I had barely stepped out of the train that I knew that I would love Krakow. Except for the weather… WTF Krakow? How dare you welcome me with a cold wintery wind, a grey sky and some unnecessary drizzle? Krakow, I was not impressed! However, the train ride from the airport was perfect: on time, quick and cheap, the staff very friendly. The main station (called Glowny), located in a mall, was also the bus station. That was definitely going to make our day trips from Krakow super easy. Heidi had booked us a room in a hostel in the old town. Since I arrived first, I paid the mall a visit, while waiting for my Alaskan partner in crime. I am not a big fan of shopping but once in a while, I cannot resist to a good mall session. I might be a backpacker but deep down I’m still a girl who was raised in a consumption world. Whatyougonnado? Clothes were incredibly cheap and it was, for me, a sign that my overworn and tired (try backpacking 6 months with the same limited outfits. Not many outfits survived such trips) clothes had deserved to be retired and replaced by fresher ones?! A few shops and sushi later, I was ready to start this adventure with Heidi.
… and she arrived, with a defeated look on her face: “guess whose backpack is nowhere to be found “. Oh! This wasn’t a good start. My brain has been trained to find solutions so we started emailing, calling, harassing the company at the airport, mandated by the airline to track lost luggages (they picked the wrong team to mess with). A day passed and unhappy with the result, the office at the airport in Kraków was clearly staffed with incompetent (or lazy) people, we decided to investigate on our own and started to call the three airlines Heidi flew with between Anchorage and Kraków. Lufthansa, in charge of the last part of the journey, told us to contact the airport mandated company (really). This suggestion didn’t go well with us and we hung up to avoid any unnecessary waste of time. Next, Condor refused any responsibility (of course what else) and blamed it on Alaskan airline, as you do. The lady on the phone was convinced that the bag had never left Seattle… last but not least, my favorite phone call: with Alaskan airline and the lovely Jennifer who did her outmost to track Heidi’s backpack. We were making progress: it was shipped to Europe for sure, the tracking system proved it. Alright back to the incompetent (or lazy. Either way useless) staff at Krakow airport. We sent them a very clear message, Heidi’s backpack was in Europe, either in Frankfurt or Krakow, they had to find it and quick because we were running out of time. We had already extended our stay in Kraków as an employee thought that Heidi’s bag had been found… what to say… but soon, we needed to start this Eastern European adventure!
If like us, you have a full day and evening to spend in Kraków, have fun:
- Eating Pierogi (a traditional Eastern / Central European dish – recipe will follow on one of my Tuesday yumminess) but make sure you do it before walking around as it is quite heavy!
- Wandering in the old town wth it’s beautiful old buildings. We really loved our by night tour, surrounded by drunk young adults from all over the world. Krakow is apparently a known party city…
- Chilling on the main market square
- Strolling through the Jewish district, Kazimierz that became artistic heart of Kraków
- Visiting the Wavel castle (we skipped this as he weather forced us to go into a pub instead)
- Sipping cheap cocktails in a local pub
Krakow has a lot offer and with a great weather, a wonderful place to sit in the summer nights at coffee places’ on cute little squares. Outside Kraków, there are also several day trips to take. Follow us to read more about a tough but must see place not to forget what humans are capable of. Next stop: Auschwitz.