Kraków Day 1 – the Old Town

So… Last weekend I undertook something pretty adventurous – I went on a holiday to Kraków, Poland, alone, leaving behind hubby and kids.

Of course, my best friend did join me there!

Becoming a wife and a mom, has changed my life is numerous ways. I cannot be more thankful for Vijay, my husband, and my precious girls. However, deep down, in some little corner of my heart, I miss my carefree days. I miss my college friends. I miss aimlessly roaming the city. I miss trying fun and crazy stuff with them. I miss the hours of endless chatter and laughter that usually runs past midnight!

This trip was all about reliving those moments! A brief escape from my mommy life!

My holiday companion was going to be none other than my friend Anita – my friend of 17 years. My first partner in mischief with whom I planned and carried out our first hostel escape back in our college hostel (which was just a few hours shopping trip to the city on a Saturday morning!).

From Kraunya to Karaikudi, Kodaikanal, Perungalatur, Madurai… The places we have travelled together are so many. We have travelled in the most tattered buses, unreserved compartments, crowded electric trains and once even in a bullock-cart (Ani, remember? From my uncle’s house to a bus stand on our way to Kodaikanal? Or was it a horse cart?)

Being in Europe I wanted to travel to some other country close by. Ani suggested Kraków. That was the very first time I came to know that there existed a city like that. I watched a couple of videos of that city on youtube and instantly fell for it! Little did I know that what I had seen in the videos was just a fraction of what awaited us!

We booked our tickets nearly five months ago. We waited. We dreamed, counting down months, weeks and finally, days!

The day arrived for me to leave. It was the first time I was going to travel alone by flight to another country. I just loved that feeling of excitement and nervousness! As the aeroplane took off, mixed emotions of awe and gratefulness gushed from within.

Coming from a humble home, such a trip was beyond my imagination. Floating through those clouds, my heart never ceased to thank God for that moment and this opportunity.

Travelling in the local train!

It was sweltering hot the afternoon I reached. Our Airbnb room was just a 5 minute walk from the Kraków Główny Train Station. It was located in a quiet residential street. The room was more spacious than it appears in the pictures on the website. Although we never got to meet our host, Monika, she was constantly in touch with us on Whastapp throughout our trip and was extremely helpful!

Get USD 40 off your first adventure by using my Airbnb coupon –

www.airbnb.com/c/michelles38062

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I had my first photo session booked that evening. I had to grab my lunch and find my way to the venue. Galeria Krakowska was the closest and easiest option. The menu at Gusto Dominium was very inviting and I enjoyed a delicate bowl of penne con crimini.

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I wrapped up a fun family session at the Planty park and I had nearly four hours in hand until Anita arrived from London. So I set about to explore the Old Town on my own!

The town took me by surprise!

The cobbled streets were bustling with life. Music was in the air. The music was not from loudspeakers but from various street musicians who stood at every few meters!

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People dressed up in fancy costumes stood on the sideways charming tourists to various entertainments.

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The minute I stepped into the town square, it was as if I had walked into a wonderland! The sights and sounds were simply spectacular!

There was this young couple who were making bubbles and little kids trying to catch them and chase them!

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As I stood there like a child watching bubbles of all shapes and sizes drift up in the air, I heard a pitch perfect voice sing Oasis’ ‘Wonderwall’! Watching and listening to Jacek Wolny in such a picturesque setting was as if it was a live music video! You gotta check out his Facebook Page and his YouTube to know how awesome he really is!

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Just as Jacek concluded, I heard the most mesmerising guitar melody! It was music that would sweep you off your feet! If you would like to have a taste of what I heard, hop on to his Facebook or YouTube!

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It was almost time for me to head the railway station to receive Ani, but I couldn’t help but get drawn to the breakdance performance that commenced. Four youngsters fused dance, humour and stunts amusing young and old!

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Thanks to all the street entertainment, my wait for Anita didn’t seem long. She finally made her grand entrance in Krakow. My once Perungalathur friend was now an elegant lady in red – so poised, refined and British!

All the walking had made my leg grow weary. I just wanted to head home and crash for the day, but my dear friend insisted that we enjoy a good dinner and I had to oblige. I was so glad I did. We choose a restaurant in the city square, gobbled a yummy pizza, bruschetta and a glass of sparkly white wine!

Meeting almost after a year, we had so much of catching up to do. It was a lovely start to our much dreamed about vacay!

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That night I walked back home head over heels in love with the spirit of Krakow. What joy! What life! It seemed like the ideal world where there is only happiness, music and dancing! It was over the next two days we learnt the history of Krakow! I will soon share how overwhelming it was!

At this moment, I am reminded of this quote –

You have the power to say, “This is NOT how my story will end!”

Krakow, you are showing the world just that! You have not let history define you! You are rewriting your history!

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KRAKOW OLD TOWN

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