Old Town & Pierogies: 72 Hours in Kraków – Owen Angle

After a two-hour flight over Europe, we finally touched down in sunny Kraków, tucked in the southwestern corner of Poland. I remember sitting on the plane, waiting to disembark, thinking, “well, here goes nothing.” Having just left France, where I knew about ten words of the dominant language (bonjour, monsieur), I was about to step foot somewhere where I was totally unfamiliar with the language, the culture as a whole, and the people. I was walking in completely blind, in a sense.


The first thing I noticed was the familiarity of the scenery. Looking out the window on the twenty minute bus ride from the airport to our hotel, I was shocked at how much rural Poland reminded me of… home? Hailing from SE Ohio, the rolling hills, dense forests and thick ground vegetation of the Polish countryside held within them a noticeable resemblance to my stomping grounds.


I was charmed by the Old Town area of the city, as the narrow pedestrian streets were lined with shops and cafés, and the main square was bustling with activity. Restaurants offered outdoor seating all around the square, and St. Mary’s basilica towered overhead. The atmosphere here was so welcoming and exciting, and the sunset combined with the glow from the lights of town made this stop one of my favorites from our journey.


Another highlight of Kraków was the pierogi-making class I took with a handful of our cohort members. I got to try my hand at making the dough, and we each learned how to stuff and bake our own pierogies! It was a great and unique experience, and one I surely will not forget anytime soon.


I wish I was able to spend more time in Kraków, but the time spent here with our group made the city my favorite stop on our trek through Europe. Kraków is truly a beautiful city, both big enough to explore for a week and quaint enough to not feel overwhelming to travelers, new or experienced.

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