Most visitors come to Kraków for sights – the imposing Wawel Royal Castle, St. Mary’s Church on the grand, medieval Main Square, or bustling Sukiennice Cloth Market to name just a few. But especially for those new to Poland, Kraków also provides a great introduction to that key aspect of exploring all foreign lands: food. The Main Square, where most people start their city adventure, has plenty of restaurants and cafes to choose from but you can do much better in terms of originality and selection, not to mention price-to-performance ratio, by venturing out a bit. Here a foodie’s guide to some of the best restaurants and places to eat in Kraków, Poland. Read the rest of this entry
The road ahead may be long…
but make sure to stop and smell the blossoms
take time out
think deep thoughts
follow the rainbow
find new perspective
find new direction
look at the bright side
and don’t forget to feed the squirrels
Bursztyn. Bur-sztyn. I’ve always liked saying this word. It rolls roundly in my mouth. It rustles with the sound of waves polishing the solid blood of ancient pines. Jantar. Jan-tar. Sounds bright, shimmering with honey-hued reflections of the sun. Bernstein. Янтарь. Electron. ηλεκτρον. Whatever you call it (ok maybe with an exception of what the Romans used to call it – lyncurium – or lynx’s urine), amber is among the few of my favorite things.
I guess my sentiment comes from thinking of amber as something very familiar – and very Polish. When I was a kid, one of my favorite events of the year was an annual exhibition of minerals and precious stones in my home town Kielce. I would always be drawn to glowing orange and brown pebbles, rough or made into jewelry. Some translucent like drops of honey. Some almost milky-white with streaks of gold. I always gravitated to the stalls with amber and inspected each for insects frozen in time. Anybody who’s walked down Gdańsk’s Długi Targ or shopped in Kraków’s Sukiennice can relate.
For centuries, amber powered the economic bloodstream linking Europe and Asia. The Amber Road – an ancient trade route – led from the Baltic Sea to the Mediterranean. If I were more of a biker, I’d try EuroVelo 9 that roughly re-traces this path… For now I’ll just keep buying more amber pieces to fuel the modern Amber Road on the Baltic.