Krakow, Warsaw and Wroclaw

We spent a total of 13 nights in Poland, the first four being in Zakopane, which I blogged about previously, and the remainder split between Krakow, Warsaw and Wroclaw. Krakow Poland is the birthplace of my father. I knew very little about Poland before I went; my dad never talked about Poland and never returned after the second world war for a visit. It’s a shame; I think he would have liked to have seen how the country recovered as it really is beautiful. Virtually all of the buildings bombed during that time were rebuilt, most restored to their former glory with their former architecture.

I do have to say that much of the Czech Republic and Poland is starting to blend together.

Town Square
Town Square

Each place we saw had a centrally located “Old Town” which always had a town square with a town hall, with or without an astronomical

Town Hall
Town Hall with Astronomical Clock

clock, and spiraling churches. The buildings in the square are all painted with the same hues of earth tones. The square is filled with outdoor cafes serving coffees, drinks, desserts and

Horse Drawn Buggy
Horse Drawn Buggy

meals. There are horse drawn buggies taking tourists for a ride through the streets, loads of tourists walking around following a tour guide with a colourful umbrella stuck up in the air, and a few buskers playing musical instruments vying for any loose change. Of course there is a castle or two thrown in for good measure, between the many churches.

That being said, we have had fun wondering around.  A few highlights…..

 

While in Warsaw we stayed with Jacek, a friend of Sanford. He acted as our personal tour

Sanford and Jacek
Sanford and Jacek

guide and took us around Old Town, New Town, and even to a few places on the outskirts. On our last evening with him, he took us to a traditional Polish restaurant where he ordered us three appetizers to try: Bellini with Caviar, Steak Tartare, and Pork Knuckle in Aspic. Of the three, I didn’t think I even wanted to try the Steak Tartare.  The thought of eating raw steak repulses me and I’m the type that likes my meat well-done.   I did however try it and I loved it! It was my favourite amongst them all.

Steal Tartare
Steak Tartare

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were only one full day in Wroclaw and did our usual walk around the sites which were mostly the same old, same old. However this city has done something that made walking around so much fun….they have small dwarf statues all over the place.  The dwarf sculptures are in all manner of poses and activities, often related to the nature of the adjacent building or commercial enterprise. For example, next to a bank is a statue of a dwarf using an ATM. I spent my time trying to spot the statues and came across 18 all together.  Don’t worry, although I took pictures of all of them, I’ve only shared a few of them here.

 

Also in Wroclaw, we saw what I consider to be the most beautiful church to date. The church is called  Church of the Blessed Name of Jesus, and what make it so wonderful was all the statues and artwork. Stunning!   My pictures really don’t do it justice.

 

So what to say about Poland? My absolute favourite place was Zakopane and that was because of the hiking. I really enjoy physical activity based vacations. Should we ever come this way again, I would go back to Zakopane and then just pick one other city, probably based on the museums or other sites to see beyond the “Old Town” squares.   Warsaw, I believe, has many wonderful museums (we just saw one), so that would be my choice.

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6 thoughts on “Krakow, Warsaw and Wroclaw

  1. Hey guys … I loved the pics … especially the dwarf ones. The Church (Jesus) one was magnificent … It is amazing that it came through the wars! You didn’t say but how was the pig knuckle in aspic? When I was a kid my Dad used to cook up pigs feet, etc … separate the meat from the bone and set it in the jelly liquid which was strained at least three times to get it to be clear … he then added garlic clove pieces (the more the better) and partially cooked carrots (for colour). It was delicious and he and I who were the only ones up at this time of night would suck the bones dry. You sure brought back some good memories with that menu item!
    I’ve upped my steps and am trying to do fewer calories between 1500 and 1800 and I am going to try and hoola-hoop again. Maybe now that I’ve lost some weight I will have an easier time of getting it to stay up while going around and around!
    We are babysitting Mitch today (daycare is closed for an in-service). Right now while Grandpa is dozing he is watching Truck Town. He has already put the large piece floor puzzle of a fire truck together. His talking is getting way better. I also bought him a new book by Moe Wellams called Frog. The main characters in this series are pig and elephant (named Gerald) … pig is just pig. Wellams also has a pigeon series out as well.
    I bought myself a new book yesterday by Ann Cleeves … The Moth Chaser. It has a large female head detective inspector and so far is quite good. This is the first Ann Cleeves book that I’ve seen but she has written about 50 or 60 mystery stories. The stories take place in Northern England.
    As far as I know the floor starts going in tomorrow and should be finished by sometime on Sunday and then it is off to IKEA to buy the pieces for my beading space … I can hardly wait!
    Have Fun.
    Anna

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    1. Hi Anna,
      Thanks for the update on how everything is going, you are busy! The pork knuckle in aspic was okay, I’m not a fan of jelled meats so I found it hard to get around the texture, but it really tasted fine, just not for me.
      I tried the hole-hoop once a few years ago but couldn’t get it to stay up. Hmmm, maybe I could do it now? Let me know how it goes for you.
      Take care,
      Margaret

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  2. It has been great to read about all of your adventures. What an amazing experience! I, too, have some travelling lined up for the coming months and am looking forward to it. I will tell you the details when you get home (be that in Canada or Australia).

    Just one thing that I have to share, however – Gillian has now graduated from Sheridan with a Bachelor of Musical Theatre Performance degree. Her convocation is on June 7. I wish I could go, but I will see her in her first professional show in August. Just before she left school, she was honoured at the year end awards ceremony by being named Most Outstanding Female Actor in a Featured Role (Main Stage) for her work in the musical, Grand Hotel. I am so proud of her. This came with a $1,000 prize; something she needed desperately, as she has now moved to downtown Toronto to begin her life as a starving, struggling actor!

    Wishing you all the best as you continue your amazing world adventure!

    Norene

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    1. Hi Norene,
      What awesome news about Gillian!! I look forward to being able to see her perform professionally one day.
      I also look forward to hearing about our travels, particularly about your upcoming trip to Japan.
      Take care,
      Margaret

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