A Kraking good time in Krakow

Firstly, as this is meant to be a Gastronomical tour, I (Connie) forgot to mention the surprising availability of Foie Gras and various duck/goose products and menu items in Budapest. Duck or Goose liver featured on many menus and was quite affordable as well. I also enjoy the way the eastern Europeans use berries a lot in their cooking, particularly with meats and things like cold wild berry soup. I usually don’t enjoy meat and fruit together, hence I don’t like apricot chicken, or turkey and cranberry, but its something about the way they do it here that seems more attractive.

Ok, anyway onto Krakow….

We arrived in Krakow around 3pm, 2 hours later than expected. The team of three Hungarian employees on the bus had never done the run to Krakow. So a combination of arriving late to Budapest bus station, taking wrong turns, being pulled over for speeding and needing directions from passengers to find the bus station in Krakow, meant we arrived much later than expected.

Seven hours on a bus is never fun so we quickly found some cheap accommodation close to the station and within easy walking distance to the old town of Krakow, and had a rest.

After much uming and ahing we decided to stay in Krakow for 3 days before going onto Warsaw. The weather looked like it might turn ordinary so we decided against a trip to Zakapone, back in the Tatra mountains. To be honest, we are both getting tired of packing bags and moving so we are tending to stay longer in cities now.

I (Matt) was pleasantly surprised by Krakow. Having never been to Poland I think I was expecting a grim and depressing city. But it turned out to be another beautiful European city with its own unique features.

It, of course, has its own dark history, which we were able to explore through Oskar Schindler’s Factory Museum – an impressive display of Polish history from pre WWII through to liberation from Nazi occupation.

It also seems to be a lot easier to find real “traditional” food here compared to say Croatia or Budapest. Connie has introduced me to a arrange of new foods including

  • Pierogi (dumplings filled with meats, cheese, cabbage, mushrooms or fruit)
  • Various hearty soups filled with potato and polish sausage (and of course beetroot soup)
  • Polish Potato Pancakes
  • Lard on bread !! (I have experienced this –  35 years ago in Australia)
  • Bigos (sauerkraut, various meats and wild mushrooms)
  • All manner of meats including different Sausages, Pork knuckle, Ribs and even trout
  • All types of cakes usually with the use of sour cheese, jam or poppy seed…etc
  • I even had a Polska Burger from McDonalds with some sort of sausage and sauerkraut.

Polish Food

I should note that the food here is the cheapest we have found since Spain.

I should also note that the Polska burger was required after a big night out. Connie wanted an early night in so I went out for a quick drink by myself. Five hours later, having met an Irish drinking companion, I arrived home at 1am. This also included getting lost on my way back to the apartment. Connie was a little on edge when I finally found my way home. Woops – sorry!

We spent a lot of time just wandering the old city and people watching in Krakow. There was lots of entertainment in the main square including puppeteers and rap dancers (See Video). All in all it was a nice relaxing time in Krakow and I was very impressed with my first taste of Polish life.

PS We are losing our tans as the weather becomes more overcast. Still quite hot and muggy though.

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Comments
One Response to “A Kraking good time in Krakow”
  1. Kate says:

    Who would have thought you would be getting over eating and trying new foods!! Bet you are really starting to look forward to your own bed, not having to unpack and pack and unpack and pack, the cold wintery weather (maybe not so much) and seeing Woody!! Feels like you’ve been away forever. We’re counting down the days till we see you.
    We’ve just had 2 days in Warrenmang (in the Pyrenees) and had an awesome dinner and wines at the restaurant there for Big Dog’s birthday. Was great couple of days, nice to get away.
    I bet you will be so greatful for this blog when you get home and in the future to remind yourselves of the fantastic adventure you have had… you forget so much when you are constantly experiencing new things.
    See you in a bit. Take care – K&BD

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