Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Kraków!

For my birthday all I wanted to do was get away. I know that sounds mean or ungrateful, but 22 once seemed almost unreachable for me - hell, even during parts of this year 22 has seemed unreachable for me - it was a bizarre milestone in a future that I didn't always see myself in. However, as we got closer and I realised how far that I'd come - I wanted to celebrate, and so Katy and I booked an impromptu trip to Kraków for the weekend before my birthday and; armed with some spends as a birthday present from my parents, we spent the last weekend exploring a city I left my heart in the first time I visited when I was just 18.

Arriving at 11pm when it was -3 should have taken the shine off this trip, but instead it made me and Katy squeal and jump around and share excited chatter and stories of the times we'd visited before. We got a taxi back to the hotel, stocked up on crisps and drinks (all the while excitedly whispering about how this was "LESS THAN A POUND") and finally, at 3am, managed to settle in for some sleep. Less than 3 hours later we were out of bed and throwing make up on - eager to get exploring. We even managed to leave the hotel before 8am, pretty good going given that Katy and I are notoriously poor at getting up and ready at reasonable times. Having agreed that, seeing as we'd both already visited separately, we wouldn't be visiting Auschwitz on this trip - which mean that the history we saw would mainly be contained within walking distance.


We had breakfast at a bakery, we saw monuments, the remainder of the ghetto wall, graffiti that left us talking about it for streets and streets of walking. We saw love locks, the Oscar Schindler Factory museum that saved and helped countless people, the Contemporary art museum. We got to see the Christmas markets, the indoor markets, Sephora, Chocolate Cafes, tiny restaurants down tinier side streets, shisha bars that you had to pass through the back of a kebab shop to get to, castles and the house of a pope; in a day and a half, we saw a city we've since talked seriously about moving to.


The charm of Kraków isn't an easy one to explain if you haven't been - it's the chill that gets up under your hat and through your gloves that you don't have the heart to complain about when you're marvelling at hand painted shot glasses, it's cups of hot chocolate above the smallest hand made chocolate shop, it's stumbling upon landmarks where people changed the world simply because you've taken a wrong turn. The charm of Kraków is intoxicating; both the bustling, modern market square and the quaint, artsy Jewish quarter - and I can't recommend it enough. Plus, the vodka is so cheap it's insane.

Have you ever been to Poland, what would you recommend?

Sammy xo.

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