Thursday, October 23, 2014

Kraków, Poland

After the conference in Wisła ended, all of the volunteers went to Kraków for about a day and a half of sightseeing before heading back home. We stayed at the Novotel Kraków City West hotel, which was pretty nice.
I liked the pops of color and that the shelves and lights were incorporated into the headboard

The bathroom was split into two separate, adjacent rooms, which seemed like a poor use of space,
considering the spatial economy of the rest of the hotel room

View from our room on the 5th floor

The afternoon we arrived, Mirek, one of Rita's co-workers who lives near Kraków, kindly picked us and a few of our friends up and took us to see some sights and have dinner. First, we went to Krakus Mound, which is the oldest structure in Kraków and the highest point. It is 52 feet high and has a base diameter of 197 feet. Its exact age is unknown, but it is thought that it could be about 2,500 years old.

Krakus Mound
View of Kraków from the top of Krakus Mound
From the top of the mound, you can also see Liban Quarry, which is a limestone quarry that was established in 1873 by two Jewish families. During World War II, it was converted into a Nazi forced labor camp. The site was also used as the concentration camp set in the movie Schindler's List (the Płaszów concentration camp site is nearby).

Liban Quarry

Some flowers on the side of the mound
From there, we went to the Niepołomice Royal Castle (also called the Castle of the Polish Kings) in Niepołomice. It was originally built in the mid-14th century. We ate dinner at the restaurant in the castle. Mirek recommended a traditional Polish meal that included a breaded pork cutlet, potatoes, and cabbage, so I got that, and it was very good and filling.

The next day, I went on a group tour of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp site and museum. I'll do a separate post about that.

Rita and I also walked around Kraków in the evening, taking in sights, getting gelato, and picking up a few souvenirs. I got an orange scarf to go with my navy trench coat from Wisła and some postcards to send to family (which were mailed at the end of May and arrived in mid-July!).

St. Mary's Basilica

Skałka Church
St. Florian's Church
Main Market Square (Cloth Hall)

The Barbican
Wawel Castle
Grunwald Monument

Town Hall Tower
I enjoyed everything we did, but there's just too much to do there in a day and a half. It would have been nice to spend some time in Kraków during the daytime and go to the market in the square and go inside the churches. If I go back, I'd like to do that.


  1. Just found your blog. Love it I was looking for a recipe for pie crust in the bread machine.Very interesting love your post

    1. Thanks for reading, Natalie! Glad you like it!