44 hours in Krakow / Living on the edge

As my friend Charlotte and I continue to work our way throug the Ryan Air destinations from Göteborg the turn had now come to Krakow, Poland. We flew out Thursday afternoon and started off by almost missing our flight. Being the frequent flyers that we are we thought we had all the time in the world and at first we did not reflect over the speaker’s announcement when passing through security: “last call Krakow”. Instead of taking it as a hint to hurry up to the gate, our thoughts were more in line with “funny, two flights to Krakow at the same time of day…?“ Fortunately we did locate an information screen and realized that it was in fact our flight that was boarding…

Arriving in Krakow late afternoon a warm breeze welcomed us as we left the aircraft, which always makes for a good first impression of a city. After some confusion at the airport shuttle, which is starting to be a bit of a habit considering it took us three attempts to leave the airport in Budapest last year, we finally arrived in downtown Krakow and located our B&B without any further mishaps.

The walk from the central station to the market square, passing the massive shopping center Galleria Krakowska, entering the park separating it from the old city, reaching the Florian gate and continuing down towards the square just strengthened the feeling of Krakow being a superb weekend getaway. For a visit this short, there’s not really much time to dig into the museums offered, however, just walking around the city is a nice experience in itself as it is a very clean city where houses are well kept and people are very friendly. We visited the castle, which offered a number of different architectural styles, we saw the famous dragon statue next to it, we went up in a hot air balloon circling 150 meters above ground, we ate (bought and drank) chocolate at the chocolate factory Krakowska Manufaktura Czekolady, we spent hours at the mall mentioned earlier and just enjoyed the city’s atmosphere in general.

Eating out in Krakow was also a great experience! The city is full of cozy restaurants; they all seem to have a theme which they certainly follow through on when it comes to inventive interior design.  I can recommend all of the restaurants visited during our two day stay:

Dinner: The first night out we had dinner at Zielona Kuchnia, a restaurant located at a quiet parallel street where the table was set in a green and nicely decorated court yard. I had a steak which was perfectly prepared!

The second night out we had dinner at Trezo, the service was superb, the meat was yet again very well prepared and the interior design with their stone wall was impressive.

Breakfast: The first morning we had a polish breakfast at Guliwer; again very good service in a nicely set surrounding. The second morning we had breakfast at Soprano Trattoria, a place chosen more for it’s interior design than for the breakfast selection offered. Although I enjoyed the bruschetta, I would think that a dinner here is a better option than a breakfast – but the place is definitely worth a visit!

Leaving Krakow became an as a memorable experience as the stay itself. We had nothing planned for the day of departure except for having breakfast, returning to the chocolate factory to purchase some chocolate and go to a grocery shop to buy some food for the journey home. A nice and relaxed start of the day… until we realized that we were still in the city center with only ONE HOUR left until the gate was closing. Running to the airport shuttle, settling down on the seat thinking “well, we still have 45 minutes and the bus should only be about 20 minutes or so.. we’ll be ok!” we slowly realized as the bus made its way towards the airport, at a pace far from what we would have preferred, that this was going to be tight! Turns out, the bus ride is not 20 minutes but 40 minutes! We ran off the bus at 12.57 knowing that we would probably just arrive at a closed gate considering that we had only 3 minutes to go…. I think I speak for both Charlotte and myself when I say that we have never been as relieved to see a long queue of passengers to a delayed boarding process as we were today!

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