Sunday, September 03, 2006

Leaving Berlin + Cracow

We left Berlin on Wednesday night. Normally when you travel you wake up in the morning and leave, but we were taking a night train to Cracow. In our compartment there were 6 "beds" - one was free, so there was place for our stuff, and the three other people were getting off in Breslau at 5 am. The train stopped at many smaller stations and was late, and there was so much noise that we didn't get much sleep. Besides, the "beds" were at an angle and after about 2 hours of lying down I started having a back ache. This is what I looked like in the morning

We arrived at the Krakow Glowny station before noon and tried to find a bus ticket and info for trains going to Ukraine, but no one spoke English, so we took a taxi and went to the youth hostel. It was a bit outside of the center, but ok and clean. We even had a private room. It was on the small side, but for what we were paying, I didn't care.

Off we were to explore Cracow. The tram took us from our hostel to downtown

We checked out the Glowny Rynek (main square). It was really beautiful, in a pedestrian zone with many nice restaurants, but also more expensive than the rest of the town.

We also visited Wawel castle

Which is on a hill and you get from there a great view from Cracow. The interior courts are really nice

We also visited the cathedral, where many of poland's kings are burried. We climbed up to the tower to see the huge bells

the passage way up the tower was no easy task, since I have a fear of hights, but I managed! And by the way, if you are obese, this tower isn't for you!

In front of the Cathedral on Wawel hill, there are bones hung just over the entrance

The nuns say these are the bones of the dead dragon that used to live on Wawel hill, and legend has it that as long as these bones stay hanging above the entrance, the cathedral will always stay standing. Archeologists have analysed them and apparently they are rhinoceros, mammoth and whale bones.

through the downtown streets you can take these mini trolley buses to tour the area - with a name like this one, it's pretty promising: KRAK TOURS - lol

Cracow streets:

We spent two nights in Cracow, and went out in the jewish neighbourhood one night, which was really cool. Around one little square, they have tons of bars and cool places. We had a beer (okok, more than one...) at Opium, Alchemie and Couleurs. I personally preferred Alchemie, because of the wooden tables and candle-lit atmosphere. For those of you who have been in New Orleans before Katrina, this bar resembled the Blacksmith's Shop in the french quarter.

Soon after it was time to go. We didn't have many days in each town, and were on a tight schedule. We managed to buy tickets for a night train to Odessa, Ukraine.

Krakow's train station...

a polish train...

... and the boyfriend waiting with our backpacks for the train to arrive...

Next post - Ukraine!

1 comment:

Rat In A Cage said...

Awesome photos & great stories. Thanks for sharing!

Welcome home.