Wieliczka Salt Mines

Wieliczka Salt Mines

I know “salt mine” is usually not super high on peoples’ honeymoon visit lists but Wieliczka is really fun and interesting. I think this is my 5th visit and I’ve enjoyed it every time. YES: you can lick the walls. But our guide reminded us that innumerable people before us had also licked the walls, so maybe not. I did try some of the salt water that was trickling out of a fountain elsewhere in the mine. Yep, pretty friggin…

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Vampire Bones: Slavic Folklore

Vampire Bones: Slavic Folklore

Rynek Underground was something I was so excited about I was telling people about it before we even left. Under the Rynek (market square) that exists now are remnants of an older square: cobblestones and support structures for the original wooden Sukiennice (Cloth Hall). They turned the site into an underground museum about the history of Krakow from about the 14th century up until WWII. They had cool exhibits about life at that time, including recreations of buildings (homes, blacksmith,…

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Kazimierz

Kazimierz

Kazimierz is a historical – and now sort of hipstery – district of Krakow that used to be the Jewish part of town.  During WWII, the Nazis relocated the Jews to a ghetto in Podgorze across the river (also the area in which Schindler’s Factory is located and where Schindler’s List was filmed). After the war, Kazimierz was basically empty and fell into ruin. When I was in Krakow in the mid-90s I don’t think I ever went into Kazimierz and was…

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Młoda Polska – Young Poland

Młoda Polska – Young Poland

I didn’t expect to get so much art nouveau on this trip. When we visited St. Francis’ Basilica – right across the street from Pope John Paul II’s residence and his favorite place to pray, as indicated by a silver plaque on his preferred pew – we got to see some wonderful examples of the art nouveau movement in Poland. I’ll let Wiki do the talking because I actually didn’t know this was a thing. Educational honeymoon! Literally cut and…

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Royal Walk – Old Town Krakow

Royal Walk – Old Town Krakow

Our first day in Krakow was a bit of a non-starter because we basically did not get any sleep on the train and were too tired to do anything. We saved the Royal Walk for the next day, where we roughly followed the coronation route through the city. We started at the Barbican (Barbakan), which is a fortified outpost that used to be part of the city walls. There was a frazzled looking old man on a bench that saw…

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Traveling by Train in Central Europe

Traveling by Train in Central Europe

We paid for a reservation for a sleeper car on the overnight train from Prague to Krakow. We weren’t sure if our print out was sufficient or if we needed something else, so I went to the info guy and showed him my thing and asked if it was OK and he said “yeah yeah yeah” in a way that indicated I was annoying him. So long story short it, reservations =/= tickets. APPARENTLY – I googled this later –…

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Kampa Island & Views of Charles Bridge

Kampa Island & Views of Charles Bridge

On our way to Kampa Island we climbed one of the towers on the bridge to enjoy the view. You can see the spires of the Tyn Church in the distance of one pic. I love the cute orange roofs of all the houses! Kampa Island is a man made island (from the debris of a fire in the Little Quarter) at the foot at the Charles Bridge. It’s a really cute artsy area with interesting sculptures – including a…

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Mucha

Mucha

As mentioned in a previous post, I didn’t realize that Art Nouveau took such hold in Prague and although I’ve seen Mucha’s work before I didn’t know who he was or that he was Czech. The Mucha museum is small (and very warm) but has a great collection. No pictures allowed so I am pulling from the interwebs. Mucha was drawing before he could walk – his mom used to tie a pencil around his neck so he could draw…

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Prague Castle Complex

Prague Castle Complex

We spent A LOT OF MINUTES standing in front of the ticket machine but eventually figured out how to buy tram tickets to ride up to the castle complex. St. Vitus cathedral has ruined us for all other cathedrals. Those Catholics really know how to put on a show.  A smaller church in this spot was founded by King Wenceslas who needed a place to house the arm of St. Vitus, which he had acquired from somebody else (a normal…

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Kutna Hora: The Bone Church and St. Barbara’s

Kutna Hora: The Bone Church and St. Barbara’s

In the afternoon of Day 3 we went on my highly anticipated Bone Church/Sedlec Ossuary tour. Actually, the tour was of Kutna Hora, a small town near Prague. Kutna Hora had a lot of silver mines and was of interest to many kings (and Hitler); it stopped producing silver in the early 90s blah blah let’s get to the bones. The Ossuary, aka Bone Church, aka Kostnice (in Czech) was the first stop. There were mass graves here as the…

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