Skip to content

Wandering in the Stare Miasto

Poland Day 2. Today was spent seeing more of my Old Town neighbourhood.

By the time I dealt with the blog and got acquainted with the hotel’s complimentary breakfast (pretty good actually) I got underway at a civilised hour. First order of business was to sort my bus ticket for tomorrow so back I went to the shiny big Galleria just outside the Old Town, through which are the new central train and bus stations.

Obsolete: the old train station (I think they must look the same all over the world) sits quietly not far from its flashy successor

Obsolete: the old train station (I think they must look the same all over the world) sits quietly not far from its flashy successor

With that peace of mind achieved I steered back toward the Main Square, this time via the Royal Road. With the number of tourists, souvenir shops and touts you know you’re on a well-beaten path here. It is rather stunning though. There’s a lot more of the RR to see but I’ll save that for later in my stay.

Near the top of the Royal Road

Near the top of the Royal Road

Back in the square, coffee was first priority, then I needed to try and swap my large banknotes for smaller as for most purchases they’re pretty unusable. I figured this would be best done at a bank; the first I tried had a massive queue (and I didn’t think it was a good sign that they were all sitting down) but had better luck at the next.

I walked about the square again and inside some of its landmarks.

There used to be a town hall but it was pulled down in the 1800s to give the square more space. Only the tower remains

There used to be a town hall but it was pulled down in the 1800s to give the square more space. Only the tower remains

...and you can walk or rather climb up said tower. The stairwell is a bit squishy but not too bad

…and you can climb up said tower. The stairwell is a bit squishy but not too bad

The tower provides handy views around the square (this here being the rather grand Cloth Hall) and over the city

The tower provides handy views around the square (this here being the rather grand Cloth Hall) and over the city

Town Hall Tower, Krakow

One strip of the square is ablaze with yellow with multiple stalls identical to this

One strip of the square is ablaze with yellow thanks to multiple stalls identical to this

The pigeons are a menace!

The pigeons are a menace!

Every hour on the hour a trumpeter plays a very short piece out of windows at the top of St Mary's highest tower

Every hour on the hour a trumpeter plays a very short piece out of windows at the top of St Mary’s highest tower

From alongside St Mary's, Mariacki Square runs back to St Barbara's where there used to be a cemetery a couple hundred years ago

From alongside St Mary’s, Mariacki Square runs back to St Barbara’s where there used to be a cemetery a couple hundred years ago

The absolutely beautiful Baroque interior of St Barbara's. I've now been into several Polish churches and find it astounding how extraordinarily decorated these places of worship are

The absolutely beautiful Baroque interior of St Barbara’s. I’ve now been into several Polish churches and find it astounding how extraordinarily decorated these places of worship are

I continued south on the Royal Road, stopping off at more churches.

Sculptures of the apostles in front of Saints Peter and Paul Church

Sculptures of the apostles in front of Saints Peter and Paul Church

I was on my way to Wawel Hill. Given it is said to be the most historically significant place in Poland it would be rude not to have a look. I had planned to visit on one of my other days, but was doing ok for time so thought I may as well knock it off now.

One of the reasons Wawel Hill is a big deal is the Cathedral

One of the reasons Wawel Hill is a big deal is the Cathedral

Another is the Royal Castle. I later climbed my third tower of the day (no wonder my legs are so sore now) which gave this great view

Another is the Royal Castle. I later climbed my third tower of the day (no wonder my legs are so sore now) which gave this great view

The hill bears plenty of scars from its turbulent history. During the Austrian rule they tore down two chapels which stood here in order to find space to conduct drills

The hill bears plenty of scars from its turbulent history. During the Austrian rule they tore down two chapels which stood here in order to find space to conduct drills

At least half a day is recommended here; I had about three hours and that was a bit too squeezed by the time I included a couple of tours through the royal apartments and state rooms as well as the cathedral. (No photos allowed, with one exception…)

From inside the cathedral you can make a pokey climb up another tower, stepping and stooping around wooden support beams, to where this bell lives

From inside the cathedral you can make a pokey climb up another tower, stepping and stooping around wooden support beams, to where this bell lives

Pope John Paul II, being Polish, is rather revered here. The little chapel in his name inside the cathedral had a constant stream of people queuing to pray

Pope John Paul II, being Polish, is rather revered here. The little chapel in his name inside the cathedral had a constant stream of people queuing to pray

The weather was certainly brighter than yesterday – and the clear views were another good reason to visit the hill today.

View from Sandomierz Tower, Krakow

The Vistula River. I'll head to the riverfront another day

The Vistula River. I’ll head to the riverfront another day

Sleep patterns continue to be very sucky so I’m posting this at the end of day 3.

Distance walked: 17.18km

Advertisements
2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Incredible pictures. Really beautiful inside the cathedral. Looks like you are seeing a a great deal.

    7 September 2015
    • Thanks Yvonne – I’m fitting lots in, could see more if I used transport options more but I’m also enjoying the walking around and the other details you pick up that way.

      9 September 2015

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: