Sunday, May 28, 2023

City Break - Krakow

Krakow, Poland. Friday/Monday 26/29-May-2023.

My first ever visit to Poland and, by my reckoning, Mary's 19th as she travelled there a lot for work around 10 years ago. I was hugely impressed. The city is fascinating, the food excellent, the locals courteous (especially the drivers) in the old town. And, oh look, a couple of parkruns to choose from! We flew in from Bari and were joined by Mary’s sister and brother-in-law from Glasgow. 

We had a lovely apartment in the Stare Miasto (old town) close enough to all the bars and restaurants without being too close to the noisy town square.

Friday 26th. We ate in a local restaurant, Bistro Bene by Tomasz Wesniak, and then went for a beer.

Saturday 27th.

Zielony Jar - a new parkrun in a new country and got a Z. The Run Director asked for a Tail Walker so Mary volunteered. She had a great walk round chatting to Michael on his first ever parkwalk and saw a red squirrel. Quite a few visitors, nice to meet Michelle & Lance who we look forward to seeing at Salento parkrun.

Mary got a volunteer credit for Zamykający Stawkę which slightly made up for the fact that the hi-viz clashed with her new Tikiboo outfit - I knew that!

Lunch in the town square. I have had pierogi in the UK and found them disappointing and flabby. These on the other hand were crispy and delicious.

The afternoon was spent exploring the city.

Saturday evening meal at Moo Moo steak and burger club. George does love a steak.

Vodka is another Polish speciality so after supper we went to a vodka bar to sample a selection of flavoured vodkas. 

Sunday 28th.

The old town is surrounded by a circular park where the city walls used to be.

Mary went for an early morning power walk and met a fire breathing dragon.

Schindlers Factory. A fascinating exhibition with a lot of information about the invasion of Poland during World War 2 and the treatment of the Jews as well as what Schindler himself did.

River cruise, view of the shore and Wawel Royal Castle.

Aperol drinking and people watching in the main square.

Old Town Restaurant was an excellent choice of restaurant for our last night in Krakow  Mary and Sandra had the traditional soup in a loaf for starter.

George's starter of wild boar looked like a piece of art.

All the food was delicious.

There were no direct flights back to Puglia on a Monday so we went via Milan Bergamo. Not too long a connection and home in time for a meal with friends near the airport who let us park our car there for the weekend.

Edit 2 [11-July-2023].

An update from the Zielony Jar parkrun Facebook Page:

  • You can no longer reach our #parkrun Zielony Jar by tram. 
  • We recommend bus number 182.

I suggest checking their page (and CityMapper) before setting off.

Edit [11-July-2023].

PS. For the benefit of fellow parkrun tourists this here is further info on Krakow transport we have learned: 

  • Use CityMapper! Search for “parkrun Zielony Jar” and it will give you all the public transport options.
  • train from airport to main train station (Kraków Główny) is really easy, cheap and frequent. Ticket machines on platform, on train or buy from conductor on train. 
  • tram 4 took us from old town to near parkrun. Bought ticket from machine at tram stop. Need a 60 min ticket (6 Zloty per person) because of the length of the journey. Validate ticket as you board. 
  • have sufficient change or the Jakdojade app as backup in case machines not working. Travelling without a valid ticket can mean an on-the-spot 120 zloty fine!
  • we used tram both ways. About 50 min each way. Use Citymapper to check your route. 
  • I like to drop a What3Words pin at the apartment so it’s always easy to plot a route home. 
  • parkrun is in a lovely wooded park. 
  • there is a portaloo next to the start. 
  • Mary saw a red squirrel (and a black one!)

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