We left Kutna Hora around mid-morning and set off on the 6+ hour ride to Krakow. I was pretty excited as I’d been wanting to visit Krakow for many years but never made it there on my Interrail trip.
We arrived at the boarder in no time at all. I pulled up to take a photo when I was approached by a guy on an orange Z1000, visor up and a French-English exchange later and we are riding together through the Polish hills on our way to Krakow. This guy could move, I was able to keep up for the most part, but overtaking convoys of trucks and other slow vehicles before being splatted by oncoming traffic was proving a challenge.
A few hours in I stopped for fuel, Robert, the French guy was adamant that he didn’t need any. Trying to make up some time I decided we should now take the motorway rather than continue on A roads. This is where I got my own back. The Z1000 has 125bhp and top speed of 140Mph, but it is completely naked. While I was zipping past the traffic pushing a ton, Robert was ducked down head on the tank at 80Mph looking for an escape, any escape from the wind blast. That came with the realisation that he only had 4 miles of fuel left. We left the motorway and spent the next 20 minutes looking for a petrol station. When it did find one it turned out that Robert didn’t have any Zloty. Keen to get to Krakow before the evening, I handed him my wallet and told him to hurry up. I later notice that 60 Zloty had been replaced by 50€ – “good trade” I thought to myself.
More motorway miles and we eventually arrive in Krakow, it had been a middle distance ride through enjoyable scenery, with plenty of hills and bends, until we got close to Krakow, where land was flat, open and dominated by the industrial landscape.
We hadn’t pre-booked any accomodation that night, so our first task on arrival was to find a decent place to stay. After knocking on a few doors we eventually found a place called ‘Hostel Yellow‘ which became our home for the next three nights.
That first night we went out as a group and bumped into a bunch of French exchange students who we finished the night up with. France had just lost to 4-0 to Holland so they were busy drowning their sorrows. We carried out the usual sight seeing and bar hoping in Krakow, when I could get my girlfriend away from the malls especially the jewellery stores. Even now I’m told I have to go back and buy this one particular ring she saw. Despite my discouragement she did manage to buy a pair of shoes, a bag, belt and top though, which of course all had to fit into her bursting pannier.
Many of the people i met who have visited Krakow took an excursion to Auschwitz. That trip takes all day, and seemed a too dull, and gloomy for me. Instead we visited the salt mines just outside the city centre.