The most convenient flight from Larnaca to Poland was to land in Katowice. We arrived late night, after 10pm. It was not easy to find a hotel that would have a late check-in service. For almost all options we were checking the latest available time for check-in was around 6pm. But we found a hostel close to the old town that had 27/7 service. Luckily the airport shuttle that had several stops on its way to the last station, stopped also near our hostel. The driver helped us to take our luggage and also showed how to reach our hostel, which was around 100 meters away from the bus stop. We couldn’t find better option to book, especially considering late check-in.
The hostel itself was quite nice. It was fresh repaired, clean, quiet, with a small but comfortable kitchen, where anyone could take tea or coffee. Toilet and bathroom also were quite clean. The room itself was nice, with comfortable beds, table and shelves and even a small open balcony. But we were so tired, that had nothing to do, but to sleep. In the morning first when opened the curtains and the door of the balcony, the view was inspiring: from one side was a small but cute park, with a small fountain and flowers around, from the other side beautiful building of Magistates court that was heading to the old town. It was a bit rainy, but nothing could stop us to spend some hours in the streets of Katowice.
When we went out from the hostel, the rain started to get harder. We needed to hide from it. The closest place to enter was the Central Train Station with its big shopping mall area, that had lots of places to sit and have a nice breakfast, with a coffee or tea, and with the big variety of Polish sweets. And so we did. When the rain stopped, we left the train station and walked to the center of old town. Of course, there were a lot of places of interest in Katowice, which were not in the center, but as we had a bus to Krakow in a few hours, we couldn’t take a risk and go far. So all we could do was to explore the old town.
This was a village in the 18th century but nowadays it transferred to a big city, center of science, culture, industry & business. Today it’s considered as an emerging metropolis. In the old town area (Staromiejska as locals call it) there were no modern buildings seen, but were also not medieval. The spirit here was more close to the Soviet Union or German architecture. But it’s said that there are some areas here, that people call also a small Paris.
The weather was kind to us. When we started to walk, it was still raining a bit. But during the day sun came out and made our day brighter. Of course that didn’t last long, the weather was changing all the time, but at least there was no more rain after that.
The city was better than our expectations. There was a Neo-Gothic building that looked like a church, but that was a Mickiewicz high school.
Funny thing was that near this building there were few giant trees of chestnuts, all fell down on the ground. And we thought – why not to take some with us to eat later? And we did that 🙂 People were looking at us like at crazies. Only when we tried to eat those chestnuts we understood why they were surprised. The taste was super bitter, not possible to eat even a small piece. It turned out that these were not eatable nuts, but “horse chestnuts”, very similar to usual ones that we love, but not the same.. unfortunately ))
The wain walking street, where also you could get a lot of cafes and restaurants for tasty food, was 3 Maja street. Beautiful clean streets were not very crowded with tourists and locals. The main street was full of shopping markets. Another small fountain with a “sculpture” of fog in it was also in the center of the street. The main buildings were just 4-5 floor buildings, not very colorful, but still not grey all. What was surprising was to see a lot of kinds of mushrooms being sold right on the street, small and big, all colors.
Overall it was a nice place and we regret that we didn’t have enough time to check out all the missing beauties of this developing business city. If we’ll come back here one day, definitely we’ll plan to stay more hours or even days here. But we had bus heading to Krakow, to another amazing city, where we were going to spend a bit more time that here. And this was only the beginning of our trip in Poland. I’m going to share stories of all checked places here, one by one. More interesting stories are yet to come 😉