Krakow, Poland. You’ve maybe never even heard of it. I just knew it was a city in Poland, a country with a lot of pirogies.
The locals tell an old legend of a dragon haunting the town, eating all of the beautiful young women— classic. Dragons are spattered throughout the city in the form of rainspouts, t-shirts and keychains and the town feels magical and medieval and like a book you read.
Krakow is alive. Even though only an hour from a city of death, this place feels good. According to Hindu legend, 7 stones were thrown into the air, reflecting points of positive energy (chakras) on the earth. One of these stones landed in a corner of the courtyard in the Castle. I stood there and breathed and believed it.
Krakow doesn’t feel as westernized as most other cities I’ve visited so far. Though it is a large(ish) city— second biggest in Poland— it felt quaint. There was an Easter market set up in the Old Town Square selling Polish scarves, flowers, painted eggs, cheeses and of course— pirogies. So I had 10.
A city of history, much of it catastrophic, Krakow moves. There’s so much healing there. There had to be.
Many people come to Krakow for one horrific reason. Auschwitz. The former extermination camp is about an hour outside the city limits. I can’t say much about my experience here because while I love to use words, I don’t think they do that much here. I can say it is important. I can say it is terrible. And that’s a junction that we cannot ever confuse. You should go. You shouldn’t go. I don’t even know what to recommend here. It is a place where you can still feel the evil and fear that lived there. So learn.
There is more life than death in Krakow. Look for it.