We were drastically running out of money but had one week off inbetween our Angloville courses. There were so many places in Poland we wanted to visit, but knew with limited time and money there was one place which was top of the list: Krakow. We found a super cheap hostel in a great location and settled there for the week. It wasn’t the liveliest of hostels but that wasn’t a problem as we managed a mini Angloville reunion.
One of the highlights of our reunion was our Canadian friend, Connor, telling us about this place which apparently did the best sausages in Krakow. A polish girl on his coach journey told him about it, however, all he was told was the metro stop that it was by, that it was in some kind of blue bus, and appeared at 8pm. Pretty vague, but our trust in Connor led us all to meet at this location about 15 minutes outside of town, by a metro stop on the side of the road. Alas, the bus wasn’t there. When we asked somebody they said it usually is but because it was Sunday, it wasn’t. We were devastated and hungry, but instead, found a brilliant place serving pierogi with about 50 different options available, for a very reasonable price. We ate, laughed, and had a fun evening.
The night before we left, Mitch and I thought we should go back and find the sausage bus. It was raining, but low and behold, a steady queue of polish people were standing outside this little blue blue/caravan waiting for sausages. They were delicious – Probably the best sausages in Krakow.
I quickly fell in love with the city. The old town really is stunning, there’s no wonder why it attracts so many tourists. There is a feast of attractions to see: Rynek Underground, a whole city underneath where market trading took place. The preservation work that has gone into creating the museum there is brilliant. I visited a synagogue for the first time (been in Christian, Muslim and Buddhist places of worship but never Jewish), which was interesting and enlightening. Other highlights were St Mary’s Church, Schindler’s Factory, and of course, the incredible Wawel Castle.
A visit to Krakow is usually accompanied by a visit to Auschwitz. It’s not somewhere enjoyable to visit, but, important. Important to see it, remember, and learn. There are certain places you can take photos but I took none. I get quite particular about taking photos at sites which don’t have happy memories, I didn’t take any at The Killing Fields in Cambodia, I just don’t feel comfortable with it.
It’s difficult to sum up the experience. We had an excellent, informative tour guide, sharing facts and stories. I can’t imagine telling the same stories everyday. You learn about World War Two in school but nothing is quite the same as being there. It’s definitely worth a visit, harrowing, but necessary.
It was just the break we needed inbetween Angloville programmes. If you’re planning a trip to Poland then definitely make Krakow a place to visit. Yes, it is quite touristy, but there is so much to see and do in this beautiful city. Plus, you can find a few hidden gems of places to eat and drink with some proper home-made polish dishes, try the stuffed cabbage! A fantastic place to visit as our travelling adventure was coming to an end.