A Krakow-ing Good Time

Day: 95

Cities / Towns Visited: 50

Countries Visited: 15

Steps Taken Today: 22,214

Steps Taken Around the World: 1,739,391

Awaking, and checking out, we headed to the train station once more, stopping briefly at a small stall selling cheap berries and cherries, to grab something of nutritional value for breakfast. Meeting up with Wifey, Hubby, and Hubby’s parents we all bundled onto our private cabin on the train and settled in for the three and a half hour trip to Krakow. With good conversation, the time slipped by without us noticing, and suddenly we were stepping down into our 50th location. We quickly peeled away to check into our Airbnb, agreeing to organise a meeting place one we were all settled.

After a decent rest, as Wifey and Hubby had issues checking into their accommodation, we were meeting up in the town square soon enough. Now Krakow old town, much like Wroclaw, is beautiful. It is interesting to see that this town, which was positioned so close to Auschwitz concentration camp, had escaped most of the major destruction of WWII. Unlike Warsaw, most of this city survives as it was long before the atrocities which tore away and murdered so many of its citizens. The town square in Wroclaw may be more beautiful, but for what it lacks in beauty Krakow’s square more than makes up in size; it is one of the largest town squares in Europe, and at its heart sits the old cloth hall, which now houses a plethora of market stalls selling all kinds of trinkets, jewellery, and homewares.

Meeting up with the other half of the team at the side of the square, we took a little time to grab some quick pierogi to tide us over until dinner, wander round and admire the space, avoid its gypsies, and saunter out of the old town and to Wawel Castle, which sits on a hill to the south. Although the interior was closed for visitation at this time of day, the grounds were still open and we spent a little time admiring the towering walls, the delicate ivy covered brickwork, and the massive Cathedral which has been built in so many stages that the architecture is quite clearly different on almost every part. Looking at the photo of it, it almost seems like a composite image, or if you think a little too hard about it, it appears to be an abstract representation of a 90’s boy band posing. We were not too torn up about leaving the castle though, as my partner and I would be back to visit it later in the week, after we bid farewell to the others, as they continue on to join the tour of Europe they had booked.

With the sun sinking low in the west, we found a decent looking pub and sat down wanting nothing more than to eat, drink, and be merry. With a couple of meat and game platters, and a bottle of vodka to share, our wishes were wholeheartedly fulfilled. The conversation flowed easily amongst the sounds of the World Cup on the big screen, and the merriment of tables of friends sharing a giant 5L tapped tube of beer, which seems to be the signature of the establishment.

Eventually it was time to bid goodnight once more, as we had an adventure planned for tomorrow which required a slightly early start, but was something we had been looking forward to since we knew we would be catching up with these two so far from home. Reflecting on the day as I relaxed in bed, it was pleasing to revel in the fact that after all this time we were doing what we had said we would do, and I had finally found a friend who kept their word, not just on short term plans, but also on long term ones. I once more felt blessed for having my best friend in my life. A friend who changed her bridal party just to fit me in it, and made sure we had our own song to dance to at the reception; a friend who always turns up when and where she says she will; a friend who puts as much time and effort into nurturing our friendship as I do; instead of the one sided friendships I am used to, full of unanswered messages, and unattended events. At her wedding we danced to Charlie Puth’s ‘One Call Away’, and it gives me great comfort to know that, for once in my life, that sentiment is unquestionably true.