Krakow Poland

Short holiday or stag event, you decide

Some months ago, one of my mates announced he’s getting married. That wasn’t the surprise, but the location for the stag do was, Krakow Poland! Just a short flight and we arrived with a set itinerary and yes drinking was key for several people on the trip, name no names

We were staying in the Hotel Galicya approximately 4km from the old square. This meant working out the Tramlines and ticket process to start with. Using the Jakdojade app worked great, allowing navigation and clear instruction on where to go and when to get off

For the first evening, we decided a little walk into town would be the way to go, needless to say at 3km a few of the guys were getting thirsty, so we cross the rather funky Father Bernatek’s Bridge, created in 2010 to link the two areas between Plac Wolnica and Rynek Podgórski. So we found a few places to drink and enjoy the local, but small bars along Mostowa

The first shot of the evening, handheld at night, using my Samsung S10

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A few of the bridge and the first few bars

To conclude it was a late-night and some had a sore head in the morning.. oh yes and those with culture enjoyed the Jazz Club u Muniaka

Friday, day one of the adventures, we were picked up and taken to the Wieliczka Salt Mine. A few things to note, firstly there are a lot of steps in a spiral to reach the lowest level, secondly when on a guided tour, you have little to no time on reaching something of interest, before the brief was verbally given and they moved on swiftly for over 2 hours. It was dark in places and again hand holding my Sony HX99 I did the best I could

It was a well informed, clean and organised museum, with more to offer than first thought. Due to the exuberance of the first night, most were happy to take it easy and we enjoyed the city centre, taking in the Hard Rock Cafe (3 hours in all with all the waiting), but once served the food was great

The next day we travel into the old town to view the sights and take a walk around the castle, parks etc. These two shots were taken after getting off the Tram, converted to B&W due to the fell and watery surfaces

As we reached the main square the bugle was playing his tune and I caught a wave at the end, from the high tower. The images here are part of the Wawel Royal Castle and surrounding area

From the top of the castle, we could see the river and a marathon was on. From here you could exit through the Dragon’s Den. Story reads, wave upon wave of brave knights fell beneath the dragon’s fiery breath before a poor cobbler named Krak, tricked Smok into eating a sheep stuffed full of sulphur, which instantly ignited inside his gullet. With an unquenchable thirst, the dragon went and drank half the river before his distended belly exploded and the town was freed of his wrath. Krak married the princess, of course, became king, built his castle on the dragon’s lair and the people built a city around it named ‘Kraków’ after their saviour king

On Sunday we travelled to the Auschwitz prisoner of war camps. While I took many images, I felt these external shots, give a feel of the place, without entering into details, which you, of course, can find online

in the afternoon we travelled on to another camp, with just a few shots for the record

Returning to the city later that evening we were sober from the days trip, but not for long, taking in just a few of the local bars, mostly underground

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Sunday evening was our last, so we found a great location to sit and have a proper meal. This first image is the Vintage Restauracja, which seemed to be two in one, with a Polish menu and a continental style menu, allowing plenty of choices. While the temperature was hovering around 4 degrees, the glow you see is from the under parasol heaters, it was toasty. Great food at reasonable prices.

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We later found out this water feature and the see-through dome was overlooking the catacombs below, which we visited on the last morning

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Even the horse and carriages were pimped out

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Some of these images are from a visit to the Kraków Barbican and a walkabout I did alone, trying to capture a feel for the side streets and old town

The following slideshow consists of the main St. Mary’s Basilica Church and the Town Hall Tower opposite, which just two of us did. The views from the tower were worth the slog to the very top!

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I always take home a small purchase, normally something created locally, in this case, I purchased this fantastic watercolour, taking in the old Cloth Hall, church and tower mentioned above

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So in summary, a short cold (temperature-wise) visit to a great city, lots to see and do. So many bars, restaurants and even the street food looked awesome. We had to visit the camps and get the history, but overall the trip to Krakow was memorable. Hopefully, these images will provide memories long into the future

Many thanks to the lads, Phil, Simon, John, Andy and Simon. Looking forward to the big event in a few weeks

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© 2009-2019 Carl Sumner @ http://www.photographit.co.uk

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