Krakow; the centre, Cathedral and the town museum.

The hostel I stayed in, Woodpecker, is directly opposite a theatre, which allows a great view if your room is on the right side.

Teatr im. Juliusza Słowackiego, Krakow, by night
Teatr im. Juliusza Słowackiego, Krakow.

I was warned about the air quality on returning from a run, and it isn’t great – much worse than, say, Poznan, or Berlin, but the city is such a pleasure to walk around that it is worth ignoring if not too bad. Some sights from wandering round the old town, below. These were all taken within several minutes walk of my base, at the NE corner of the old town, but the place isn’t that small, it being a mile or so to the river, just past the castle and cathedral.

I wandered round mostly the outside of Wawel Castle and the Cathedral, though I paid (frankly, because it was the first ticket office I found and the price, 12 PLN, was cheap enough that I didn’t check what it was for) to go into the Royal Tombs and up the tower of the Cathedral. The ticket also covers the museum, but I was thoroughly confused when I came out, didn’t know to look for it, and didn’t stumble over it. This sort of cluelessness has been fairly typical in Poland, though without any danger resulting.

Krakow is well-served by trams, or streetcars, which buzz around efficiently. I say that confidently because they look it, not because I have actually been on one, preferring to run down the river, both ways, by way of exploration.

Krakow streetcar
Krakow streetcar.

The main square, with cloth hall down the middle and tower, all that remains of the town hall, dominant. Other buildings, weighing buildings, rich stalls (selling goods to the rich!) were removed in the 19th century when they fell into disuse.

Krakow town square
Krakow town square – cloth halls left, town hall tower middle.

The centre also looks great in the dark, and I caught the horse and trap gathering just before they peeled off to look for punters.

I also visited the town museum. Assuming I had the right place – and, gosh, I have blundered into the wrong ones often enough in Poland – then reviews tell you there are exhibits below the square. But there is construction going on, so for now there is a cybertech exhibition to take you through the history of the place’s growth. Tickets on the first floor, ignore the meeting happening to your right, then exhibit behind another closed door on the second floor. All of that I navigated fine. Then I set off round the exhibits in the wrong order. There were signs. Small signs. I wonder if I head the wrong way because I am left-handed and whatever people think will be an obvious flow is not obvious to me? I have made a habit, anyway, of going round museums the wrong way unless the signs are very clear. It’s not deliberate.

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