This is the most inexpensive trip I have ever taken for sure: four days (from 3 to 6 May), one flight to Krakow, two round-trips buses from Krakow to Warsaw, half a day in Auschwitz and one night in a hotel. All of this for just 70 Euros per person, but an experience I will never have again, because of my boyfriend’s craving for reckless adventures! But beyond that, Poland really amazed me with its places and atmospheres.
DAY ONE – Departure and visit to Auschwitz
We take off from our little airport to Krakow, a two-hour flight. We have no suitcases but just a backpack on my boyfriend’s back (with mainly my clothes and makeup products inside, of course). Landed in Krakow and got to the city, I realize that summer in Poland comes earlier than in Italy… about 32 degrees in the shade!
Auschwitz is our first step: we catch the direct bus from the station and attend a guided tour through Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camps (if you visit Poland you cannot miss this). We are headed to Krakow again around 3 p.m., we check into the hotel and we enjoy the evening in the beautiful Krakow, having dinner in a yummy restaurant for Pierogi.
DAY TWO – Discovering Krakow and making a special friend
Aware that we are going to spend two nights on a bus seat (oh bed, how much I will miss you!), we wake up slowly and then go to discover the city. Amazing Stare Miasto, including the huge Market Square (one of the most enchanting squares I have ever seen) and the Wawel Hill, containing the enormous castle and the famous statue of the dragon (considered the founder of Krakow).
We continue on to the Krakow Ghetto, where we have a tasteful Zapiekanka for lunch and we are impressed from the big amount of synagogues. It’s 5.30 p.m., the ideal hour to start the shooting you are watching here; while we are shooting, a Chinese girl, almost dressed like me, comes up to me and the second after we are friends! My boyfriend and the girl’s friend, who respectively shoot us, invite us to get close to take pictures together. Moment seized!
Shooting done, we decide to eat something for dinner in the Market Square, but here we realize that we definitely don’t like falafels, part of our meal, and that we messed up the KFC order… But we don’t get mad, because a guy next to us proposes to his girlfriend, and she accepts. Applause from across the square, and I don’t regret either the failed dinner or the missing hotel. Our wait for the bus that will take us to Warsaw becomes lighthearted.
DAY THREE – Finding fellow sufferers in Warsaw
It’s 00:05 a.m., our Flixbus bus leaves. There are two French girls next to us, two real backpackers, not like me, keeping a pair of stiletto heels in the backpack that my boyfriend carries on his shoulders. We become friends with them, and after about two scarce hours of sleep, the driver notifies us that we have arrived two hours early in Warsaw. My beauty sleep gets interrupted by 5 degrees at five in the morning in Warsaw. Thanks Flixbus. We and the French girls, always well equipped even in this case, luckily take shelter inside Caffé Nero, a bar open at that time. It’s 7:30 a.m., so we decide it’s time to discover Warsaw.
I am impressed by the Palace of Culture and Science, within the innovative skyline of the capital, and with how the city was rebuilt after the bombing during World War II. Walking along the beautiful Krakowskie Przedmieście, we reach the Old Town of the city, not as nice as that of Krakow, but still respectable. Finally we get to the Mermaid Statue, symbol of the city, and to Krasiński Palace. We have lunch with some excellent potato pancakes, accompanied by a tasty sausage typical of Eastern Europe. We spend our afternoon in Łazienki Park and the evening in the historic center. I must admit it is one of the most magical evenings spent in a city: the street performers make us feel totally involved in the city’s mood in a short time.
The clock is ticking, our bus leaves for Krakow at 11.55 pm. We have a flight that will take us home in the morning. We, sadly, leave a wonderful Warsaw that was making us dream.
DAY FOUR – The end of the journey
There are no more French girls on the bus back to Krakow, but a group of people who decide not to use the headphones but the speakers of the phone to listen to music. But fortunately we are not the only ones to complain. Even here, after less than two hours of sleep, Flixbus plays another trick on us: we arrive in Krakow at 4 a.m., two hours and a half early. The thermal gap is felt here, too. Thanks again, Flixbus! We reach the airport to find a little quiet time. Our flight is scheduled at 10:40.
I draw my conclusions on the return flight. The pedometer tracks 23,486 steps on the first day for 16.1 km, 29.908 for 20.4 km on the second, and 38.977 steps for 26.9 km on the third day. My feet are destroyed and my eyes barely manage to stay open, but I did it, everything was ending. Looking at my boyfriend next to me who sleeps on the return flight (and he had slept even less than me), I thank him inside myself for having endured all my complaints when I could not find a bathroom to put my make up on or to take it off, or a place to change clothes, and for helping me to do it in extreme situations, for holding my head when I fell asleep wherever I sat, for carrying the weight of my precious heels (the red heels you see in these photos) on his tiny shoulders and my four outfits for each day he knew I would never give up on. It was an experience I will never have again in my life, and my boyfriend thought the same, but I mean, I’m young, and if it had not been for him, I would never have done something like that. But I liked Poland, and when the plane lands and I go to bed, I come to the conclusion that I liked it even more with this idea of traveling. Poles are friendly people, they know how to greet you and make a city alive. I had a friendship with a super stylish Chinese girl and two very nice French girls at the end of this trip, and it hurts me a bit to think I will never see them again, but it will always remain a beautiful memory. I’m a little reluctant to make friends and always used to all the comforts, but I had brought to an end a four-day adventure that has changed and improved me forever. Poland is great, traveling and living adventures even more. And it’s a good thing to do at least once in your life just to let yourself go. I promise you will be amazed, just like Poland did to me.