Sunday, 21 August 2011

Day 1 - 18th August 2011 - Krakow, Poland

We arrived in Poland in typically on time Ryanair style, and fortunately we didn't have long to wait for the baggage – we were out of the terminal within 10 minutes from stepping off the plane. Took the usual airport train into Krakow Glowny – the main railway station and headed for our hostel. However, since we weren't able to check in until about 1 o'clock, we left our luggage and had a look around the city.
As always, Krakow looks resplendent in the summer sunshine, the temperature is not too hot and the sun is shining. I collected my guidebook about 'Czarnogora' (Montenegro) from Empik, and then we had some lunch in one of the traditional 'Bar mleczny' (Milk bars) where you can get traditional home cooked food in simple surroundings at a very reasonable price. I chose the Bigos (Polish stew) and a strawberry whippy fruit drink, and Dad chose his favourite 'Pierogi z miesem' (Polish dumplings with meat, basically).
Afterwards, we got a drink in one of the little shops off the main street and then headed back to the hostel to check in. The hostel itself is very decent – in a nice old building on a quiet street (Ul. Sw. Krzyza) and we were in a fairly quiet room. After a shower and a freshen up we went out again to the supermarket in the Galeria Krakowska shopping centre to get a few essentials (shampoo, milk, coffee and so on!) and another bite to eat and took them back to the hostel.
Later on we went back to the Galeria to take the 'underground' tram to the Jewish quarter of Krakow to find the atmospheric bar that I went to when I was here on my language course 3 years ago, After alighting from the tram, we were pleasantly surprised to find it was starting to get dark – the bar we chose (Alchemia) is a very dark place with lots of candles and is very atmospheric – here we drank piwo z sokiem (Beer with fruit syrup) before moving on to look for the cellar bar with cheap and different flavours of vodka every night. Having not found it, we settled for the Irish pub where the music seemed to be quite good and had another beer with fruit juice – this time with ginger instead of raspberry. Since it was getting late after this we decided to head back to the hostel and settle in for the night.


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