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University Krakow, Poland

Blog entry 4 - Spring in Krakow

Sun, 24 Apr 2016 | Universität Krakau

Slowly spring has come to Krakow and still the weather is quite changeable, but if for a few hours the sun shines, it attracts everyone out. Luckily, there are some parks and meadows in Krakow, along the Vistula, where you can go and walk in the Sun, relax or can learn. Just a few minutes from my apartment. there is the Błonia Meadows, where in the afternoon it is teeming with joggers, cyclists and inline skaters. Due to rich-containing Polish food and cheaper beer and that I do not take two seats for the flight back home in July, I have started walking. I hope that the initial motivation stays as long as possible ...

There are many destinations in and around Krakow, that a trip there in good weather is worth it. As my mother was visiting, we walked to the Kościuszko Mound. The artificial hill in the west of the city, which is dedicated to the Polish national hero Tadeusz Kosciuszko and provides a great view of the city and the surrounding areas.

In addition, I have finally found the most popular market place; tourist attraction of the city including the Wawel Castle, the former seat of Polish kings. In addition to the interesting architecture and the picturesque courtyard of the castle, what impresses me is that in front of all the cathedrals, there are the tombs of Polish kings and artists.

The former President Lech Kaczynski, who died in 2010, is also buried here, which as far as I have heard is controversial and is regarded by some Poles as inappropriate. In addition, from Wawel great views of the Vistula can be seen and -  as far as one believes -in imagining a place of very high spirituality, because here were some esoteric theories by certain chakras cross created. We kept a curious lookout for tourist groups of mystics, but unfortunately did not see any.

Last weekend I actually wanted to go for a hiking trip in the Tatras, but at 10 degrees and continuous rain that would have made little or no sense. So I had to be in Krakow, which also is fortunately no problem for me. The Museum of Modern Art, MOCAK is always worth a visit in my opinion, especially since much of the land is used for temporary exhibitions and there is thus always something new to see. My favorites also include the Jewish Museum Galicia. A detailed photo exhibition deals with the traces of the formerly widespread Jewish culture in Poland, that are still to be found everywhere today.

Made a day's trip to Rseszow and Łańcut in eastern Poland, on Sunday despite bad weather. It was pleasant to drive sometimes in a city so full of tourists that is not like Krakow (although Łańcut has to offer a beautiful castle with a park to visit). Already now, the streets are full of tour groups from students to pensioners, all age groups are represented. I thought that this must be quite annoying for Krakow students and residents, especially in the summer months, the city is an extremely popular destination. But in Krakow, I've asked and all just shrug their shoulders and say “Well, you get used to it."

One of the things that I really miss from home is cycling. Although I've looked here at some used bikes, but in a really good place and then I somehow think it is not nearly worth 400 PLN. For that I have participated on a bicycle trip to the Ojców National Park. The Erasmus team of Krakow universities has really make an effort to organize a versatile and wide span-of recreational program for Erasmus students.

The 45 km long tour has definitely paid off, not only for the fun of bike-riding, but also because of the stunning scenery. Moreover, it is always pleasant, mostly to get out of the city, away from traffic noise and the still quite smoggy air. 

Unfortunately, me and my roommates had a second encounter with the Polish police. As with most and were not spared. Apartment parties here, the police came by and participated in our celebration. However, we were able by means of a Polish girlfriend handle the situation and were able to lower the usual fine of 500 to 300 PLN thankfully and had no further problems. Whenever I have celebrated in Germany, no party that was dissolved by the police, which is responsible for Polish students probably more or less, therefore perhaps they also the motto "Well, you get used to it ...".


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