We arrived in Krakow at about 7.30 pm, and found our guesthouse not far from the train station, and right on the edge of the Old Town, which was nice. After a quick wander through the square and a kebab we were ready for a good night’s sleep. This would have been possible if it were not for the fact that every drunk man in Krakow seemed to find the footpath beneath our room’s window the best possible spot for singing lustily! Ah well!
Our room is in a separate building from the main guesthouse, and we needed to walk back there for breakfast every morning. We arrived there at about 9 am to discover a bit of a commotion. The girls who ran the place were trying to shoo some men away from the dining room. It turned out that there was a group of men on a bucks weekend staying there also, and had just returned from a night’s carousing. Still a little… merry, shall we say, the girls thought it would be bad form if the other guests had to put up with them. In actual fact, they stayed (beer in hand) and actually had some useful advice, such as where to visit in Warsaw (where they were from) and that we should avoid them if at all possible that evening as they were likely to be quite drunk! They tried to assure us that not all Poles drank beer and vodka for breakfast! A very entertaining way to start the day.
We spent Saturday wandering the town, ‘doing’ the town square quite thoroughly, and treating ouselves to some amber jewellery, available in abundance in this part of the world. We visited the former Jewish quarter, including a museum in a former synagogue. Eventually we made it to Wawel, the location of the castle and Cathedral, where we lost count of the number of weddings being pushed, production-line style, through the chapel in the centre of the Cathedral. It was a stunningly beautiful setting for a wedding, but I am not sure I would like several hundred tourists looking on!
We spent the evening enjoying several buskers performing in the streets. The piano accordian players are particularly good, and I have heard a couple of brilliant versions of Toccato and Fugue (sp?). After dinner we returned for a last wander around the square, and found several hundred people waiting expectantly at the foot of the church. Every so often a bugler plays from the top of the tower, and we had heard him several times. However this time everyone was waiting almost in silence. As he began to play, the crowd hushed completely, the horses and carriages stopped, and the bugler had everyone’s undivided attention. At the end of his short performance, the crowd applauded. It was a really special moment and a lovely way to finish the evening.