Krakow, Abel Hostel

This was a great day. The first great thing about it was that I slept, like a log, even through the Wales-Portugal UEFA European Championship match, where Anne says they were shouting through the night. It turned out another lovely day, very cool to start. I had to put on my jumper. We got up at 7.00 and went for breakfast at 8.00.

We went out to a laundromat.

It was technically challenging for us but a lovely man helped us over the phone and we got our clothes washed and dried. It took about an hour and cost 19 zl, less than £4.00. Two Australian young men came in and we were able to use our newly gained expertise to help them. A Polish young man came in at the end to empty his drier and fold up his bedding. It was a real experience.

We took a different route back passing a shop selling hand made art and when we went in it was all handicapped people working. They were lovely once we started speaking to them. Two could speak English. It was actually humbling and a privilege to be here. We bought some carved and painted wood presents for folks at home. We were given two little hearts with the purchase.

We came back to our room, dumped the washing and then headed for the Spar shop. We got all the stuff needed for our picnic. We then headed south and across the Vistula river to Podgorze.

We had our 11’ses or 10’ses just by the river. It was actually quite cold!

We then moved up to Ryneck Podgorsk (Podgorsk Square) and looked at the Church of St Joseph. Quite a building.

St. Joseph’s Church (Polish: Kościół św. Józefa) – is a historic Roman Catholic church in Podgórze district of Kraków, Poland, at Podgórski Square on the northern slopes of the Krzemionki foothills in the south-central part of the city.

The church was built between 1905 and 1909, and designed by Jan Sas Zubrzycki, in Gothic Revival style. It is the largest church in the area.

We were following a route in our wee Krakow book but went wrong here. It took us a bit of confusion and wrong turns to find the mysterious Church of St Benedicts. We eventually got to it and then the St Benedict Fort.

We met a young Dutch couple as confused as ourselves. We then found the forgotten cemetery which has been destroyed by the Germans. I’m not feeling very German friendly just now and glad I voted out at the referendum.

We then had a major navigating challenge getting over the road and the other side of this beautiful park.

We went on to the Krakus Mound and had our lunch picnic just below it.

Krakus Mound (Polish: Kopiec Krakusa), also called the Krak Mound, is a tumulus located in the Podgórze district of Kraków, Poland; thought to be the resting place of Kraków’s mythical founder, the legendary King Krakus. It is located on Lasota Hill, approximately 2 miles south of Kraków’s city centre, at an altitude of 271 metres (889 ft), with the base diameter of 60 metres (197 ft) and the height of 16 metres (52 ft). Together with nearby Wanda Mound, it is one of Kraków’s two prehistoric mounds, and the oldest man-made structure in Kraków.

It was onto the Forgotten Concentration Camp (Plaszow Labour Camp) all the time seeing the Liban Quarry where some of Schindler’s List was filmed.

The Płaszów or Kraków-Płaszów concentration camp was a Nazi German labour and concentration camp built by the SS in Płaszów, a southern suburb of Kraków (now part of Podgórze district), soon after the German invasion of Poland and the subsequent creation of the semi-colonial district of General Government across occupied south-central Poland.

Originally intended as a forced labour camp, the Płaszów concentration camp, was erected on the grounds of two former Jewish cemeteries (including the New Jewish Cemetery) and populated with prisoners during the liquidation of the Kraków Ghetto which took place on 13–14 March 1943, with first deportations of the Barrackenbau Jews from the Ghetto beginning 28 October 1942. In 1943 the camp was expanded and turned into one of many KL concentration camps.

In 1992 Steven Spielberg built a replica of the Nazi’s Płaszów Labor Camp for his movie Schindler’s List. The remains of this highly realistic set can still be seen today a short distance from the center of Krakow. Rebuilt using the original plans, the replica of Płaszów was constructed in a quarry only a few hundred meters from the location of the real camp. The Liban Quarry, the site of the reconstruction, is one of the places where inmates of Płaszów were worked to death or randomly murdered.

We the used the sat nav to find the Ghetto Wall, the only part remaining. Passing this cemetery.

Back over that busy road. The murals are interesting.

Past the Fort of St. Benedict.

This is the only remaining part of the Ghetto Wall.

Then on to the Pharmacy under the Eagle museum. It had a lot to see and read.

This is a bar of soap from the Plaszpow Labour Camp.

We decided to call it a day and head back, getting an icecream on the way. We sat on a wall to eat it. We went into a couple of shops to get gifts. We went through Szeroka to look at the wee wooden carved Jews at the gift stall there but we went back to Synagogue Isaac to get one for Hugh. They were a bit better made.

At the hostel I got on with getting pictures onto my web pages.

We went out for tea back to the nice place from two nights ago and had the same – pork cutlets with chips.

Instead of going back to the hostel we went through Kasimierz and along the Vistula.

We went back to the Bazilika Bozego Giala (Basilica of Corpus Christi) so I could photograph it. I didn’t have my camera on Tuesday. We didn’t go back for mass!

This is a hospital that we passed! It looks more like a church.

Some buildings close to the centre are derelict. Would you see this in Glasgow?

I had to get one video of a Krakow tram.

We saw Wawel castle. I got my photo I missed on Monday.

We found the bus stop for leaving on Monday and a ticket machine.

Marszałek Piłsudski Stadium (formerly Stadion Cracovia or Stadion Cracovii) is a football stadium located in Kraków, Poland. It is used mostly for football matches and it is the home ground of Cracovia. Originally, the first Cracovia stadium was built in 1912. It was demolished in mid-2009. From then until late 2010 entirely new construction has was raised in roughly the same location where the old stadium stood. After reconstruction the stadium holds 15,016 people. 

There was a football match on so it was busy!

This was a police water canon – so I think they were expecting problems.

We then just wandered back through Krakow to our beds! We saw interesting buildings and statues.

Very tired. We have covered more than 11 miles city walking today.

To laundry and back – 0.5 miles
Round Podgorze – 6.4 miles
Evening walk – 4.3 miles

Total – 11.1 miles

This does not include walking to the Bistro for our tea.

We phoned mummy and Aunt Jeana. Can’t get Mairi.

A great day.

Anne’s photos

This is my socks drying a bit more. Maybe we should have given them one more go in the tumble drier.

The view out our window.

She takes the weirdest photos and they turn out so much more interesting than mine. She liked the chickens on the shutters.

The road signs are different.

This is nasty. Instead of helping me with my suncream she gets pleasure in me clarting on too much without a mirror.

I didn’t get this one. Plac Bohaterów Getta (Ghetto Heroes Square, formerly ‘Plac Zgody’). Laid out with 70 large well-spaced metal chairs meant to symbolise departure, as well as subsequent absence, the entire square has essentially been turned into an evocative memorial to the victims of the Kraków Ghetto. During the time of the Kraków Ghetto it was at once the source of the residents’ greatest relief and also the scene of their greatest horrors and humiliation. As the ghetto’s largest open space, Plac Zgody was a place for people to socialise, relax and escape the oppressive overcrowding of the tenements. It was also the site of families being torn apart, mass deportations to the death camps, beatings and executions. Following deportations and the final liquidation of the ghetto, Plac Zgody was strewn with furniture, clothes, luggage and other belongings that the victims had been forced to abandon