Gloomy in Krakow & Auschwitz
T’was cold, wet and overcast almost every day that I was in Krakow. Yet there was something about this city that remains deeply etched in my memories. I’ve heard alot of people say “Go to Krakow, it’s amazing”. I never once asked what’s so amazing about it, but even after being there myself, I can’t seem to pin point what I liked so much about it. Maybe it’s the overall vibe of the place, the kindness of the people, or the delicious Polish food (I did not have one bad meal). Something is just enchanting about Krakow, it’s just so simple yet unique. Maybe it’s the mix of medieval architecture and a slightly ‘hipster’ sort of vibe when you venture into smaller streets that have little shops. I guess you need to visit it to understand it, Krakow was just different from your typical European city.
I stayed in this amazing hostel where I met lots of interesting people, went for a city tour where I learnt a lot about the history and culture of Krakow, did a “pub crawl”Â around the night spots and went to one too many interesting bars. One of which I remembered had the Narnia concept where you’d walk into a closet and come out to another room/section in the bar, and the other had a whole row of industrial Singer sewing machines as bar chairs and tables.The rain also didn’t stop me from exploring the streets and finding little quaint cafes, vintage shops that sell a wide variety of antiques and second hand collectibles.
The old town of Krakow, largest medieval town square in Europe
On the free walking tour, we saw the amazing mural art done by Italian street artist, Blu. Based on a religious theme, the artwork depicts an ominous figure speaking into a bullhorn that’s been transformed into a church bell, where a large mass of people are huddled together at the bottom.
Pierogi ! Very delicious Polish dumplings. On cold days like these I was very thankful for the 1 euro sweater I snagged at this flea market in Prague.
Hiding in a small cafe we found for some hot drinks. My hands were turning numb.
Outdoor market where I bought some cool knives and then had a Zapiekanka!
And last but not least, my visit to Auschwitz camp… This was one place in Europe that I will never forget. It left me completely heartbroken and I was extremely choked up while doing the tour. There is so much to learn from places like these and it pains me to know that humans are capable of something this terrible back in the days during war.
All the articles and belongings confiscated by the Nazis
Portraits of the Jewish prisoners
The living conditions of those imprisoned
I know this post may actually make Krakow seem like a really depressing place, but it really isn’t apart minus the dreadful weather. Poland seemed astonishing and I wish I could see more. There is so much to learn, historically and culturally. Besides, we all want to take back something with us in lessons when we travel, don’t we?