Kracking time in Krakow

Trip Start Sep 23, 2009
Trip End Sep 30, 2009

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Where I stayed
Greg Tom Junior Hostel

Flag of Poland  , Southern Poland,
Saturday, September 26, 2009

The bus journey was due to take 7 hours or so, so we attempted to get some sleep.  Every now and then we would wake up and see we were in the Tatra Mountains, with sharp bends and lots of Trucks struggling up the hills.  At some point around 2am we entered the Czech Republic, and 20 minutes later we are in Poland.  Around 3.30am we stop in Katowice, and have to get on another bus.  The driver looks like he should be in the Russian Mafia - sharp suit, huge brickhouse of a guy, silk gloves on.

At 4.30am we get into Krakow, and we immediately seek shelter from the cold.  We walk through the main train station, looking for a 24hour cafe or fast food place.  We can't find any.  We end up back in the Train station til 6am, when we look around the old town area, as the  sun struggles to rise. 

We find an Internet cafe and look for Hostels, and settle on Greg & Tom Junior.  They are a highly rated hostel with three places in Krakow, and seem to have space so we mooch down there and get a room.  Naturally the beds weren't going to be free until the afternoon, but they gave us a free all-you-can-eat breakfast, free wi-fi access, and invited us to an "End Of Summer" party they were hosting that night.  We look around the Hostel - it's not huge - but is very much in the "flash packer" category.  The showers are hi-tech, with stereos in, cool lighting, water jets that can be set to hit any part of your body etc.  They had a home cinema room, where we took a nap, plus a decent kitchen and then another room with free Internet access and PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii access.  We paid roughly 10 a night for a 10 person dorm.  For all of that, that is the biggest bargain in Europe!

After waking from our nap in the cinema room, we go take a proper look around Krakow, by now nice and warm and sunny.  We head for the main square - Rynek Glowny, a huge place surrounded by numerous Churches, Museums and cool little cafes.  The prices are stupidly cheap (especially when you consider Krakow is the main tourist destination in Poland, and the Main Square the most touristy place).  As is the norm for us, we simply wonder around everywhere, not really doing anything except looking at old buildings, a number of cool photo exhibitions, strolling through the park that surrounds the old town etc.

We make our way down to the Wawel - the Royal Castle and Cathedral, that for hundreds of years was the residence of the Polish Royal Family.  The Cathedral is still a very important place for most Polish people.  For more info check out Wikitravel

That was pretty much our first day in Krakow.  It was busier than what I've described, but any more detail would be dull to read (and for me to write).  We spent the evening at the Hostel, enjoying the End of Summer party they threw.  As is the norm, we ended up in a large group of Aussies and Kiwi's (plus a few Europeans trying to keep up!) and things ended in the wee hours.  A great start to our stay in Krakow!
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