Saturday 21 May 2011

Poland 1: Signs of Kraków

It's the end of my first week in Kraków, Poland. As always at this point in these trips, I'm missing home a little, but also being pleasantly reminded of how beautiful this city is.

I don't take many photos on these trips, especially when in a city I've visited before, but I do have a few from this week that I'd like to share with you. They're of signs - more or less - which have caught me eye over the past few days...

1. I really like the look of this cafe-bookshop's sign. This sort of signage is something the Poles do very well; rather than a garish commercial logo, it's a tasteful compromise between a classic look and modernity, fitting in neatly with the city's centuries-old streetscape. There's even a hint of the art nouveau in there, I think:

2. This faded old sign on a wall in the Old Town caught my eye. I imagine it must predate the communist era, and as far as I can work out it says "Entry to dairy". Of which there is now none nearby.

3. Not exactly a sign, but here's a glass of Żywiec beer next to a bunch of flowers at the Irish cafe-bar Nic Nowego (which means "nothing new"). Those cavorting peasants on the logo must have got that way by drinking the product, one presumes:

4. The former Jewish district of Kazimierz was devastated by the Nazi regime's genocidal program in World War II, but in recent years the eastern part of the district has seen a revival of Jewish traditions and motifs. This is the sign above a bar in the quarter, in a building which was once a shop:

5. Finally, here's a large diagram of a herring, its parts labelled, on the wall of a bar which serves "Polish tapas". Well that's what the menu says. They're snack-sized dishes composed of Polish foodstuffs such as śledź (herring), kiełbasa (sausage) and golonka (pork knuckle). They go well with a vodka!

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