Well, I’ve been gone from the US for almost two weeks and . . .
Words escape me. I’d make a joke about worrying over Trump letting me back in, but I took the test to see if I were an immigrant, if I’d be let in. The answer is . . . just barely. I knew my doctorate would come in handy one day. My parents would not be if they were trying to immigrate today. Fortunately, they acquired their citizenship years ago. My parents who immigrated to the US with literally nothing (my mom had a $20 bill in her pocket that her sister gave to her – that was all the money she had) and speaking no English raised three girls who are now a professor, a nurse anesthetist, and a pharmacist (that’s two doctorates and a masters). America was built and is still being built on the backs of hard-working immigrants.
Anyway, I’m back to do a little bit of catch-up on what I’ve been up to. My parents and I arrived in Krakow on Wed, August 3rd and we left Saturday, August 5th. We’re heading back to Krakow this Wed, so we can fly out early Thursday morning. I did some running in Krakow during my limited stay. We were staying in an AirBnB apartment juuuuust outside of Old Town Krakow.
There’s an upside-down horseshoe-shaped park, Planty Park, with a pedestrian/bike path that encircles Old Town (Stare Miasto). The park follows where the old stone walls that fortified Stare Miasto. In certain areas, you can still see the old stone foundations of the walls. One lap of the park is about two miles long. The path is well-maintained paved path, full of shade from the trees, and there are water fountains and restrooms (that are not open early in the morning). I ran early in the morning, before 6 am and the park was full of people running, cycling, and walking. I felt safe the entire time. It’s pleasant enough running, though I would only recommend this for a short shake-out run or short easy run. There are several points at which streets cut through the pedestrian path, so you may need to wait for cars and/or trams to go by. Also, although on the map, the path looks pretty straightforward, there were a few times where I had to stop and figure out where I needed to go for the very first lap.
Now this is what I recommend for running in Krakow! For a part of the Vistula River, there are pedestrian/bike paths along both sides of the river. Sadly the paths don’t extend along the river as far as I would like it (the north side of the river is longer), but the pedestrian/bike paths do go on for miles and miles (just not along the river the entire time). I entered the path by Dragon’s Cave by the Wawel Castle and got to enjoy a fire-breathing dragon (he breathes fire every five minutes) just before my run. Despite the humidity (I felt like I was back in New York in July), I enjoyed the experience. The path is impeccably maintained. It’s nice and wide. There are no water fountains as far as I can tell, but I stopped at a gas station across the street from the bike path for a short water/restroom break. The other concern on a hot day is the lack of shade for a good portion of the path. I was out running on a warm overcast muggy day and I found it tough. But this running route is flat, you can run for miles without any interruptions, and the scenery is pretty nice too. This is a very good, solid running route for runners visiting Krakow.