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Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Day-Trip to Wroclaw = WrocLove

Dearest friends,

Let's start the day by doing a wee bit of math :) Wroclaw = dwarfs + colorful buildings + German feeling = WrocLove. Wroclaw = the city you just fall in love without knowing it. Wroclaw is Poland’s fourth-largest city and the capital of the Viovodship of Lower Silesia. Originally (in medieval times) built across several islands, the city still has many lovely bridges and beautiful architecture. Not far from the German border in the country’s southeast, Wroclaw gets lots of German tourists, who call it Breslau. The Rynek (central square), lined by colorful buildings, is one of the city’s most popular destinations (source).
The Main Wroclaw Train Station & The First Gnome We Found
From Krakow to Wroclaw you can get by car via A4 in around 3 hours - if there is no car jam on the highway or if they are not fixing any portion of the road. By train, from the Krakow Main Station (underneath the Galeria Krakowska) to the Wroclaw Main Station (depicted in the first picture above) you can get in about 3 hours and 10 minutes (with the train that has only 5 stops). The first time you see Wroclaw it is worth it to do a day-trip. That's how we actually did it :) My first time in Wroclaw was on the 4th of July, with my amazing husband (who planned the trip and the itinerary) and one of his brothers & his fiancee. It was extremely hot but we managed to see so many places!
In The Main Market Square
Just to entice you a bit,  I will tell you a few facts about this colorful lovely place. The oldest restaurant in Europe, Piwnica Swidnicka, dates back to 1275, and can be found in Wroclaw ;) Also because of the large number of rivers and islands + around 200 bridges + the amazing / breathtaking beauty of this city, Wroclaw has a growing reputation as the Venice of the North. Of course there are boat cruises so if you have the time you can try that - we did not have time to give it a go, but who knows!? Maybe next time ;)
The Fountain in The Main Square
We managed to arrive in Wroclaw around 7-7:30 early morning. It's hard to park around the city center so we recommend making a stop to park somewhere around the Wroclaw Main Train Station. From there to the Main Market Square, by foot, you can get in maximum 20 minutes. You can have a first stop, like we did, admiring how they managed to recondition the Train Station. The station was built in the mid 19th century (1855-1857) and until 1945 it was known as Breslau Hauptbahnhof. In 2010-2012 the station was extensively refurbished for the upcoming Euro 2012 championships. 
Also in front of the station you can see the first 2 gnomes / dwarfs - one of the main symbols of Wroclaw - right in front: one sitting casually on a suitcase and one laying on the grass and basking on the sun... oh, you will soon find out they are everywhere so keep a track on them and an open eye ;) you can even do a contest and see who spots more first - we did that! ;))) when it comes to the number of those little men, Wikipedia says there are over 300 of them spread throughout the city, but the Wroclaw Dwarves site says there are 163... and counting - there are more and more appearing each year ;) 
Main Square Panoramic View
I believe we walked continuously for 5 hours, touring the city, and we managed to see quite a lot! We were lucky enough to have my husband searching for routes and planning the trip, as he always knows how to make the most of it - he is brilliant when it comes to planning and I am awesome when it comes to space orientation and map reading = we make a great pair even when travelling together :) even when we sometimes fight for the map ;)) There are many sites that show you what you can do and what you can see in Wroclaw. Tripadvisor was always my favourite but this time, as it was internal trip, my Polish husband worked his magic and found this site - of course in Polish language! - that shows you a trip around Wroclaw that can be done in 1 to 2 days (weekend trip). We managed to do it in 5 hours, without actually going inside any museums, but visiting quite a lot of very nice churches.
View from Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
Our Very Own Wroclaw City Route :) (some items we skipped but we got to the MAIN points)
The top 10 items on the list were:
  1. Plac Teatralny
  2. Opera Wrocławska > opened its gates in 1841
  3. Ulica Świdnicka > that takes one to the Main Square
  4. Rynek Główny - centrum Starego Miasta > containing the old & new tower, Sukienicce and the lovely refreshing fountain (you can see that in one of the pictures above)
  5. Plac Solny > right next to the Main Market Square there is a smaller square for fruits/vegetables/flowers. It is very nice and holds a couple of gnomes looking down upon you, from the street poles ;)))
  6. Ulica Kiełbaśnicza
  7. Kościół Św. Elżbiety > the church has a tower 91 meter high and can be visited ;)
  8. Ulica Jatki > if you are fond of handmade goodies, there is an artistic gallery here ;)
  9. Ostrów Tumski > with the church of Św. Krzyża i Św. Bartłomieja and Katedra Św. Jana Chrzciciela (or English version: Cathedral of St. John the Baptist) that offers the most beautiful 360 degrees view of the city! I highly recommend that! Just a flight of stairs + a couple of meters by elevator, and you are up there enjoying the view :) Also you will get to see the Most Tumski - all the big cities must have a love lock bridge and this is the one for Wroclaw - you can buy your lock and key from the shop nearby, if you did not bring your own ;) No worries! Everybody does that! 
  10. Park J Słowackiego lies right next to the Panorama Racławicka, but careful about that! the tickets get sold very quick, so even if we were there around 12-1 PM, there were no more tickets - except the "last show" which was at 5:30 PM and we did not wish to stay that long. The Panorama is a must see but we will have to come back one day for it...
Have you ever been to Wroclaw? For how long and what have you visited? What have you found interesting and worth to share? I would love to hear from you, and if you have any plans of visiting Wroclaw and need some tipes & tricks, I would be more than glad to help you :) I have also heard there is a lovely Zoo there and a Multimedia Fountain, so along with the Panaorama, we must make at least another trip there ;) To be continued...

P.S. Pictures were taken both with the camera and with the Samsung S4. Hopefully you will enjoy them and you will go as well, one fine day, to Wroclaw to have your own colorful memories :)

Yours truly,
The Twisted Red LadyBug That Fell In Love (At First Sight) With WrocLove :)