Jo’s Monday walk : Strolling in Kraków

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I don’t know of a more beautiful city than Kraków for strolling in the sunshine.  The last time I brought you here it was cool and drizzly, and I took refuge in the city walls.  No such concern today.  I hop off the tram on Św. Gertrudy, a nice central location, and let my fancy take control.

Crossing the Planty into Dominikanska, it’s almost automatic to gravitate towards the Rynek.  The ethereal turrets of the Sukiennice, and the glittering jewels within, exert a mighty pull.  But I spy a tiny Poczta- the very thing I’m needing to send my postcard winging its way to Viveka in Sweden.  I have a wonderful collection growing as a result of that lovely lady’s travels.

Grodska is often thronged with tourists, but I saunter along this peaceful morning, without needing to sidestep into the road.   No horse and carriages huffing and snorting down my neck.  They are queued, waiting sedately in the square.

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Rynek Główny is beautiful.  At any hour of the day, coffee can be indulged at your restaurant of choice .  Some customers gaze raptly out at the Ratusz.  Others, more blase, focus on stirring in their grains of sugar.  I’ve wandered here many times, but still make fresh discoveries.

I do have a tendency to poke my nose in where it shouldn’t be, often in all innocence. When I come upon the entrance to the Krzysztofory Museum, on the Rynek, I am delighted to observe that it is free to visitors on Tuesdays.  I gently push on the glass door and step into the museum shop. Through an archway a receptionist sits, busy behind her desk. Uttering a polite ‘Dzień dobry’, I walk past, and am presented with a mighty flight of red-carpeted steps.  Up I go, of course.

On the landing, I am confronted by knights in armour with a huge display of weaponry.  Not much to my taste, but as I step through the doorway I find something that truly is.  Aren’t these ceilings exquisite?

I am in a huge room, with chairs set out at one end, as if expecting a meeting.  As I gaze at my surroundings, a voice says ‘Prosze, Pani?’  A lady is regarding me with some misgivings.  I struggle to find an appropriate response in Polish.  Sweeping briskly into the room, she states that the museum is ‘otwarty’- closed!  Nothing to do but mumble an apology, and retreat.

Back in the sunshine, I continue my quest, delighting in the architecture.  A bearded elderly gentleman, with twinkly eyes, offers to take a photo of me in his beautiful city.  I decline in my faltering Polish, but with a smile on my face.

With museums still in mind, I continue along Św. Jana, hoping to find that the restoration of the Czartoryskich is complete, but my luck has run out. Instead I gaze at the paintings, suspended on the old city walls, along Pijarska.  I’m charmed by one of them but, at 1200 zl, decide to leave it where it is.  I take an inviting seat beneath the walls, outside Stare Mury, for coffee with a view.

The menu is full of temptation, but this is just a pause to enjoy the sunshine.  I smile as a crocodile of ‘malutki’, small children, are shepherded by, in the diligent care of elderly nuns.  Soon I am off again, heading down Szpitalna, past the highly ornate Słowackiego theatre.  This brings me to Mały Rynek and Plac Mariacki, in the shadow of the magnificent church.  I am just in time to catch the end of a folk performance.

Are you still with me?  It’s such a glorious day that I have it in mind to head for the river, and maybe a glass of wine.  Crossing the Rynek, I head south on Wiślna till I rejoin the leafy green Planty, which surrounds the oldest part of the city.  An exhibition dedicated to Kraków Stolicą Bożego Miłosierdzia- the capital of Divine Mercy- accompanies my progress.  The Pope is revered in this city.

I hadn’t intended to walk through the Castle grounds, but Wawel on a day like this is well nigh irresistible.  I head down to the river, far below.

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I think we’ll sit awhile.  Don’t you?  Afterwards I saunter homewards, luxuriating in a vanilla and chocolate icecream cone.  I hope I haven’t worn you out too much?  You can take your time and sit as long as you like.  It’s a beautiful place.

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Thanks everybody, for your continued support and company.  I hope you enjoy my walks as much as I enjoy sharing them with you.  If you’d like to join in at any time, details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page.  Just click on the logo above.  And now, let’s put the kettle on and get reading.

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Up in those Welsh Mountains to start us off, with Lady Lee Manila :

Snowdon

Where’s Jackie this week?  Surrounded by art and design :

Monday Walk

Susan shows us more of the fascinating Ukraine :

Walking Kherson

Smidge is bagging Munros with some beautiful views :

Ben Lomond & the Ptarmigan Ridge

Laia’s been having fun with a brand new website.  Go and take a look!

La Boca : exploring the hidden world beyond Caminito

Is Liesbet trying to confuse me?  It doesn’t take much!

Walk through Luik/Liege/Luttich in Belgium

Or explore some beautiful coves, just along the coast from Marseilles :

Cote Bleue (Blue Coast)- Calanques Part 1

Anabel’s close to home again, on the lovely Northumberland coast :

Bamburgh Castle

You can never tire of seeing THAT Bay swaddled in clouds :

4 Hours in San Francisco

Have you got your mantilla and castanets ready?  Debbie’s taking us on a whirlwind Spanish tour :

Alphabetical Tour of Spain 

Some people can’t help being contrary, can they?  Mick says I should know, Becky!

Our advice is to walk it the other way round

Rosemay reminds us just why I used to love the Italian Lakes.  I still do!

A Walk to Villa del Balbianello

And finally, Susan finds some wonderful, and quirky, green space in the city :

The High Line : NYC’s Elevated Park

Wonderful, aren’t they?  That’s it for another week.  I have one more Polish walk to share, of a slightly different nature.  Come along if you can. Meantime, have a great week and take good care of yourselves.

174 comments

  1. Lovely Jo! I have yet to visit Poland. Great photos! I just posted my first on walking tour of Prague today. I would have tried to do it on a Monday but I never know when I’ll have the posts done!🙂

    1. Thanks, hon. 🙂 It doesn’t have to be a Monday for you to join in. My walking posts come in through the week right up to Sunday so join me any time you like. I’ll pop over for a walk round Prague with you when I’ve finished today’s comments. 🙂

  2. How lucky were you and we in turn to stroll through Kraków on such a lovely day. The sky such a deep shade blue, the city is beautiful.

  3. So glad you got to snap those gorgeous ceilings before you got thrown out.🙂 Krakow looks like a wonderful city to explore. I always enjoy our walks together, especially when we stop for a cuppa.🙂

  4. I had heard a lot about Krakow, and it is indeed a beautiful city! And such a pretty sunny day, I’d have gone to the river too! So the paintings along Pijarska were there to be sold? They’re very nice!
    Thanks for a great walk.
    Have a nice week!

  5. Jo, we spent a wonderful week in Krakow, and the weather gods smiled on us the entire time. And you’re right that there isn’t a more beautiful place in the sunshine. We spent time each day sitting in the sun and people watching on the Rynek. World class people watching that. ~James

    1. I’m so glad you agree, James. And when I think of all the places you’ve been, that says quite a lot. 🙂 Thanks for your great company. Love to Terri!

  6. Such a delightful walk Jo, so much to see. I especially enjoyed looking at the art, how much is 1200kl? I spotted the sunflower one that would tempt me. Kraków looks such a historic and beautiful city. Ice cream,coffee, wine… Yes please…and a long chat…

  7. What a glorious day Jo! It always pays to look up (inside and out) when you’re in such historical cities, the detail on those ceilings are wonderful and I have found myself spending more time looking up than around in some places. Our friend Tomasz lives in Warsaw and has made us promise that we will visit him in Poland on our next trip to Europe, I think we’ll be adding Krakow to the list and hopefully we will have good weather🙂

    1. So many lovely cities in Poland, Sam, and Warsaw is a good place to start. Do you know Meg at Snippets and Snaps? She’s spending a year there with her grandchildren. We met one wonderful day in Lodz. Another interesting city 🙂

      1. Hi again Sam 🙂 I should have enclosed a link but funnily enough your comment was right after hers on this post. She’s Australian too and I thought you might have met. I did a ‘Meeting Meg’ post not long ago, when we met in Lodz. She’s a lovely lady. Here’s the Warsaw link- Snippets is the Oz blog. 🙂 https://12monthsinwarsaw.wordpress.com/

  8. Krakòw here I come! This is a wonderful walk, Jo. I love your description of trespassing up the red carpet, and the familiarity with which you use all the place names. So many details you’ve captured. Those white ceiling decorations are indeed beautiful: I remember the relief after all the gold and crimson in Warsaw’s castle coming across rooms of placid white. And then there’s the figurehead on the prow of the boat – and of course a tram. I’ll save this to be my Krakòw guide when I finally get there. May your Tuesday be pleasant, with hugs added!

    1. It has become such a familiar city, Meg. (not quite at your level with Warsawa 🙂 ) I rounded the day off with my Palace full of Beauty so I was cultured out by the time I got home. Nicely so! Oskar later this week then I’m almost done. We have just a snatch of blue sky at the minute so I shall enjoy my walk across the park to Dad’s in Middlesbrough a bitlater today. Returning the hugs 🙂 🙂

  9. spunti gentili in una città molto austera
    immagini grandiose di splendidi monumenti, che bella città Cracovia, la ricordo sempre rapportata al grande papa Giovanni Paolo🙂
    e visto che hai fatto una bellissima passeggiata ti auguro anche un bellissimo riposo1🙂

    1. I thought you might enjoy this stroll with me, Annalisa. 🙂 🙂 Jan Pawel is everywhere in Poland, but especially in Krakow. I admired him a lot. Hugs, cara! Un bacio 🙂

  10. What a shame the museum was closed – but it was still a magnificent and colourful walk, Jo – and I’m loving the vanilla and chocolate icecream cone!😀

    1. I tried to order food on the boat, Dianne, but my waiter didn’t understand so I ended up with the icecream a bit later. Fortunately he understood ‘wino’. 🙂 🙂

  11. What a glorious day indeed Jo…I particularly like the little table and chair shot, it looks so deligthful, but all your photos capture a beautiful city…and the blue sky too. I’ve always been fascinated by Krakow for some reason. Now I’m like it even more!🙂 Big hugs back! xx

      1. Ahh…thanks Jo! And I’m remembering…keeping the stress down! Been with my boys this week, (home today). That always helps🙂 See you soon, and if not before, have a wonderful weekend. Great chatting with you as always! Love & hugs to you from me🙂❤

  12. What a delightful stroll that was Jo! Stunning captures of all the beauty around you and I also love those ceilings. Those paintings are to die for! I am also glad the sun shone for you and made you happy. Thanks for sharing.😀 ♥

    1. It was the most fabulous day, Sonel, and as usual I walked my legs off. 🙂 Don’t seem to be able to help myself! 🙂 I love the wall of paintings and always have a stroll round that way. Not bought yet though. Hugs, sweetheart! Foggy day walk today- you’d have been in your element!

      1. I can see that Jo and I am very glad for you. I would also just hang around to see the paintings. LOL!

        Oh yes, you know me too well. hahaha! Today you can rest then.😀 ♥

  13. Jo as you know we have not been to Poland. I think you could put a wonderful itinerary together. The architecture is so beautiful. I noticed the Starbucks sign as well. Do you see a lot of them in Krakow?

    1. There’s a Hard Rock Cafe on the Rynek too, Sue. I nearly included a photo of it 🙂 I doubt there are many Starbucks but Krakow is a very cosmopolitan city as well as a beautiful one. I’m very much envying Meg going to Gdansk this week. Another city you’d have to include on your itinerary. 🙂

    1. If you looked at a map of the Old Town you might not be so impressed, but I did hoof it a fair bit. And THEN I did the Palace Full of Beauty before I went ‘home for tea’ 🙂

  14. Poland ist still on our bucket list, especially because of my wife’s half Polish [and half Irish] ancestry.
    Have a wonderful week,
    Pit

  15. What a beautiful walk through Kraków, Jo. Thanks for sharing this. I’ve never thought of Kraków as a destination for me, but my interest is piquing! The architecture is wonderful, as are the street scenes with the children and the exquisite ceilings. I love those paintings! And you know I’d love the lingering over coffee, wine, and ice cream.🙂

    1. It’s such a cultural city, Cathy. Hitler used it as his headquarters so apart from the Jewish Ghetto it was spared much of the destruction that went on in the rest of Poland. It’s a wonderful Summer destination and I’m really lucky to be so familiar with it. 🙂 🙂

      1. You are really lucky, Jo. It looks marvelous. Maybe I should have pursued that job in Poland after all. I’m sure it wasn’t a good thing at the time that Hitler used it as his HQ, but in retrospect, that at least saved it from destruction.

  16. Thanks so much for including my walk this week Jo! I’m coming down with the flu tonight – feel really off so going for an early night. Lovely photos and will read your Krakow walk in depth tomorrow and catch up on the other walks too🙂

    1. Oh, bless you! Nothing more miserable. We’ve been out walking in damp and fog this morning so I’m cosied up this afternoon. Get yourself well again and visit when you feel better. Gentle hugs 🙂

      1. Thanks Jo – feeling more myself this evening🙂 I have just read through your wonderful walk – my you certainly covered a lot of ground and what a glorious day! I love the fact that you got to take the photos of the ceilings at the “closed” museum. The buildings are so beautiful and elegant in the sunshine🙂 Hope it’s not too damp with you today and have a great rest of the week!🙂

      2. Glad you’re feeling better, Rosemay. Yes, it was a wonderful day. Crazy weather here. Today was lovely. Who knows for tomorrow. I just try to enjoy it when it comes 🙂

      3. Thanks a lot, Rosemay 🙂 It’s been a bit of a grim week here. (weatherwise) You fully fit again? I’m just catching up around the blogs with half an eye on the tennis at Queens.

      4. My pleasure Jo. Yes much better thanks🙂 Sounds like a grim week all round – horrible news about that poor MP from Yorkshire. Hope the tennis is going well and the weekend is much brighter!🙂

      5. Yes I just sent a reply to that comment too Jo – our thought processes crossed at the same time! Yes what a world indeed – a senseless and tragic waste of a beautiful life. She obviously strived to see the good in humanity and bring people together – hopefully her values will prevail!

  17. I had a colleague in my last job who came from Kraków and was very proud of it. I can see why! Thanks also for the mention, and I’ve enjoyed catching up with your other walkers.

    1. It’s a lovely city, Anabel, but suffers from tourism at times. All the best ones do, don’t they? I just got your link for last week’s walk. WP elves must have been busy. 🙂

    1. It is a lovely city, Liesbet, and it was a joy to have it so quiet. Sometimes it’s full of tourists. I’m not fond of them, even though I’m one myself. 🙂

  18. Lovely lovely walk and just what I needed to cheer myself up this morning 😊
    Hope you are having a good Monday and thanks for the lovely link
    Bx

    PS cold still bad so my contrariness today is of the grumpy sort!!!

      1. Hee hee . . . troublesome as you might expect.
        Hope it is a brighter day for you today, much greyer here but the good news is that Grumpy is on the wane along with the cold!

  19. How strange that the sign said the museum was free on Tuesdays only to find out it was closed. Jo, I was dismayed when you decided not to choose from the menu because I suspect there would have been cake for sure. But you didn’t let the side down…ice cream at the end of the day! Yippee!!

  20. Krakow so peaceful in your pics it’s hard even to believe, I saw it very crowded with horses, carriages and tourists. Your picture about it much better, more intimate. Thank you so much. Excellent!😏

  21. I love, love, love Kraków. Sadly, when I last visited there, i was not taking pictures so I have only my memories… and now the beautiful images in this this post to remember it by. Of course, I was there in winter and so the sky was no where near as beautifully blue as it is here. Magnificent.

    1. It is a lovely city, Lisa, and I feel sorry for those who’ve only seen it in the rain. It positively sparkles in the sunlight. 🙂 🙂 Thanks a lot, darlin. In port again?

      1. Indeed. The repair saga continues – fuel tank started leaking into the bilges last evening so now we need to have it pumped out, remove and repaired. Luckily we were here waiting for a weather window after our last round of repairs 😁

      2. Is she an old boat, Lisa? I suppose it’s the same with most things- troubles seldom come in ones. Sending more hugs and hope you’re free sailing across the ocean again soon. 🙂

      3. No, she’s a 2002. I think these things crop u en mass when she is unused for awhile. Our last round of multiple breakages like this happened in 2013 right before we started our Pacific crossing; she’d been in a marina for a year before that trip. This time around, she was in a marina for 6 months. Too long I’m afraid. I have faith we will get it sorted 😁 Hugs appreciated

  22. Thoroughly enjoyed this virtual walk around Kraków……covered much more ground than I would in life! And, like Debs, I am seriously thinking about a visit – perhaps next year?

  23. The beautiful sunshine in the first shot made me think of Portugal, but now I see I was wrong. Everything looks prettier in the sunshine. Beautiful gallery Jo. I love the statue sitting so casually in a cafe. I don’t if it is a happy place, but you certainly made it look like one.

    1. It can be a very busy, touristy place, Paula, but on a peaceful day like this one it positively glows and I feel lucky to be alive. I must have walked past that statue before, but I don’t remember it. Such a great face! 🙂 I read that you are taking 3 weeks away from the blog. Will you be away for some of it, or just fulfilling commitments? I hope it’s the first. Many thanks for some of your precious time. Affectionate and damp hugs (it was foggy and moist for this morning’s walk 🙂 )

      1. My break won’t happen before 7th July🙂 We are going to the mountains for two weeks, and I’ll go off grid for 3 – preparations and unpacking and all.

      2. I bet you can’t wait! 🙂 We’ll be in the Algarve from 6th July for a week. Maybe too hot but Mick likes to be lazy and James is coming too.

  24. I think I’d love to work with you Jo. Sticking your nose in where it’s not meant to be is kinda the way I love to explore! Such an intriguing place is Krakow and what a wonderful post. Hope to contribute this week Jo but as I’ve just got back from my camping trip, it might be late!

  25. I am running out descriptions and praise for your constant high quality walks Jo. So please accept my saying I enjoyed my walk during the sunny day in Krakow…

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