Hey dude! Do the "chakra" man!
The what? The chakra, a supposedly Hindu term for spiritual energy, has somehow found its way inside the Wawel Castle's courtyard. Not everybody seems to be aware of this phenomena, and I just happened to learn of it from observing the strange behavior of a small group of Russian tourists who appeared to be trying to communicate with the wall using some sort of body language. I waited until the Russians departed and then initiated my own interpretation of the "chakra" ritual, behaving in an even more baffling manner as I simultaneously imitated the "Egyptian Lover" disco move and chanted "chak chak" like the Indonesian kecak singers. To my delight the next group of tourists had a vague understanding of the Wawel Chakra phenomena and seemed delighted that a serious practitioner was there to provide an authentic exhibition of the "chakra" dance.
This was in December of 2000 when I visited Krakow. I have since learned that the northwestern corner of the courtyard has been roped off since 2001, perhaps my own interpretation evolved into something much crazier since the time it was first passed on.
The establishment in 1000 of the bishopric of Krakow was soon followed by the construction of the first cathedral on Wawel Hill. The Wawel Cathedral was once the coronation church of the kings of Poland. One of its numerous chapels - the Sigismund Chapel - is the most perfect achievement of Renaissance architecture and sculpture in Poland and in the whole of northern Europe. The Cathedral Treasury includes, among other items, monstrances and liturgical vessels, reliquaries, regalia, and insignia of royalty. Among the five bells hung in the belfry is 'Zygmunt', one of the largest in Europe. The crypts of the Cathedral contain the tombs of the kings and their families and also of great poets and national heroes.
Very often on the corner of the street you will find a little stall with precle - this is a typical snack in Krakow! You can eat it with salt, sesam or poppy seed, they are always fresh and crunchy:))
Oh and they're really cheap - 0,70 ZL so about 0.18 EUR!
Happy, happy people?
There were a few places I visited which were somewhat special for me - people, visitors and me felt more comfortable and happy there even in bad rainy/snowy days or... maybe it's my imagination :-).
Krakow, Poland is one of such places and not only for me, believe me - look at happy faces on my picture hehe. Hmm... maybe I am not objective. I was born and lived most of my life in Krakow.
Welcome to Cracow (Krakow) to prove it :-))).
We had the most fun strolling along the streets of old Krakow and discovering the courtyards here and there. We had a fantastic guide - Maciek - who was just as curious as we were! When entering these courtyards you will always have to be ready for surprises:
it is either that it is a totally beautiful courtyard, or a plain old non-spectacular one, or it has some fantastic details (like a well or a beautiful lamp) or, or, or....
So, be curious and don't hesitate to just step off the beaten path and discover!