For those of you who missed the first part of “What Poland feels like”, here it is:
So what do I mean by all the rest? Most of people, while visiting Krakow, are satisfied after seeing the Old Town and Kazimierz. But what if you’re here the second time, or the third, or staying for a week or longer? You’ll probably choose the Salt Mine in Wieliczka, Ojców National Park, Auschwitz concentration camp and other places outside city borders. But hold on, it’s not over, there are a lot of other places to see still within these borders. One note: I’m not going to make a tour guide out of this post, I’m not going to point out which parking spot you should use to get to a specific place or which shop you should go to to buy a sandwitch. I just want to help you realize how interesting Krakow, let alone the whole Poland is.
First example: Zakrzowek Lagoon. It was created in 1990 by flooding no longer used limestone quarry. Now it is one of the best dive sites in the country, thanks to the clear water and great location. I haven’t had a chance to dive in it yet, but hopefully this year I finally will, so I’ll make sure to picture it in more details as soon as possible. Right next to it there are Twardowski Rocks, on top of which we can enjoy nice panoramic view. And speaking of panoramas, I like those from the mounds of Krakow. We’ve got four of them: Kosciuszko Mound, Wanda Mound, Krakus Mound and Pilsudski Mound. If I were to choose for you, I’d choose the last one (though Kosciuszko is more popular among tourists). Pilsudski Mound is located in the center of Wolski Woods (very pleasant place to spend a Sunday afternoon), half an hour walk away from the Zoological Garden. The top of it is the highest point in Krakow (383 m. n.p.m.), that’s why you can spot everything around. Okey, actually there is something higher but chimneys of Power Plant Leg are not available for regular mortals. Anyway, regarding the best view in our vicinity, that’s not the number one. The number one is, what I call, the Krakow’s Hollywood Hills. Call me crazy, but since I saw the night city skyline from the southern hills, I’ve never changed my mind about where I want my future house to be. But I’m not telling you the exact place, at least not yet. I’ll post a picture in the nearest future though.
What else… I like this well-known place in the neighborhood of Krakow Airport (Spacerowa street in Balice), where airplanes land right above your heads. You’re not likely to forget the feeling of Boeing’s sound and vibration spreading throughout the entire body. This is a great place for spotters and fans of night lighting (the runway looks pretty cool after dawn). I also like restaurants on top of buildings. Actually on top of everything. One thing you should know about me is that I often feel a weird need of height. I have no idea why I haven’t skydived or obtained a glider pilot license yet, but I’ll make it. Tomorrow maybe (or in 5 years, we’ll see). So, restaurants… try the one on the top of “Jubilat”, “Zielone Tarasy” near Nowy Kleparz or “U Ziyada” in the so-called “Castle” in Przegorzaly. It’s definitely not the same as in the Main Square or Kazimierz. In fact it’s neither better nor worse, it’s just different.
The list of places like these is too long to put it as a whole, but here are some more of them: the misterious 19th century Austro-Hungarian fortifications, the Polish Aviation Museum (with the park surrounding it), the National Museum, Jagiellonian University Astronomical Observatory (and it’s other objects), the Benedictine Abbey in Tyniec, the Bagry Lake… Not to mention all the histories and legends related to this city – there’s so much more than meets the eye.
Long story short: you should “totally” visit Krakow. Along with other Polish cities, like Wroclaw or Gdansk, it makes us aware that when it comes to positive ambience, it’s really a good country to live in. Not a perfect one, but hey, which one is? At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter where you live, yet it does how you do it…