Travel Stories

A travel blog for a long-term expat, backpacker, traveler, ESL teacher, and photographer. 

Wroclaw

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As mentioned in the previous post, my flight was delayed because of the beautiful Ryanair airline, and I missed the last bus which had been paid for. Thanks. I was pissed about my trip at this point in time and I just really wanted some shut eye. I literally planned to follow the loud, Spanish tourists to the city center (assuming they'd done their research on the city) and got off the bus at the same time as them.

From there, I went into the first hotel I found, threw my card at the guy working reception, and just said, "give me a room, I don't even care about the cost." He then proceeded to tell me that I looked very "handsome" in my passport photo. Insult? Mistranslation? Whatever.

HONEY BADGER

DON'T CARE. I was like, food. bed. see ya. Ordered a pizza to my room. Pigged out.

Anyways, you don't care about my past pizza or my hotel probably. It wasn't very good pizza anyways. So, the following day my bus would leave for Krakow around 2 PM. I actually, in the 2.5 years I've been in Krakow, have not taken the time to venture Wroclaw. I've seen most Polish cities but Wroclaw was not one of them. So, maybe this was a blessing in disguise? Who knows. I woke up around 8 AM and wandered the city for a few hours. Here are my opinions:

Opinion? Cathedral in the center is beautiful - very average though in my opinion. In this point in my life, I've seen a lot of churches. When I say a lot, I mean a lot. Only a few stand out. This one I will remember, not for its pretty paintings, or Jesus statues, but for its stained glass piece. It is a memorial to Katyn which is a pretty interesting aspect of World War II and is hardly touched upon in school, if at all. When the Soviets invaded Poland, they rounded up most of the Polish military heads and influential military people. Many/Most of them went missing. When the Nazis attacked Germany, they eventually found a mass grave in the Katyn forest (in Russia) and basically pointed at Stalin and said, "Stalin is just as bad!" The mass grave turned out to be the missing soldiers with bullets in the back of their heads and buried with their possessions on them. The estimated number of bodies is around 22,000. If you want to read more go there.

Anyways, it was nice to see a reference to it. There is a memorial in Krakow near Wawel Castle, too.

Back to Wroclaw, there are little dwarves around the city in random crevices as well. This was some sort of rebellious act against the Soviets during Communism and they stuck. In specific, they signified a meeting place for a movement group to meet. Now its is a tourist thing! The main square has lots of little alleyways that are charming but filled with graffiti. Most of the chain restaurants polluting Krakow's city center have taken over the city center of Wroclaw too. Starbucks, Mcdonalds, etc, included. The city has its charm, especially in the university area. The door is huuuuge to the main building and really the building is a beautiful sight to see and overwhelming. I liked the city overall. The colors in the main square really is what makes it so beautiful -  a medieval colorful square! If it was gray and lacked color, it wouldn't be nearly as nice as it is. I didn't do anything touristic besides have a wander but it has a good atmosphere and I imagine it is a lovely place to live!