.