Day 150, 151 & 152
Krakow, Warsaws younger and cooler brother, was in many ways similar to Warsaw and in many ways very different. It was still cold, the police there were still big and scary and the most consumed food was still Vodka. Yet Krakow had something Warsaw didn't. I'm not sure whether it was our absolutely awesome hostel, the fact that everything was a 5 minute walk away or that the clubs were so incredible but Krakow definitely had a charm about it. After getting our sightseeing fix out of the way in Warsaw it was time to let loose in Krakow, hitting the clubs and pubs with our hostel. Az and I did go to Auschwitz the one day to get a feel of what we missed out on March but besides that we just kicked back with the we friends we made in our place.
Now our hostel, the Pink Panther was probably one of the most amazing places we have stayed this trip. Whilst I have said that many times before, this place was on another level. With the staff roughly our age, everyday and every night there was something going on. From brownie and cake day to champagne evening, there was always something different. Pub crawls were organized, music was pumping all night and everyone in the hostel was having a great time. When it did get late they took us out of the place to clubs and pubs all around the city. They seemed to know everyone too as we didn't seem to pay for entry to any club the entire time we were there. The people staying there definitely contributed to the vibe of the place as we hung out with roughly the same guys and gals every night. We even had a bit of a farewell on our last day as the staff took us and a couple others up on the roof for beery goodbye.
Within Krakow itself we didn't do any specific sightseeing but seemed to run into a whole bunch of attractions. From castles, to clock towers, markets and giant sculptures of heads we really found a lot. The thing the stood out the most however was a fire breathing dragon I found as I was walking along the main river one night (see picture).
Food in Krakow was something special with the serving being absolutely ginormous. It seems like the polish people like their food big. A perfect example was the schnitzel Gav ordered on the last night. Whilst he did give it a decent effort, as we left it seemed like he hadn't taken a bite. Whilst we went to the polish restaurants plenty our favourite place in Krakow was the New Zealand burger place we found on the last day. They made burgers just like home, it was good to eat something familiar for the first time in a while.
Whilst many clubs and pubs were visited during our time there, one worth mentioning was the Wodka Bar. The Wodka Bar was a small little place that served shots of flavored Vodka so sweet that you could actually sip it and enjoy it. From Hazelnut to Blackcurrent, Apple and Caramel the flavours were incredible so much so you really had to question whether you were drinking Vodka. We actually developed such a relationship with the people there that the one night they reopened the bar for us just so we could have a couple drinks.
On a serious note, Az and I did go to Auschwitz on one of our days there. Not wanting to go alone we headed up with an organized tour group that showed us both Auschwitz 1 and Auschwitz 2 Birkenau. Being a camp we had always heard so much about, we didnt want to Poland and not experience it. Although it was a really hard day for both of us I think we both took a lot out of it. After seeing many pictures and hearing so many stories about this place of terror standing inside it was something I will never forget.
Thats all from Krakow. We now have a good 16 hour trip to get to Riga. See you on the other side.