Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Crackling Krakow: Moods of a medieval city

Voted among the world's most beautiful cities, Krakow's extensive cultural heritage includes Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture. It has the biggest Market Square -- now a Unesco heritage site -- in all Europe, was major junction on the erstwhile amber trading route, has a poignant Jewish connection, a thriving gourmet scene and languid vibrancy that makes this town in southern Poland such a delight to visit. 
Accompany me on a photographic journey... 

Rynek Główny or Main Square of Old Town, Kraków, Lesser Poland: (clockwise from from left): St Mary's Basilica; Carriage trots around with the Cloth Hall or Sukiennice in the backdrop; Krakow restaurant... take a look at the exposed brick and mortar walls... this is the commendable way old architecture is being preserved despite a modern makeover; Krakow, it's said, stays alive from the first bell of the cafes to the last!; The city is dotted with kiosks of obwarzanek, a bread with a hole, something like a bagel. This has a rich tradition in Poland, dating back hundreds of years and is considered a symbol of Krakow.

Krakow and around: (clockwise from top left): Musicians outside St. Florian's Gate... This is the only survivor from among eight gates that originally led into the Old Town. It's at the head of the bustling Florianska Street; Grunwald Monument in front of the Barbican; Wawel Castle; Barbican; Wieliczka Salt Mine; Oskar Schindler's Factory Holocaust museum; snazzy eco-transport. 

Stary Kleparz Farmers' Market: This is a must-visit for foodies. Stuff fresh from the farm and the dairy arrives early morning making the smorgasbord array a feast for the eyes and palate. Let's take you through (clockwise from left): Wild mushrooms and raspberries; Lesser Poland's popular Bundz (sheep-milk) cheese moulded in lovely patterns; dried sunflower pods; lavender stems all dressed up as potpourri; kilebasa stack; this is the famous Polish sour soup in rye bread-bowl, it's a restaurant special and most ingredients travel into it from the market.

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