Poland Day Eleven: Krakow: Chilly , Rainy Weather But An Informative Walking Tour With A Heartwarming Guide

Poland Day Eleven: Krakow: Chilly , Rainy Weather But An Informative Walking Tour With A Heartwarming Guide

Poland Day Eleven Krakow evening Wawel castle-4
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I awoke early the next morning in Krakow  to find the unseasonably cold and rainy weather continuing in Poland. I again dressed in my rain gear and headed out into the cold rain that was falling. We had a walking tour arranged for 9:30 a.m but I wanted to do some early exploring and decided to check out some of the city outside of the old town. Poland Day Eleven Krakow evening Tuesday morning wallk-3

I walked along the tree lined planty for a few blocks and then turned into the city which was now much busier than it had been over the Easter Holy days. Poland Day Eleven Krakow evening Tuesday morning wallk-8

The narrow roads were busy with cars and cabs and the sidewalks were crowded  with a steady stream of pedestrians,  including students, workers and a few tourists walking in the rain. Poland Day Eleven Krakow evening Tuesday morning wallk-14

I walked the streets taking in, once again the many advertisements of the foods and goods consumed by the residents of the city. Poland Day Eleven Krakow evening Tuesday morning wallk-39

And I also noticed some  signs, that, despite the cold weather it was still Spring. i found this peony  shoots , which produce some of my favorite Spring flowers, and which grow in many a garden of my Polish neighbors back home. Poland Day Eleven Krakow evening Tuesday morning wallk-35

Like I  often love to do, I found a few apartment buildings open,Poland Day Eleven Krakow evening Tuesday morning wallk-17

and had to venture in to get a look at how  and where some of the local folks live. Poland Day Eleven Krakow evening Tuesday morning wallk-19

It was raining hard now and I wasn’t quite sure where I was  so I decided to head back and  soon enough found myself at the Vistula River which led me back to my hotel   in the steady rain.Poland Day Eleven Krakow evening Tuesday morning wallk-43

The ducks and swans that live on the river didn’t appear to mind the rain. Here is a link to some more photographs from my morning walk.  https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Krakow-Day-Eleven-morning-walk-Poland Day Eleven Krakow evening Tuesday morning wallk-4

After a hot shower I had a delicious breakfast, which included many Polish dishes, with my niece and sister. A sort time later, in the lobby, we  met out pleasant guide for the day, the lovely and knowledgeable Ada.  After our introductions were once again on the rainy streets of Krakow headed to Wawel Castle.Poland Day Eleven Krakow evening Wawel castle-1

I learned more on my walk to the castle then I had from reading all of my tour books. We stopped at the famous dragon’s cave and sculpture and learned the true story of the legend. Poland Day Eleven Krakow evening Wawel castle-2

As we made our way to the castle grounds we learned a lot more of this long history of the castle and Poland. Wawel is actually the hill on which the castle, the cathedral and other buildings were built.Poland Day Eleven Krakow evening Wawel castle-3

We got tickets for the actual Wawel Royal Castle which was hidden behind  more recently constructed buildings.  It was a splendid Renaissance residence when designed in early 16th century. However, when the Polish capitol was moved to Warsaw it fell into disrepair and served as a barracks for some time. It has been restored to it’s original splendor but,  unfortunately, we were not allowed to photograph the   rooms  or  their furnishing inside the castle. Poland Day Eleven Krakow evening Wawel castle-11

We also visited the older Gothic Cathedral of Saint Stanislaus and Waclaw. Erected in the 14th century it conained  many ornate tombs of past Polish Kings and Saint Stanislaus and Saint Hedwig. It was a magnificent church and the church were Pope John Paul offered his first Mass as a Priest here and served   here after he was ordained as Bishop in 1958. Again photographs were not allowed. Poland Day Eleven Krakow evening Wawel castle-17

We next ascended the steep steeps of the bell tower were we saw the largest bell in Poland, the Zygmunt Bell and learned more about the history of Poland and Krakow. Poland Day Eleven Krakow evening Wawel castle-18

We  then  made our way to the crypt were we saw  more of the tombs of Polish leaders including President  Kacyznski who died in the controversial plan crash on April 10 2010. Here are some more photographs from our visit to Wawel castle. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Poland-day-Eleven-Krakow-Wawel-castle-Tuesday-April-18-2017-Poland Day Eleven Krakow evening Wawel castle-29

We again walked down the Wawel hill into the old town learning so much about the history of the ancient city. I had photographed this “lion” above a doorway on an earlier walk but now learned that, in the middle ages, there were no street addresses and houses were located by the animal sculptures above the doors. And, the sculptors were really sure  of what a lion looked like. Poland Day Eleven Krakow walk and visit St. Mary's -10We walked up  Grodska street, which was pretty deserted because of the rain. our guide provided many details about the history of the old town and answered our many questions. Poland Day Eleven Krakow walk and visit St. Mary's -6

We stopped at the famous  Church of  St. Mary were we stopped in for a visit.Poland Day Eleven Krakow walk and visit St. Mary's -12

I had visited this church before, please see my earlier blog post, but I learned a lot more about this history of the church and again photographed the splendor of the wooden altar and other carvings, statues and paintings. Poland Day Eleven Krakow walk and visit St. Mary's -44

It was a very interesting and informative morning despite the cold and rain. We left the church and into a van awaiting us to continue our walking tour in Kazimierz, the old Jewish District of Krakow. Here is a link to some more photographs from our morning walking tour of old town Krakow. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Krakow-Poland-Day-Eleven-walking-tour-Poland Day Eleven Krakow walk and visit St. Mary's -14

 

History with its flickering lamp stumbles along the trail of the past, trying to reconstruct its scenes, to revive its echoes, and kindle with pale gleams the passion of former days. ~Winston Churchill

 

 

 

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. Monica M. Bazewicz on May 21, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    I just want you to know that I enjoyed your e-mails of Poland so very very much. Thank you. It brought back so many fine memories of my visits to Poland. Also enjoyed the wet lands of PA. We have such a beautiful State.
    I was up to #11 on Poland and didn’t get anymore e-mails. Are the emails of Poland done? If they aren’t I hope I get more.
    Thank you ever so much.
    Monica



    • fskokoski@gmail.com on May 24, 2017 at 7:47 pm

      Thank you so much Monica I love sharing my adventures I had some technical problems but did get a post up yesterday I have seven more days to go