In the morning, you arrive in Krakow. Rather smooth ride of trains in Poland rocks to a sleep or gets you in a thoughtful mood. But you are awake and look expectantly out of the window, curious about new experiences and adventures during the upcoming trip. At the railway station you will be met by our English-speaking tour guide, who will be available for you with advice and assistance throughout the whole trip. Our comfortable touring coach brings you to the hotel. After check-in and refreshment break we make our first acquaintance with the city of Krakow.
For many Poles Krakow is the most beautiful city in the country and the most important cultural metropolis. The city not only offers the incredible variety of architectural treasures, but also combines the flair of a young university town. Almost every stone here could tell a story. Historic background, blaze of color of the flower sellers and thrilling busking put the guests in a dreamy blissful state.
The territory of the entire old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We visit the largest medieval square in Europe, Cloth Halls, the building of the Jagiellonian University and the Royal Castle with the cathedral on the Wawel – 5 centuries have Polish kings ruled the country from here; the magnificent St. Mary’s Basilica with the famous Veit Stoss Altarpiece carved from lime wood. Two unequal towers are the hallmark of this church. Every full hour sounds the trumpet melody from the tower. It intermits abruptly, reminding the Guardian – struck by an arrow, he warned the city of the invasion of the Tatars.
In the afternoon, we visit the former Jewish district Kazimierz on the left bank of the Vistula with its nice cafes, galleries and antique shops and also with the former Oskar Schindler’s Enamel Factory Kazimierz that was location of the famous film “Schindler’s List”. We see the former Kazimierzer Town Hall, the Corpus Christi Church and a synagogue.
In the morning, we leave Krakow and make our way towards south. The landscape is always wavier – a clear sign that we are approaching the mountains. Today’s destination is the village Chabovka. Here is located a museum of a special art – in the open air are placed numerous rail vehicles. It is located on the territory of a former railway depot with locomotive shed from the time of World War II. This museum has one of the richest collections of original exhibits on the territory of today’s Poland. The exhibition presents both the establishment and the development of the Polish Railways, some steam locomotives date back to the 19th century. Here you experience the railway history with a chance to touch it. In addition to significant locomotive types are also preserved passenger and freight cars, steam-driven snowplows. This is the only collection in Poland that pays attention to the old Austrian railway history because Chabówka belonged to Austria-Hungary until 1918. The exhibition is supplemented by extensive collection of appliances, tools and other technical heritage in the field of railways. As you know, visiting any museum exhibition makes hungry and thirsty. After lunch we go on a ride in the Retro Train where you feel transported to another era. Our route runs from Chabowka to Kasina Wielka. In the village Kasina Wielka we still have an hour for a quiet stroll in the beautiful nature. Then we get back to the bus and go to Nowy Sacz, where we check in at our nice hotel. Before dinner we still have time for a short tour in this small town.
On this day, our trip leads us through the southern part of Poland, through Malopolska and Subcarpathia – slightly remote area, densely wooded and unspoilt rural region along the Slovakian border. En route we visit some of so many wooden churches – outstanding examples of typical sacred architecture. Of course, in such an area, wood is the most important building material. And the churches are often real masterpieces of wooden architecture, with its shingled, slender towering, wooden steeples, built without metal nails. These are the most architecturally valuable buildings in their original condition, its wide-style range reaches from the Gothic, through Renaissance to Baroque. The oldest of them date from the 14th century. In 2003, 6 wooden churches in Małopolska were included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage. On our way to Sanok we visit some of them, for example in the villages Blizne and Haczow. Both churches especially impress with paintings inside. With the priest we are talking about their history and the current role of religion in Polish society.
Around noon, we reach Sanok – one more beautiful town near marvelous mountain scenery. Here, we also see the main sights and visit the local open-air museum. It is especially valuable that here are represented four main ethnic groups that lived in the region until 1947. Altogether there are more than 100 buildings, homes, farms and churches from Lemkos, Boykos, Pogorzans. Here are also represented Roman-Catholic and Greek-Catholic Churches from the 17th and 18th century.
In the evening, we arrive at our hotel in a densely wooded area near Sanok.