If you read my Twitter feed or follow me on Instagram, you’ll have seen that I just returned from a trip to Poland! I’ve had just short of a week of hot sun (30-35 degrees Celsius!), intense history exploration and cheap cocktails. As a child, my parents couldn’t afford to take me on holidays so we could only ever did UK camping trips which aren’t really my thing. Despite being 23 now, I took the opportunity to go on a family holiday with my mum, my dad and 16 year old sister, Megan. It was pretty awesome.
Kraków Main Square
The heat was insane! I burn easily and generally prefer cold weather so it was a slight shock to the system, you kind of get used to it after a bit though. Krakow Main Square was huge, filled with cute restaurants, cafes, churches, museums etc, all with beautiful architecture. There were also market stalls that I got a few relics from. It’s pretty impressive how cheap everything is. Surrounding the square is a park of greenery. See below for photos.
Wawel Royal Castle and The Dragon’s Cave
I particularly loved the mythological vibe of Krakow. Wawel Castle and the Dragon’s Cave were the first proper places I visited. The castle was built in the 14th Century and feels like something from Elder Scrolls. Plus, the dragon statue actually breathes fire!
Oskar Schindler’s Factory Museum and The Auschwitz Tour
Experiencing more about WWII was amazing yet disturbing. Seeing the real life place where Schindler saved around 1,200 Jews and walking around the Auschwitz concentration camp really make you think how lucky you are to not be living through a war with extreme prejudice against you. The gas chambers had scratch marks all up the walls and the birds were silent. Such a creepy atmosphere. Definitely something everyone should go see, especially since it happened quite recently. My grandparents lived through that… I could probably talk about my feelings towards it for ages but I’m sure you don’t want to read about that right now, holidays are for happy feelings.
The Wieliczka Salt Mine
Trying to lighten my mood though. The salt mine is exactly as it sounds, a mine of salt! The walls tasted salty, haha and there was even a lake of brine. Salt isn’t collected from there so much now, it’s more of a monument to the generations of workers who spent years down in the dark working long hours. It’s stunning, they’ve created beautiful chapels amongst the tunnels. There was an underground gift shop too where I picked up a gorgeous necklace to remind me of the place.
On Sunday evening, I was drinking cocktails outside a quiet bar with my family. The sun was shining and everything was peaceful. A huge dark cloud suddenly emerged and a colossal gust of wind blew all the drinks off the table which caused them to smash against a nearby wall. It was crazy but awesome, I love storms. There were bright flashes of lightening and loud bangs of thunder and fast paced rain. Tents that were set up for the following morning blew across the street. It was incredible really, the next morning, everything was sunny and calm and again. Wow, England is so mild by comparison, the Polish cope with all sorts of insane weather.
Elegant piece of architecture. Used by the military in the 16th Century, then later used as a beautiful summer concert hall. I can really see Shakespeare’s plays being performed here. As Celia from As You Like It would say:
I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it.
Overall, an amazing trip away. The heat was slightly unbearable at times but totally worth it. I’m now reading The Diary Of A Young Girl by Anne Frank and it’s really making me want to visit Amsterdam next… I definitely like a good combination of drinking and history in my travelling!