Aux Champs Elysées, 2009
2 days in Munich
some pictures from a hike at Siebengebirge
(Ölberg - Löwenburg - Drachenfels)
Rhine Falls, Neuhausen am Rheinfall, Switzerland
the largest waterfall in Europe - by water flow
some more pictures of Lake Constance
a day in Konstanz, Germany
students, pierogi, piwa? Five days in Kraków
In a former post I announced an entry about the awesome city of Krakow. Somehow I forgot, but better late than never.
After arriving at the central train station (Krakow Glowny), our first impression was the profile of the crowds running through the city: you recognized a lot of young people and a lot of tourists.
Krakow is one hell of a student city with about about 200 000 people going there to universities (by a total population of 800 000 people). And also, Krakow is one of the most popular cities of Eastern Middle Europe with a lot of history stuff like formerly being the capital of Poland for decades.
We did a city walking tour in Krakow which was a Free Walking Tour which was financed by tips and is specially made for young people, so it wasn’t that boring like many other city tours!
The Main Square (Rynek Glowny) of Krakow is the biggest square of Europe, there would have been enough space for several soccer fields, but Krakow was not even chosen to host the UEFA Euro 2012 which started one week later. Another famous spot is the Wawel hill close to the Wisla River on which the castle of the former Polish kings is situated, so it’s a sanctuary for Polish people.
More interesting than old castles is the quarter of Kazimierz which was formerly dominated by jewish people. Today it’s very crowded there, a lot of interesting bars and even concert locations. One evening we were looking for a toilet and discovered a concert of a Russian band downstairs which was quite awesome. While drinking piwa (beers) in Kazimierz we met students from all over Europe.
Food is another interesting topic in Poland, we were going to restaurants at least(!) once a day because it was so cheap for German standard! Getting an awesome meal and a drink normally wasn’t more than 6€. I really liked Pierogi - some kind of dumplings or “Maultaschen”. A nice kind of snack we discovered was a Zapiekanka which was a baguette with mushrooms, cheese and several other stuff by choice which costed about 1,50-2€.
In the east of Krakow there’s a large quarter that was built by socialist ideals and is called “Nowa Huta”. Interesting about that is how that city was planned symmetrical and how the atmosphere is today.
We also did a day trip to Auschwitz by bus to see the very large areal of the former concentration camp. While walking though houses, barracks and gas chambers you’ll get a really strange and depressing feeling, but this feeling is deranged by something you are part of: Auschwitz has become a huge tourist destination and the areal is too crowded by thousands of people who visit it every day.
Public Transportation in Krakow is really cheap (about 1€ per ride) and there is a really dense tram network. There are some modern low floor vehicles which are more familiar to me, but riding with very old tram vehicles was somehow a bigger adventure when everything is shaking and you think it might derail any second.
Visiting Krakow and mountains of High Tatras (2 hours south from Krakow) with two friends was a pleasure that I could recommend to each of you! And I might go there again some day! :)
Last weekend I went hiking in the beautiful mountains of High Tatras, which are part of the Carpathian mountains in the border region of Poland and Slovakia.
We arrived in Zakopane, which was quite a tourist city where we didn’t want to spend too much time. There are going busses from Kraków to Zakopane frequently that cost around 20 PLN (appr. 5€) and take two hours.
We started in Kuznice (about 900m above sea level) where several hiking routes and a cable car to Kasprowy Wierch are starting, but this one is really expensive! Our first goal was the shelter “Hala Gasienicowa/Murowaniec” (1500m, picture below) where we intended to stay the first night. This shelter was quite big and overcrowded, but we still got a bed, they had nice (and cheap) meal and the night costs around 10€. In the afternoon we went to the first peak “Kasprowy Wierch” (1987m) without our bags which wasn’t that far from the lodge.
The next morning we started early to reach our next destination in the valley of five lakes. The shelter is situated next to one of the lakes at 1600m, but before we have to get over Zawrat pass (2159m) which was the hardest part of the trip. We didn’t expect that much snow, so getting up this pass was quite difficult.
But our work was rewarded by seeing beautiful lakes and one of the best sceneries I have ever seen :)
The next shelter “Piec Stawow” was situated in the valley and the view out of the window while going to sleep was incredible. The night in a 7-bed dormatory cost 35 PLN (about 7,50€).
The next day we went from this shelter to Morskie Oko, which is probably the most popular lake in the High Tatras. On our way we touched a really deep valley and got some other very nice views.
I can definately recommend a visit in the High Tatras. I was even told that the slovakian side of the Tatras are more beautiful, so this maybe won’t be the last visit there, also because it’s so cheap and they have very good meals there :)
after these three days we returned to Kraków by bus, I might do another post about this awesome city later.
Rynek Glowny (Main square) in Kraków
the biggest market square of Europe
I’m back from Poland. More pictures of Tatra mountains and Krakóv to come!
field trip to Nancy, France (June 2010)
a very nice city with its central square in baroque style and many art-nouveau-houses