Sometimes on a trip seeing new things loses it’s appeal. Another museum, church, row of shops etc. So just repeating stuff is OK and actually, exactly the right thing to do today. But old habits die hard and there is a UNESCO world heritage site a few miles out of the centre. How could we stay here and not go and visit it?
We set off our on walk, stopping briefly for more coffee at the Market. As we leave the main old town behind we come across a real mix of architecture and styles. But the rain is starting to come down steadily so it really takes the shine off the trip. We travel through an area known as Little New York. Of course, it’s not like New York, but one of the bridges does look like the Brooklyn Bridge and a few of the streets have a very ‘brownstone’ feel to them like in Brooklyn.
About a mile into our walk and the water is seeping into our shoes, but we plough on. Now we are going through a really trendy University campus, buzzing with activity. Apparently, studying at University is free for Poles.
We pass a zoo and can see the Centennial Hall in the distance. It was built about 1913 as a exhibition hall for 10,000 people. It is surrounded by a botanical garden. I’m struggling to see at this point though why it is a UNESCO site. There are no obvious signs.
At last we reach it but can’t get anywhere near the doors for kids. Hundreds upon hundreds of kids on school trips. Great. We look around for another entrance but this appears to be the only one. So we just sneak in basically. We get stopped in the Hallway and directed to a row of officials at desks who seem to be ticking lists. We ask them if any speak English and try to explain that we want to pay for the tour. No one understands so they let us just wander about for free.
Turns out that there is a performance on that all of the kids have come to see and the place is really starting to fill up. We both feel a little uncomfortable about the whole experience so take some pictures and then head out. We must have only been inside for about 10 minutes. But while we were inside I could see the reason that this place held UNESCO status. The roof was a massive dome. I mean massive. All constructed out of concrete. It was the worlds largest dome structure for about 20 years and still one of the biggest concrete domes.
But now, back out in the rain. And time for a coffee, a dry and a warm up. We stop at a little coffee shop on the main route back to the centre and fill our faces.
At this point we agreed that that was our last little adventure. For the rest of the day, we were just going to repeat our activities and spend as much time as possible soaking in atmosphere instead of rain. We walked back through little Brooklyn as I had now renamed it. For a few days we had been trying to get into the Church at the top of our street. It was open today so we popped in before going back to the apartment for a change of clothes. Impressive and obscene all at the same time.
After a quick change we headed out to the main market square again to see out our last hours in this city. Wendy had spotted a cafe with a large window with seats in on the square itself so we went in and stayed for about 2 hours. I drank about 4 pots of tea, we had lunch, Wendy had multiple drinks. We just watched the world go by. Now we are talking about whether the kids would like it here, how it compared with other places we had visited, would we come back…..that sort of thing.
Afterwards we visited the Town Hall directly opposite, which was a little disappointing. It’s definitely better on the outside. Since it had stopped raining, we headed out again to get some final photos of the river and the buildings all lit up, doing our last circle walk around all of the places that we had visited earlier in the trip.
For food we repeated our trip to the Pierogi place where we filled up again on savoury and this time squeezed in some sweet. Shortcrust filled chocolate and cherry pierogi. Yep, they were as good as they sound.
Our table today was overlooking the bar area on a little balcony. We were able to watch two of the bar staff do that uncomfortable getting-to-know-you dance where both of them are afraid to ask the other one on a date. Wendy was desperate to leave a little note on the napkin for them. She’s such a romantic!
And just like that our trip was over. We needed to head back and pack up as our flight home tomorrow was early morning. Taxi was booked, everything was prepared.
All went to plan and before we knew it, we were back at my parents again, in time for breakfast as if we had never been away.
Overall, Wroclaw is a great place to visit. If you can get reasonable flights and accommodation its a no-brainer. I think our 4 full days though was probably 1 day too many and we really milked it for activities. It would have been great if there had been a few things a little further away that we could have visited on a day trip. Having talked to our Polish friends back home it turns out that there is, but they are not easy to get to, so knowing that before the trip wouldn’t have made much of a difference I think.
Would we go again? Probably.
Did we enjoy it? Definitely.
Would I eat less next time? ……