Friday, November 4, 2011

Poland

Well, I guess this is the next in a series of posts about some of my recent travels.  Back in October I also headed off to Poland for 5 days with a friend.  I had already been to Krakow before in 2008 and loved it, so I was thrilled to go back.  But this time in Poland we also went out to Wroclaw, which I had heard was supposed to be another very beautiful town, and I was very happy to get to see a bit more of the country.

We ended up flying from Paris Beauvais to Krakow with Ryanair (which I really don't recommend and years ago I had sworn never to fly with Ryanair again, but I gave in for the price and I definitely regretted it, especially for the extreme hassle of the Beauvais airport) but Easyjet also offers a Paris-Krakow route that leaves from Charles de Gaulle.  Once we arrived we headed into the city center to catch the bus to Wroclaw.  It takes about 3 hours and is very inexpensive, 39 zloty (less than 10 euros) each way.

We stayed about two days in Wroclaw, which was probably a bit too much as the city is relavitely small and the most beautiful parts are the main square and the cathedral district, which can certainly all be seen in one day.

After Wroclaw we headed back to Krakow and spent 2 days/3 nights there.  We rented a studio apartment that was only a one minute walk from the main square, and thus the city center, and it was incredible and very inexpensive (about 20 euros per person per night) and included a kitchen, loft with bed and nightstand, a nice bathroom, living room area and a washing machine that we could use.  Last time I was in Krakow we found a one-bedroom apartment and paid about 10 euros per person per night for it, but it was about a 10-15 minute walk from the main square.  If you ever go to Poland, I definitely recommend looking into an apartment as it is very inexpensive and convenient.

Last time I was in Krakow we stayed 4 days and so we went on day trips out to Auschwitz-Birkenau and to the Wieliczka Salt Mines but this time we just stayed in the city, relaxed and explored.  It was just as beautiful as I remember (and as inexpensive!) and we spent one day wandering around the city center and the other day visiting Wawel Hill.  All in all we had a lot of fun!



a square with a 24 hour flower market in Wroclaw

Michelle and I visiting Wroclaw

Wroclaw has this strange tradition of small dwarf statues, and you can find them all over the city. We made an attempt to find as many as possible, but there are more than a hundred of them hiding all over.  This was one of my favorites but there are also dwarves riding bicycles, going to the atm, eating pierogis, fighting fires, dancing, riding motorcycles, swinging on lamp posts, kissing, etc.  We were really  surprised because we didn't read about this in any guidebook or on any tourist website and didn't discover the tradition until we arrived.

the Wroclaw Cathedral and the cathedral district, the oldest part of town

the main square of Wroclaw - the architecture is amazing!

Wroclaw city hall

in the main square of Krakow at night - giant head statue and city hall tower

Rynek Glowny, the main square of Krakow, and also the largest square in Europe.

Rynek Glowny at night with St. Mary's church

atop Wawel Hill, part of the royal castle and the cathedral

the market building in the middle of Rynek Glowny

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