Travel to Krakow, Poland – Episode 185 Transcript

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Travel to Krakow, Poland – Episode 185 Transcript

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Chris: Ok and then lets get a little more specific. What did you do there and what did you see?

Raul: So in Krakow in particular we walked a lot. I’m a big walker and I think that’s the best way to get a good sense of the city or a town. You have to start with the most important sites Wawel. It’s actually spelled with W’s, but it’s pronounced Babel. It sits up top of a hill by the Vistula River and that’s the ancient home of the kings and queens of Poland. There’s a cathedral also that is part of the compound and that is a very historic site. You can spend probably more than one day if you really wanted to. They have different museums up in the hill: The Royal Chambers, the museum itself, the cathedral. I don’t know if you call it a museum but it’s got the tombs of all the kings and queens. So there’s a lot to do just in that one hill in particular and it’s pretty close to the center of Krakow itself. From an architecture stand point and have all sorts of churches from all sorts of periods in time. So Krakow itself, it also has just other museums outside of Wawel Hill itself throughout town and I didn’t get to cover most of those actually. It’s just too much to go see and take in because you also want to do the normal stuff like sitting in cafes or enjoy just chilling as well. And not just Krakow itself, there’s Kazimierz district, which technically is in Krakow, but it’s outside of the city center. It’s actually quite interesting too. It used to be the Jewish Quarter. I think it still may have some of that. But you’re definitely in a different place when you go to that district. It has a distinct feel to it. Then there’s obviously cafes there as well, restaurants, the cemetery and synagogues and things like that to see and it’s pretty much a walking distance from city center.

Chris: Ok. So as I start exploring the city, I start, I assume because we’re talking about a European town, in the main square?

Raul: Yeah, the main square. It’s actually quite unique in Europe I think from all the countries I’ve been to. It is, I think one of the largest, if not the largest, town Square/City Squares in Europe and it’s incredible. It is huge. In the middle of it there’s what used to be the Cloth Hall. I think it might still be called that. Where people used to go and sell their wares. Now there’s a lot of shops in there. A lot of the typical tourist souvenir stuff but there might be other things like jewelry and things like that. The square itself is where you probably want to start from because that is the anchor of the city and from there you branch off to all the different things you may want to see. And again a lot of it is walking distance so if you’re going to hit the main churches, I mean all the different architecture styles, you can quickly find your way around from that square. If you go south, then you hit Wawel Hill, which again is a pretty important site. And there are other secondary sites like the city being surrounded by a wall like many cities. You see the remnants of that north of the square so still within … I don’t know how many meters or yards, I’m not good at those. But of the city square itself you see the remnants of St. Florion’s Gate, is the name of the gate, and the Barbican is a rounded structure that used to be a fortification protecting the wall actually, outside of the wall of the city. So you can still get a sense of how the city may have been when you go to that part of town. Even Krakow itself again the list of museums is probably endless from Catholic Church museums to John Paul II museums to art museums to historical museums. There’s just a slew of them.

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by Chris Christensen

I am the host of the Amateur Traveler. The Amateur Traveler is an online travel show that focuses primarily on travel destinations and what are the best places to travel to. It includes both a weekly audio podcast, a video podcast, and a blog.

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