Road trip 2: Kazimierz Dolny

Kazimierz Dolny

It was time for another road trip, this time to Kazimierz. Due to an intense argument the previous day, my grandma declared that she would only talk to me about “sprawy urzędowe” (logistical details) moving forward. Thanks to her vow of silence, the car ride to Kazimierz was peaceful if not awkward. 

The town was nice, it’s located along a hill along the Wisła river, so it’s known for being very picturesque. Poland is experiencing some serious floods, so the river was quite high and powerful, but luckily no flooding for the moment in Kazimierz. 

Flooded Wisła near Kazimierz Dolny

One of the main attractions of the town is its main square, which is charming usually, but unfortunately this particular day there were a bunch of stages & promotional booths that killed the atmosphere a little. However, there are also some really cute Polish folk art shops that line the square with great souvenirs. 

And you have to walk just past the main square, almost behind it, to find the “Mały Rynek” – a smaller square filled with stands selling tablecloths, antiques and dried flower bouquets. 

The entire town is full of art galleries, so if you’re looking for an authentic painting of a Polish landscape (i.e. Kazimierz), this is a the place to find it. 

Another common souvenir from Kazimierz is baked bread in the shape of a rooster, which you can either eat on the spot, or dry out and keep. 

Kazimierz "kogut" (dough rooster)

The nearby hills are home to remnants of old castles, churches and granaries. If you have the stamina, you can climb up to visit the castle. I did not have the stamina (in my defense it was really, really hot out). Especially after I climbed up countless wooden/dirt stairs carved into the hillside to the Góra Trzech Krzyży (Three Crosses Hill). And get this – only after you get to the top is there a little stand asking for an “entrance fee.” Granted, it’s only 1 PLN (which equals about 33 cents), but it’s the principle! In Polish, I call this “bezszczelne.” 

Góra Trzech Krzyży a.k.a. Three Crosses Hill

All that’s at the top of the hill is a clearing with three simple, wooden crosses that aren’t necessarily much to look at, but the view down onto the valley where Kazimierz lies and the river was worth the fee. 

The view down onto Kazimierz Dolny

One thing to watch out for in Kazimierz during the summer is wasps – they are all over the place, and they can be relentless! 

The road trip ended with a pretty stressful drive back to Warsaw since the entire city was shut down when we got back due to the anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising and the Tour de Pologne. Let me tell you, driving around in circles for an hour with my grandma’s maneuvering skills was too much to handle!

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