This post is a continuation of a series documenting our travels across Poland. We were on the last day of our trip in the beautiful unbombed (in World War II) city of Krakow. We had spent the first day visiting the varied churches of the Stare Miasto or Old town and the evening having a great and cheap dinner in the Jewish Quarter of Kazimierz. (Krakow, Part 2 – Church hopping in Old town on a beautiful sunny day)
As is my habit I woke up early on our last day in Krakow and looked outside through the roof window of our apartment with great apprehension. Thankfully, no rain! But to add to that the skies were filled with beautiful clouds. We didn’t need any more invitation to quickly get ready and set out to walk around the beautiful streets of Old town when they are at their best. Clean, Pristine and absolutely no crowds. ( Just the pigeons & a stray crazy photographer like yours truly!)
We reached the main square or Rynek Głowny at precisely what is known among photographers as the golden hour. No harsh shadows and near perfect for photography. So we just wandered around the square and clicked away to glory. We had been to the square at least three times in our 2 days here but it was never as pretty as it was now.
I have already described the square and most of the structures in it in my previous posts on Krakow. So this post is just an indulgence on my part. I enjoy these morning walks in the pretty old towns all over Europe & I look forward to doing this in every city I go to, Krakow would be no different. I will just let the photos do the talking.
We had seen kids posing inside the Eros Bendato and even though it was far too small for my body size it was perfect for the better half and we got a few photos inside the head of Eros!
The cloud formations kept getting better and better and I knew it would not last long and soon the sun would be out. So we made the most of the situation and photographed everything in sight.
We then went through the cloth market which was obviously closed at this time but lit up all the same.
We then passed through to the other side which has the Adam Mickiewicz monument. A famous bronze statue dedicated to a famous Romantic poet from Poland. We had seen people climbing and sitting on various parts of the statue in our previous visits here, but today Adam Mickiewicz stood there all alone.
We then came to the most famous building on the square , the St Mary’s Basilica. We had visited the interiors on the previous day and hoped to climb the tower in a few hours. Right now we were just happy to take photos of this iconic structure with near perfect skies providing the background.
I usually don’t like tilting my ultra wide lens upwards as it leads to buildings having a leaning appearance. But with skies like these I thought they should get equal prominence as the basilica and Adam Mickiewicz!
We then circled around this half of the square and once again started taking photos of everything in sight. The cloth market, the basilica, the small church of St Adalbert all got equal attention.
We then moved to the small Place Mariacki besides the Basilica and took some photos before moving through the stone arch besides St Barbara’s Church and moved to the adjoining less spectacular little market square or Mały Rynek.
We then moved around back to the usually amazingly crowded Florianska street. It was such a pleasure to walk around this main street of old town without a single tourist in sight.
As the sun started to peep out and golden hour ended we reached the Florianska gate at the end of the street. We went through it and walked upto the Barbican, the only remnant of the previously imposing city walls before entering back into old town.
We were starting to feel a bit hungry now. The plan was to return to the apartment and have a breakfast of packed stuff that we had bought. But we saw that the Starbucks on Florianska was open. Usually I am the last person to have anything at a Starbucks but here at this time it seemed like a decent choice. So we walked in and bought a croissant and a cupcake and settled down for a pre breakfast snack.
We finished our baked goods and started our walk back to the apartment. The sun was now peeking over the buildings at the edge of the Rynek Głowny. Usually people hate flares in their photos, I enjoy using the flares where possible. Here Adam Mickiewicz seemed to be enjoying the first rays of sun on his face. As if on cue the hourly bugle piece, ” The Hejnal” that is played from the top of the tower of St Mary’s started playing. It is a short melodious piece that stops abruptly in memory of the bugler who was shot in the neck with an arrow as he announced the arrival of enemy troops beyond the city walls in medieval times. We had listened to it many times before in our time in Krakow but now it was like we were the only audience. We listened to it being played from all four windows of the tower before stopping abruptly each time. It was the perfect end to our early morning activity.
It had been a great morning walk in the Old town of Krakow. As I had thought, the beautiful clouds were gone and replaced by clear blue skies. We had a beautiful day to look forward to in this pretty city.
We would return to the apartment which was hardly a 2 minute walk from the square have a quick breakfast and return to try our luck and see if we could get tickets to climb the tower and see the chamber where the firefighter (they are assigned duties there) plays the famous Hejnał.
But that is a story for another post, some other time, some other day. This post was just my way of showing my appreciation of the beautiful old town and the streets of Krakow.
Till next time,
It’s truly commendable to wake up so early on vacation and head out for a walk, but you’ve clearly proved that it’s worth it.
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Thank you for sharing your wonderful journal and photos!
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