12. Dec, 2019

A Few Days in Krakow

It’s been our practice to go to a Christmas Market somewhere in Europe for a few years now. It gives us the opportunity for a winter break and the chance to find some different Christmas decorations.Some of the oldest markets have been going for centuries and most of these are in Eastern Europe, which also gives an opportunity get a cache in a country that I wouldn’t normally visit.πŸ˜‰

This year we decided to visit Krakow in Poland, which was supposedly the oldest Christmas Market in Europe. We didn’t think that it was that great but I did the best that I could.πŸ˜€ We arrived on the 10th and after booking in at the hotel just five minutes from the Market Square, we made our way up to explore the market. It was very busy but I did find time to quickly grab a couple of virtuals in the square. These were the “take a photo as evidence” type of virtual and my wife assisted me by taking the photos of me at Eros bendato and Kocham Krakow.

The next day, I had an hour or so to myself so took off to find a couple.πŸ€” I found another virtual which was the same kind as yesterday but failed at a couple of Challenge Caches that I had qualified for.🀬 I found some trads including two 1.5/3s and perhaps the most difficult trad that I had ever come across at Krakow - One Of The Oldest Churches. This was a 5/1 and I was really floundering. As I was looking a young Polish lady came and tapped me on the shoulder. Now this could have been tricky but it turned out that she was with her father who was a geocacher and he had found the cache. This was a cunning cache and I’d never seen anything like it. If it hadn’t have seen it, I would never have believed it. So it was many thanks to nikoninja and his daughter for showing me the way.πŸ‘

On the way back to the hotel, I found an unlikely trad in a tree next to the tiny church in the Market Square and then the Okno Papieskie Virtual. I had to position myself in a photo taking in a window which the Pope waved to the crowds from when he visited Krakow.

On the Thursday, I was up really early and the well lit streets helped. First up was the easy trad at the Mayor’s Palace and then I started walking down Grodska Street to get to the Wawel Castle. I paused to get a snap of me with one of the many statues of St Paul at the Church Of Saints Peter and Paul to qualify for the virtual here. I reached the Castle and walked up the steep access road and then cut back to get the 2/2 Wawel trad perched near the outer walls. One slip here would mean tumbling 500 yards down a very steep slope, so perhaps the T should be higher. 

I made my way into the Inner Courtyard of the Castle to pose with a couple of the dragon gargoyles to earn the Wawel Chakra Virtual and then had a go at the Wawel Hill fossils EC. I found the fossils easy enough but just could not see the ammonite back near the Wawel trad for the second part so gave it a miss as I still had a lot to do.

I wanted to get down to the Jewish Quarter and Schindler’s Factory just outside the remains of the former Ghetto. I took a roundabout route to Kazimierz but had a couple of DNFs on route until I found the well placed trad Kosciol sw Kalrzyny at the former Augustinian Priory. 

I eventually got to Szeroka Square, an important part of the Jewish Quarter and quickly found the Stara Synagogue trad. Next on my list was the four part but still only a 1.5/1.5 Virtual  Χ§Χ–Χ™ΧžΧ™Χ™Χ¨Χ–. I found the information about the Old City walls, visited the Galicia Jewish Museum to date Mezuzots and then looked all other Szeroka Square to find two more mezuzots but with no joy. I had a stroke of luck in the Hamsa Bookshop and Tourist Office when the very kind lady showed me two nearby and another down the road. I finished off with a bit more information at the Remuh Synagogue.

Time was getting the better of me and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to get down to the Ghetto area. I had to make do with the extremely cunning 2.5/1.5 PLAC NOWY trad in the old market area. I did try to find another couple of trads on the way back to the hotel but no joy.

I haven’t mentioned that my wife had injured her ankle on the first day and her mobility was severely diminished. However she wanted to go down into the Jewish Quarter so we gingerly made our way down to the Szeroka Square and then the Galicia Jewish Museum. 

After viewing the stunning photographs in the Museum, we retired to the cafe and my wife said that she was happy to stay there. I could go down into the Ghetto area and bring back some photos. I managed to find Schindler‘s Factory and what remained of the Ghetto wall. I also managed to find the trads, Chairs - Ghetto Memorial and three of the GP series that were published for the Mega Geocaching Party in 2018 before returning to meet my wife.

We caught a cab from there back into the Market Square to eat in the Hard Rock Cafe. I didn’t have any further opportunity to look for caches but this afternoon’s caching had been an unexpected bonus.πŸ‘πŸ»

6 Virtual 15 Traditional