Vienna, Austria was a magical place to spend Christmas evening and as much as I wanted to stay (re: live), I made my way to a place I never thought I’d ever travel to let alone fall in love with: Krakow, Poland.
The. Food. Was. Unbelievable. If I wasn’t eating perogies of all kinds, especially ones stuffed with blueberries and strawberries and topped with icing sugar, it was my fav. I also enjoyed dark chocolate drizzled on homemade waffles, pork & potatoes and grilled cheese & cranberry sauce (see pic below). Everything was seriously drool worthy.
I made my way to Wawel Castle, Poland’s version of London’s Buckingham Palace and West minster Abbey rolled into one. It is absolutely stunning.
The castle was built in the 14th century as a residence of Polish kings but in the 20th century it was taken into the hands of Nazi Governor General, Hans Frank, during the German occupation of WWII.
According to legend, before Wawel Castle was built it was a hill that housed a cave with a fire-breathing dragon. The dragon was known for terrorizing the city until Polish prince, Krakus, poisoned the dragon giving him a sheep filled with sulfur to eat. Prince Krakus was praised and as folklore goes, that’s how Krakow got its name. There’s a statue of the dragon outside Wawel Castle and miniature replicas in every souvenir shop within a ten mile radius.
While in Poland I had the opportunity to tour Auschwitz concentration camp. There are no words for how I felt after I walked through the place where 1,100,000 people were murdered. As hard as it was to walk through the camp, I do recommend visiting. You have to. It’s a place where you see for yourself how capable and powerful a single human can be when it comes to destruction and mutilation of others. It puts your own life into perspective and a reminder that we must educate ourselves and others on mistakes that have happened in the past or else we are doomed to repeat them. That is a statement I truly stand by.