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We were wandering through Krakow in the late afternoon, exploring random streets and alleys around the main market square. We noticed a door on the side of a stone building that people were coming in and out of … they had the distinctive look of tourists. We decided to see for ourselves what was inside. Imagine walking through a nondescript door on a side street and being met with this. We had inadvertently entered St. Mary’s Cathedral, the cathedral that towers over the market square, which we hadn’t yet taken time to see. Our jaws literally went slack, leaving our mouths to gape open. It was one of the most pleasant surprises I’ve ever experienced. Sometimes plotting your steps through a guidebook is over-rated ... it leaves no room for surprise.
My girlfriends and I were traveling through Eastern Europe during our Peace Corps stint and heard that one of the 7 Chakras was in Wawel Castle in Krakow, Poland. We were also told that guides in the castle wouldn't tell us where it would be so we just had to "feel" it out. We spent over a hour, trying to "feel" the energy and touching parts of the walls but could never find it. On one of the best trips I have ever been on, it was one of the most entertaining adventures. The Wawel Castle has fascinating architecture and great stories so we really felt like the whole experience was awesome.
Spotted in Krakow, Poland: the Fart...er, um....F-Art shop. Not pictured: endlessly giggling 11-year-old boys pointing at the shop's sign.
With it’s cozy interior, retro inspired furniture, shelves full of books and even it’s own small stylized blue car – I have to say that Satori Cafe-Bistro must surely be the coolest cafe in all of Krakow. And this means a lot coming from a self-professed cafe junkie!
The interior of this church is stunning, the exact opposite of what you’d be led to believe if you simply glanced at the simple brick exterior. The interior features art nouveau inspired designs of flowers, geometric shapes, and interesting floral and nature inspired patterns. Every square inch of the walls are covered with paint, and even if you've been inside hundreds of European churches, you could definitely spend time inside this one admiring its beauty. Don't forget to peek inside the chapel to see a perfect replica of the Shroud of Turin.
Walking through the Planty as the city lights started to turn on, I stopped to take a few pictures. Through my viewfinder, I noticed the small elderly woman huddled by the streetlamp, hiding behind the flowers she was selling. After snapping this picture, I walked over to her. Still nervous to use my Polish speaking skills, after finding I could easily get by with English in Krakow, I had a brief, but lovely conversation completely in Polish with the little flower lady. For only 5 zlotys, I walked away with a beautiful bouquet of red flowers, and an encounter I will always remember.
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