Going into 2016, I was very enthusiastic about starting a blog to share stories about our European adventure. My apologies for the long absence (and for the bad writing). After almost a year, this is the first time I’m sharing a story while living here in Krakow. I hope to write more in the next coming weeks and months as I look back at some of the more memorable experiences and life lessons of 2016, as well as our new adventures in 2017.
We landed in Krakow mid-March 2016 and as expected, the weather was cold and dreary, especially compared to the balmy March weather we were having a few days earlier in the NYC metropolitan area. Since we did not have an apartment lined up yet, we went straight to the Hilton Hotel from the airport (where we were welcomed by the hotel front desk). The Hilton was a fairly new hotel and it was clean with comfortable beds, a gym, restaurant and bar. However, it was a tight squeeze for 2 adults especially with as much luggage as we had. Location wasn’t that great either unless you were attending an event at the ICE center. It was a long trek in the cold from the hotel to the Main Square (Rynek Glowny), or to the center of Kazimierz (the old Jewish quarter). We needed to find an apartment pronto!
There is nothing like apartment hunting to get to know different areas of a new city. Good thing our relocation package provided a local person to help us settle in and look for apartments. Several weeks prior to the move, our local guide sent via email several links to various apartments around Krakow’s Old Town by the Main Square, Jewish Quarter, and neighborhoods like Podgorze and Grzegorzki close to the office, and asked us to narrow it down to 5 to 10 apartments. Having only visited once before, I was picturing myself living in a traditional style apartment building within the Old Town area with shabby chic furniture and modern conveniences – even though I was warned that it would difficult to find an apartment with both A/C and a dryer. They were just not the thing to do in Poland.
We met our local guide the very next day of our arrival at the hotel. And 3 days, 10 locations, and 17 apartments later, we finally found the “one”, which turned out to be a modern apartment outside of the Old Town area with both A/C and dryer. In the end, my American sensibilities couldn’t part with the modern convenience of an A/C and dryer. That won over the dream of a traditional European apartment overlooking a cobbled stone town square. And to be quite honest, 8 months later, I’m still especially thankful for the dryer and the fluffy sheets and towels.
Here are photos of some of the apartments we looked at:
And here are photo’s our apartment: