From first sight, it was love.
Flying into Krakow from Frankfurt my eyes were fixated on the green hills, the red rooftops of the country houses and the winding Vistula river. The man sitting next to me, who was born in Krakow, told me stories of his childhood, his favorite place to eat pierogi and how 25 years ago he left his home for Canada, in order to escape Communism, and that he has regretted his choice to leave ever since. For an hour and a half we talked about his home city. His lips curled into a soft smile and during his thoughtful pauses, I could sense a movie reel of memories past flying through his mind. When we landed, he said how good it was to be home. Little did I know that my heart was going to feel so at home in Krakow as well.
Krakow is a city that, simply put, is a beautiful dance between the historic and the bohemian. The streets and cafes are bustling with locals and tourists, casually sipping kawa (coffee) or a frappe latte (usually drizzled with chocolate and cream and served with a spoon or straw), laughing while holding glasses of amber colored piwo and always, always eating some sort of snack. The old market square is one of the nicest and largest I’ve ever seen (and it is indeed one of the largest in Europe) and it is constantly buzzing with activity – vendors selling fresh flowers, children feeding pigeons, horse drawn carriages clip-clopping on the stones. There are parks, fountains and ancient walls that surround the beautiful Polish Renaissance architecture, and even the giant Wawel Castle. Every building and every stone seems to have a story.
If you can’t already tell, I am captivated by Krakow.
What I can’t figure out is why this city is not talked about more often. Or why Poland is rarely a destination for American travelers. From only two days in the city, I would rank Krakow as one of most beautiful and vibrant cities I’ve ever visited. I would even call it the Florence of Poland. I carry a notebook with me that is full of details of my explorations, so don’t worry, I’ll be able to be your tour guide when you want to come… because I am definitely coming back!
But the best part of this adventure has been my peace at exploring the city with my Abba Father. My days are in constant conversation with Him. We sit and eat apples on the castle wall and smile at little children eating lody (ice cream); we wander through the small, colorful streets of the Kazimierz (the old Jewish quarter); we stop to eat grilled cheese curds topped with cranberry sauce (… okay, we’ve done this a few times :)). My thoughts are full of praise and wonderment of His amazing creation – the simple, yet profound joy that I experience each day.
My Abba Father has surrounded me with the most kind people who I can laugh with and even have deep philosophical discussions. Madga and Kuba are so gracious and fun to be around – friends that I know will have for life and I feel so blessed that God has chosen our paths to cross.
I could go on and on about my time in Krakow and will have more to share later, but I just wanted to give you an update on what has been happening so far.
Sending love your way!