We just got back from Cracow(Krakow) this morning. We took an overnight train and slept on couchettes which Dennis describes as “like sleeping in the trunk of a car.” Dennis’ complaint is that they are a hard surface covered with a thin carpet & of course too short for him. My experience wasn’t that bad but I was tired all day which I guess means I didn’t sleep as well as I thought I did. We were on the top shelf of 6 bunks.
I was afraid Krakow would blur with Vienna, Rijeka, Brasov and Zagreb but is was quite different. Dennis pointed out it didn’t have any boring 2nd class art museums because we didn’t go to any art museums. We are art museumed out so we worked on churches. We saw more Catholic clerics in this city than we have ever seen anywhere except Rome & Vatican City MANY years ago. I think we saw 8 churches and 2 synagogues but I will have to sort the slides to be sure. Time well spent as I can’t think of which church I would have skipped. We actually paid twice to go to St. Mary’s on the main Market Square. St. Mary’s has an alterpiece that they open at noon and close at 6pm. The first time we went in Dennis was disappointed because the alter didn’t match his Eyewitness guidebook picture. My camera batteries gave out & Dennis opted NOT to pay the photography fee so you won’t see any pictures of St. Mary’s. We did buy a postcard. I think that was the only church you had to buy admission to although I believe both synagogues charged tickets.
For us Krakow’s most unique and endearing feature was the Market Square which is pretty much given over to tourists. The cafes were affordable and Krakow has more group tours & probably tourists period than any city we have been in. We probably were a little early for Vienna’s big season.
The people watching on Market Square was tremendous and the last night featured hot air balloons, a motorcycle parade. We believe this was because Poland was playing in the Euro soccer tournament. You could barely get an ice cream cone or postcard because all non-essential personnel were watching the many big screen TVs as Poland tied with Austria in their first game.