After breakfast and coffee at our apartment we set off to explore the area right around us. We are staying in the Kazimierz area, or old Jewish quarter. There are several important and historic sights right out our front door. In fact, the site of one of the earliest synagogues in Krakow, Synagogue Poppera, is in our courtyard.
A sad note about current Jewish life in Krakow--there are estimated to be less than 1000 Jews in Krakow today. Before 1940, Krakow was home to a thriving and vibrant Jewish community of over 70,000, 25% of the total population of Krakow. By 1948, the post-holocaust Jewish population had dwindled to 6,900, and by the 1990's was only about 600. Today there is one active Synagogue in Krakow. There is a concerted effort by the small Jewish community to encourage growth of their congregation.
I liked this old building--very dignified.
Don't think I'd have a party on this balcony:
Crumbling but lovely:
I LOVE this window--I could just live like this!
This big building is called The Cloth Hall, and is one of the oldest markets in Europe, dating from the 1400's. Sadly, it's now filled with souvenir shops.
A few blocks later, we came across another market, this one was the Stary Kleparz, and was very busy with locals doing their Friday grocery shopping.
There were flowers, of course:
Wonderful produce--look at all these different types of mushrooms!
We had a loooong walk back to our neighborhood. As we walked back through the small food market near Old Town Square, we hear music, and stopped to listen to this group sing traditional Polish folk song. They were quite lively:
It was windy and cold, and by the time we got to our neighborhood, we were a bit chilly. We thought a mug of hot mulled wine was in order, so we walked a block over from our apartment to the same small Italian Bistro we'd stopped at last night. They have the best mulled wine we've had--it's just perfect!
The nice young waitress remembered us from last night, and greeted us warmly. She asked if we were back for more wine, and we said yes. She even remembered that I liked mine sweet, and David liked his plain!
We relaxed and enjoyed our wonderful mulled wine, and talked about what a great day we'd had. A young lady came by selling roses, of course I shook my head "no", but David bought me one anyway--what a sweetie he is. I'm so lucky!
(and the nice waitress even brought a wine carafe of water to put it in, so it would stay fresh!)