Krakow pt. Two

Our last full day in Krakow has us up early again. This time we are on our way to the Oskar Schindler Enamel Factory. We were hoping to beat the rush, but when we arrived we realized that was not the case. The line was already out the door. Unbeknownst to us, you could pre-purchase your tickets online and skip one line only to stand in another. Planning your visit today, I believe their policies have changed in terms of tickets. I think you have to purchase them online and you are given an arrival time. Do check out their website before you make any plans!

Anyway, having waited a bit we eventually got inside. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I knew that while doing my research for this part of our trip this museum was a must see for me. Mum wasn’t too knowledgeable on what Oskar Schindler had done for the Jews during the Holocaust, so it was nice that she could learn something while she was here. Not being one for museums, she loved this one.

The Oskar Schindler Enamel Factory is just a branch of Museum Krakow, and one I wouldn’t miss if you’re travelling to Krakow! I was beyond impressed with this place! They have a temporary exhibits, but the permanent one is truly remarkable. It’s called ‘Krakow Under Nazi Occupation 1939-1945.’ Guests can time travel through the city’s history prior to the Nazi Occupation, during and after. It also presents a history of both Polish and Jewish inhabitants working in the enamel factory for Oskar Schindler and of the prisoners of the Ptaszow Concentration camp he managed to save.

You truly get a sense of what life was like as you wander from room to room. The space is immersive; at one point you swear you are walking through the Jewish Ghetto. If you have seen the film Schindler’s List then you are aware of the story this museum is tied to. But this place will offer you a rediscovery of who Oskar Schindler was and how he impacted many lives during such a horrible time in history.

A room with all the names of those Oskar Schindler saved during the Holocaust.

Having been completely blown away by this museum, we found ourselves nearing the end. I was so glad we included this on our trip. Mum learned quite a lot as did my dad and I. Once we had wrapped up here, we made our way back to Wawel Castle. It was just after mid-day, I’d say no later than 2pm when we got back to central Krakow. We walked up the hill to the Castle only to find out they stopped selling tickets for the day. I guess they had reached capacity or something. We were quite upset as were many other tourists hoping to check out the Castle. The only thing we could see were the grounds at this point. So we wandered around for a little bit before we decided to head back to the apartment. We knew we needed to pack our bags as we were leaving quite early in the morning. It was also New Years Eve, so we wanted to find a restaurant before the crowds got too crazy!

Luckily we got ourselves a great spot at a restaurant in the Main Square. They had an outdoor venue, covered in a plastic surround and heated by those massive heat lamps. It was tight in there for sure, barely enough space between tables, but they some how managed to fit a lot of people in there. We had a lovely meal savouring the local foods and drink. The waiter let us know that no fireworks would be happening in the Main Square for New Years Eve as they had been banned. That was fine with us since our apartment was literally just down the street from where we were sitting.

Once we finished dinner we walked for a bit taking in the city one last time. We were back in the apartment and in bed before the clock struck 12. We’re really not the partying type! Ha ha! The morning came too quickly and we were on our way back to the train station. Our host let us know where we could grab a taxi so early in the morning as public transit was likely to be on a holiday schedule. We chose January 1 as a travel day because we figured a lot of places would be closed due to the holiday. We were right. There was absolutely nothing open in the train station. Thankfully we had eaten the last of our breakfast items in the apartment and had just enough to make a good lunch while on board the train.

The journey would be an all day adventure as it was about a 7 hour trip from Krakow to Prague. Yes! We are on our way to Prague! When we decided to do this part of the trip, I told Mum and Dad that if we were already out this way we must add Prague to the list. I had never seen a more beautiful city in my life and I wanted them to be able to see it too! You can read about my first trip to Prague here. They didn’t even try to argue with me about it. Having seen my photos from my trip in 2012, they were quite keen on seeing the city themselves.

So this wraps up our time in Krakow! I’m sure I’ve missed so much in the city but I know I will get back there again some day! The city is beautiful and I would love to experience it when it’s not raining/snowing/below zero! If you have been, please feel free to tell me some things to see and do the next time I get there! 🙂

Stay tuned for a city more suitable for a fairy tale!

Until next time…

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