Travel Notes

A Krakow minute

Silent as the passage of time, the golden cloth of a late afternoon’s sky alters the shades of Rynek Główny. The roofs turn amber, the facades of the few gray buildings get rid of their pale armor and from Saint Mary’s Basilica, the Hejnał bugler suddenly stops playing, pierced by the memory of a Tartar archer. While music skips a beat, an elderly lady reads the last tarot, a child chases a terrified pigeon, a girl receives a rose under the arcades of the Cloth Hall. Not far from the Market Square, somebody locks the antique doors of the Collegium Majus, the Wawel dragon spits its mythological flames, another tram goes back to Kazimierz, the scent of the first evening Pierogi exhales from Babci Maliny’s kitchen. Exhausted tourists returning from Wieliczka walk silently along the quays of the Vistula, they mingle with artists and young lovers in search of that private magic hidden in every corner of the city. The sun and the moon stop gazing at each other in the cerulean sky and the toll of a bell sanctions the end of an artless minute breathed through the streets of Krakow.