Thursday, 10 November 2011

Krakow

Last week saw me in Krakow with a group of folk from work for a teambuilding trip. We seem to have rather scored on the weather front. When you can sit outside a cafĂ© in Poland to eat lunch in November there is little to complain about. From our table in the main square in the old town, the Rynek Glowny, we could see this building, the Sukiennice, which is a 13th century cloth trading hall but these days it’s full of stalls selling souvenirs.


Also from our table we could see Kosciol Mariacki or St Mary’s Church.


Every hour from its tower you can hear a bugle call known as The Hejnal - it’s apparently used on Polish radio for its time signal. The last note of the call is cut short to honour the watchman who raised the alarm when the city was attacked by Tartars but was killed by an arrow in the process. The bugler always waves to the people in the square when he’s finished.



A stained glass window in a restaurant on the square.



On All Saints day and All Souls day on November the 1st and 2nd, candles are left in graveyards in Krakow. I wasn’t in a graveyard while I was there but there are also candles left outside some churches and the many shrines left around the country and city.



Thursday night’s dinner was at the La Fontaine restaurant which featured one of the best sweet trollies I’ve ever seen. Each pudding carefully constructed by the waiter. Here’s a bit of black forest gateaux for you.



The old town is surrounded by a leafy park known as the Planty.



Carriage rides around the town are easily available. This one was spotted outside our hotel.



A statue of Nicolaus Copernicus, the famous 15th/16th century astronomer stands in the Planty. He studied at the University of Krakow.



This sign was over some steps down to a loo. I assume it means the steps might be slippy, but they seem very descriptive words to me.


On Saturday I went for a wander on my own in search of interesting churches (more of that later), art and anything else that took my fancy. I got as far as the station where I stopped for a badly needed cuppa and lunch.


The 14th century St. Florian’s Gate, part of the old city walls.


I’ve no idea what this wee bridge thing is but it’s pretty.


A stained glass restaurant sign I liked.


The Solidarity headquarters in Krakow, found quite by accident.


Hot baked Polish cheesecake mmmm!


I didn’t have time to go and see Wawel Castle and Cathedral but I did take this picture while crossing the river.


There was of course time for a wee drink here and there. This is not quite all of us being amused here.


10 comments:

Shundo said...

Wow, team building in Krakow - it doesn't look like it was boot camp at least - beautiful light in the pictures, especially the stained glass shadow. The cheesecake looks fabulous - but how was the tea?

Dave McK said...

Ah, Shundo beat me to it on the appreciation of the stained glass pic. Looks like a great trip - must ask my boss about the possibility of team-building events in similar locations!

Sandy's witterings said...

Stained glass and sun certain are a good combination chaps.

Shundo, they seem to know what to do with tea in Poland - a definate plus for a trip to the continent.

David,Maybe the budget will stretch to a trip to Morningside and a cup of tea and a cake in Loopy Lorna's.

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

Thanks for the tour showing a part of Poland to be a lot different than I expected - cold, gray and bleak. It looks anything but that. Great post.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Lovely photos, I visited Krakow many years ago and really enjoyed it! There's some beautiful countryside in Poland too.

Poppy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Poppy said...

Oh wow, what a lovely place, my camera and I want to go there now!! So glad you had a good time, your photos are amazing, thanks for sharing :)

Becky said...

Very interesting; lovely photos. I just saw a travel program about Krakow. Both make me want to see it in person.

Laoch of Chicago said...

Nice looking city.

Sandy's witterings said...

Thank you all, Krakow was indeed lovely and well worth a visit - it's really not that difficult or expensive to get too from Britain. I'm not sure how expensive it is to stay, I wasn't paying.

Juliet, we were out of the city a bit on the way to Auschwitz but it wasn't the beautiful part of Poland I'm afraid - the countyside that we were going through looked a bit scrubby to me.