Our fourth day in Krakow had no real sightseeing agenda – just a day to explore. We had a FOURTH day of beautiful weather, and abeautiful old city in lovely weather is a joy.
First we stopped at a small art exhibit on the works of Jacek Malczewski. I really liked his style, the colors and shapes were beautiful. I am a fan of art nouveau and he is considered to be the best Polish art nouveau artist. But, let me tell you, this guy sure was a narcissist. Within 60 seconds of the exhibit, about the time I figured out that it was his face staring back at me from nearly every painting, I decided as much as I liked the style and technique of his work, that I wouldn’t have liked him as a person and I wouldn’t want a picture of his beady eyes staring back at me in my house.
The real piece of work was his version of ‘the last supper’ – guess who played Jesus, yep. And to top it off, although in real life he had a receding hairline, as Jesus he gave himself a full head of flowing hair.
OK, sorry for the diversion about narcissistic painters, back to our tour. Steve, the good traveller he is, had a waking tour from the Rick Steves guidebook to follow.
We took a leisurely pace, stopping at anything that struck our fancy.
• We had a morning snack at a fabulous art nouveau cafe – with the best booths made for reclining – I could have stayed there all day.
• We visited St. Francis’ Basilica – a beautifully simple art nouveau interior, a copy of the shroud of Turin (very interesting) and beautiful stained glass by one of Alek’s favourite artists, Stanislaw Wyspianski. This church is where Pope John Paul II was archbishop of Krakow. This picture was taken from the bench where he liked to pray in the back of the church.
• We stopped at an ancient, tiny church where nuns were singing prayers. Very beautiful sounds.
• There was lots of meandering, beautiful buildings and taking photographs – followed by a return to the same cafe for more coffee.
Just a wonderful day, taking it easy.