We didn’t make it to the Zielona Gora Winobranie that I spoke about last year but made sure we attended this year.
Winobranie is a wine and music festival in Artur’s home town. There are stalls, various places to eat and a lot of wine. His best friend from Zielona Gora was in the parade, which was also going on during the day.
We didn’t spend as much time in Zielona Gora this trip as our plan was for a road trip to Warsaw and then Krakow. My sister and her boyfriend would be joining us in Krakow.
Warsaw was a 4-hour drive from Zielona Gora and Artur insisted on doing all the driving! We stayed in a nice hostel in a private room with a fireplace and shared shower facilities. I’m glad I packed a pair of flipflops for use in the communal shower!
Our tour of Warsaw took us to the old part of town which was heavily bombed in world war two, we picked up a postcard showing the differences between the city then and now. Sadly very little of the original structures remain. If you’ve ever seen a film called The Pianist it shows the devastation that hit the city of Warsaw.
Warsaw is a university city and as such there were many students around, we walked past the college campus as well as the home of the president of Poland.
We only had one day and night in Warsaw, unfortunately. I’d love to go back to the city again in the future.
We headed from Warsaw to Katowice airport the next morning to pick up my sister and her boyfriend and from there drove to Krakow and checked into “The 4 friends hostel”. The room was simpler than the one we stayed in Warsaw but still very nice, had an en-suite shower and a mini-fridge. A continental breakfast and free Wi-Fi were included in the price.
Having settled in we went to a nearby pizza place for dinner and my sister claims it’s the best pizza she’s ever had outside of the Vatican!
The next morning we went to the Wieliczka salt mine. We opted for the tourist route rather than the one the miners would have taken mostly as time was an issue. We had so much to see of Krakow and the surrounding areas in 3 days.
The most impressive part of the salt mine was the salt sculptures towards the end of the tourist trail. My sister and I both brought home some bath salts each and some for our mum as well.
We had dinner in Krakow that evening and both my sister and her boyfriend tried pierogi. They’re now fans as well!
The following morning we visited the town of Oswiecim or Auschwitz as it’s more commonly known. We booked a tour guide, she was Polish but spoke fluent English and was very knowledgeable and approachable. At the end of our tour of Auschwitz 1, she offered to do a tour around Auschwitz 2 for anyone that wanted to join her. We did. It was a very saddening, eye-opening experience. There were multiple times I had tears in my eyes walking around hearing stories of what happened in both camps.
Our last day in Poland was spent exploring the wonderful city of Krakow. We went shopping and stumbled upon a lovely chocolate shop, the chocolate sculptures were impressive. Artur bought me a chocolate heart lollypop.
We went into the castle grounds, met the dragon of Krakow and spent some time walking around the docklands.
It was a wonderful trip and one I hope I can take again. There were so many things we didn’t get a chance to see but we made many memories.