Krakow is a surprising city I have to admit. With preconceptions about Poland in general, gleaned from different media and first-hand stories of emigration and economic struggles, I imagined a less than atmospheric, less than ideal life in the land of Solidarność, which I imagined would only cause me to be nostalgic about my own childhood in Manila. I’d heard many similarities between the phenomenon of OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) where a tenth of the population works abroad and the many anecdotes of Polish workers spread throughout the Europe performing jobs that wealthier Europeans weren’t inclined to do. Against this backdrop I was happy to see that there are a lot of beautiful things going well with Krakow, and they can be found pretty much everywhere especially along lively Floriańska Street.
We started our walk from the Barbakan, glimpsed the twin towers of St Florian’s church and the reconstructed Grunwald Battle monument from across the street, and walked the length of the Royal Road all the way to base of Wawel Castle. The pedestrian promenade was alive, enticing, definitely worthy of the time spent to walk along, admire occasional street musicians, grab an ice cream, and simply wander around preferably aimlessly in search of the safe unknown. As free attractions go strolling along Floriańska paid off more than tenfold, and be it summer or otherwise, it would be a treat each time I imagine. Anecdotes or not, life seems good in Krakow town.