Jo’s Monday walk : Same river, different city

You might remember, a few weeks ago, I had the bubbly and delicious company of Gilly on the banks of the River Wisła (Vistula) in Warsaw.  Fast forward a mere 5 days and there I was, beside that same river but many miles further south, in Poland’s second city, Kraków.  A mighty river, this one, it begins its journey on the Baltic Coast and flows south for 1,022 kilometres (635 miles).  How I got there is another story, but my mission today is simply to take you for a wander and, as luck would have it, a boat ride.

Earlier that morning I’d been in Kraków’s green and leafy suburbs, assisting with toddlers aged 3 and 18 months on an outing to the park.  Wilting in the heat, the little family had been glad to return home.  A cooling drink, then I hopped a bus into a city that never fails to delight me.

With no particular aim in mind, as I approached the river it was almost automatic to jump off.  If cooling breezes were to be found anywhere in Kraków, this would be the place.  Truth be told, I didn’t get very far before the notion of a glass of wine and an icecream became very appealing indeed.  What could be finer than sitting on the deck of a restaurant boat, facing lovely Na Skalce (the Church on the Rock)?  The steady hum of traffic crossing Most Grunwaldzki became a soothing murmur.  Hooray!  Here comes the paddle steamer, big wheels churning.  And a burst of speedboat cleaves the water in front of Wawel Castle.

I couldn’t sit there enjoying myself all day.  Time to cross over the river.  But scarcely was I on the other side than temptation struck again.  No, not cake!  The first time I ever came to Kraków I walked my husband’s legs off.  He was more than happy to agree to a boat ride, just to sit down.  Unfortunately on that occasion the ride was accompanied by a light drizzle, whereas this was the perfect day to be afloat.  One of those lovely little wooden boats was about to leave the jetty.  It was meant to be, and 30zł (about £6) for an hour wasn’t going to break the bank.

The boat sailed in one direction along the river, as far as the Salwator Church, then returned to the jetty.  This half hour trip cost 15zł, but if you stayed on board it then sailed in the opposite direction, passing Na Skalce and a sequence of bridges before returning to the jetty.  This second leg I found fascinating as the area was less familiar to me.  An idea was germinating that I might return the following day to explore on foot.

Trams and trains passed overhead, but it was the bridge Kładka Ojca Bernatka that particularly captured my imagination, and I resolved to come back for a closer look at the figures suspended over the river.  A building with an industrial chimney and appearing to be clad in corten steel also caught my eye.  On the river bank, the footpath stretches grandly into the distance, stylish riverboat restaurants just calling out to be visited.

Disembarking, I look wistfully up at Wawel Castle.  No time today.  I am being summoned to ‘obiad’, late afternoon lunch with my Polish family.  Walking back to the bus stop I mingle with school trips, and the riverside coach park bustling with vendors.  Billboards shout holiday destinations, demanding my attention, but who would willingly leave this fair city?

Come with me next week and we’ll explore the world beyond that beautiful bridge.  Meanwhile there are many stories to tell.  Thanks for bearing with me as I flit from here to there.  I’m grounded now, for a little while, and looking forward to my English summer.  I hope you’ve got the kettle on as there are some wonderful walks to share.  I’ll go easy on the cake as I over-indulged at an Open Garden event yesterday.

From high in the Alps to the lovely capital of Malta, with my good friend Drake :

Last morning in the Alps

Little pearl in the sun

You can always rely on Debbie to make life colourful and interesting :

Industry and art come together in Seoul

And for Susan to write beautifully, whatever the weather :

Walking Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park

32 years together!  Lady Lee shares a special celebration :

Many thanks!

Share an extravaganza of food with Jackie, and then…

Coffee to go

Jesh takes a look at life, always in her own unique way :

Background Jumps

While Jaspa takes us back in history for a closer look at these ruins :

The Step Pyramid of Djoser – Part of the Saqqara Necropolis, Egypt

Persistence rewarded for Eunice and ruins of an entirely different nature at the end of her walk :

Part 2 – Llanlleiana, Porth Wen, and a long walk

Emma treats us to one of Wales’ great beauty spots, lovely paintings, and even a hang glider ride!

Gower Coastal Walk : Rhossili Bay

Who IS that mysterious lady on the beach?  Walking with Meg always makes me smile :

Eurobodalla beaches : around Tuross

It’s a while since Jude took a walk.  She’s usually too busy in the garden.  Wild orchids and butterflies, a lovely reward :

A Walk to the Lighthouse

Another orchid, I think, from my lovely Gilly, enfolded in lushness with a dramatic dragonfly :

Walking to the mill

And in complete contrast, Cathy finds spellbinding beauty in the desert :

Upper Ute Canyon & the Coke Ovens Trail at Colorado National Monument

A magnificent collection and many thanks to one and all.  Join me any time on Jo’s Monday walk and I’ll try to make you welcome.  The sun is still shining here in the north east and it’s time I rejoined my English walking group.  Wishing you all a lovely week!

136 comments

  1. Ah Wavel and Krakow. Thanks for showing me another view of this wonderful place. I do hope to see it one more time, at least. A late afternoon lunch is a tradition I have inadvertantly been following lately, due not to my Polish heritage but an abundance of work in the mornings!! I am in New Zealand for my walk this week.

  2. I adored Kraków the one time I visited there but I did not get to enjoy it by sea nor did I enjoy it with blue skies and sunshine. I visited by train right before Christmas 1999 which had its own kind of magic but I would love to visit again in Spring or Summer. Just delightful. Amandla wants the wizard on a pony as the figurehead on her prow #jealous

    1. He’s a bit of a wierdo and I wouldn’t trust him very far but he makes a handsome prow. I don’t know when I might return so I gathered a bucket full of memories xx

  3. I’ve been to Kraków recently and explored this wonderful scenery, Jo! Your pictures brought back so many wonderful memories. What was your favourite thing to do in Kraków?

    1. Busy though it always is I have a great fondness for Wawel, Lydia, but it is simply the most beautiful city to explore, on foot or by boat. In Summer you can take a wonderful trip along the river to Tyniec too x

  4. As always it’s dangerous to accompany you on your walks without a snack in hand. Midway I had to go off in search for wine and ice cream which I could two-fist while reading the rest. This river ride was equally pleasurable under your gentle guidance. I’m looking forward to learning more about those mysterious sculptural figures suspended from the bridge.

  5. Jo what a delightful river trip and boat ride. I really felt like I was there with you on the water, enjoying all the vistas. Some pretty cool architecture there, especially the white Cape Dutch looking building.

    Peta

    1. That building is the Church on the Rock, Peta, and has a fine history and many connections to Pope John Paul II, as does much of Krakow. I love the riverside here. 🙂 🙂

  6. Thank you Jo for this wonderful trip. Already with the mentioning of the
    ancient river Vistula you have me drawn in, I didn’t realise how long it was though.
    Your photos convey the beauty and history wonderfully, making me want to go
    there.
    I agree with Annika about abou stopping for that glass of wine and ice cream. What
    better way to take your surroundings and people in.

    miriam

  7. Jo, this is a treat of a post and I can almost feel the cooling breeze on the river boat. The views are beautiful and give a real feel of the city. I look forward to learning more about it. You’re definitely my kind of traveller and had to smile at your comment that ‘I didn’t get very far before the notion of a glass of wine and an icecream became very appealing indeed.’ Throw in some cake and the world is perfect! Enjoy the slightly cooler day … it is an extraordinary summer and I’m trying to savour every day!🤗

    1. Hi Annika. I’ve struggled to reply to this. Phone can be a bit strange sometimes. I had such a lovely time in Poland both with company and on my own. Looking forward to telling more stories but I still have thank you emails to write xx

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