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.

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