Krakow and the Return Home

Although Krakow is a very large city, the old city center is really pretty compact, stretching from the railroad station to Wawel Castle.  The whole area is probably only ten or twelve blocks long and four or five blocks wide.  We found Krakow to be a very easy city in which to get around-- the crowds were never too bad and walking everywhere could be very pleasant.  Here, small crowds are going up the hill to the castle.
We spent much of our time in Krakow enjoying the Rynek Glowny, the central square built around the arcaded cloth guild building in the center.  Rynek is the largest central square in Europe and competes with all the other cities to attract pigeons.  The cloth guild building is filled with sales stalls inside where all manner of porcelain, leather, and glass can be purchased.  Rynek Glowny is the heart of the city and rightfully deserves much of the tourist's time.
We relaxed and ate snacks in the Central Square a number of times.  Krakow has a great tradition and seems to be making an effort to recover some of that greatness.  But as one of the Poles told us, in the last couple of centuries Poland has been told what to do by other countries for so long that now that the country has a chance to make decisions for itself, it seems a little hesitant to do so.  It almost seems that everyone is looking over his shoulder wondering when the next takeover is going to come.
What a great use for surplus military equipment!!  This entrepreneur was selling several varieties of soup in the Rynek Glowny. 

While in Krakow, we stayed at the Hotel Pollera.  Once a great old hotel, it is now undergoing restoration having been returned to the family that had originally owned it prior to the end of World War II.  We regretted that our visit to Poland had to be so short.

Because of difficulties in scheduling a direct trip home from Poland, we had a two night layover in London.  We had a chance to revisit the National Gallery and finally got around to seeing Agatha Christie's "Mousetrap," the world's longest running play.  Sorry, but we promised not to give away the plot.

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