Once unwanted and unloved, Katowice has gone through a renaissance and good things are happening, as TFN’s Alex Webber found out.
Having spent two months hermetically sealed inside my Warsaw apartment, it was to Białystok that I headed to celebrate the easing of the lockdown. And I left with no regrets.
From a personal point of view, it’s sheer depth of contrast comes somewhere near the top: lavish wedding cake palaces that reference the might once wielded by the city’s power players; futuristic office compounds; blackened, broken tenements; abandoned, creepy warehouses; restored redbrick factories; and PRL blocks of cosmic dimension.
From polar bear trails to revamped castles, Webber presents his top travel finds of 2020.
Lying less than 15 kilometres north of Kraków, the 14th century castle was built as part of the Eagles’ Nest trail: a string of ancient fortifications constructed to defend the region and its trade routes. Here, you know you’re in a castle and that’s a feeling that is a bonus in itself.
Following a gentle curve, and opening out at the mouth of Wawel Castle, is ul. Kanonicza 22. A guestbook exposes some of the past guests that have slept here: Jim Carrey; Depeche Mode; Hans Zimmer. Not bad company that I keep, I think to myself, as my gaze falls on a signed snap of Benedict Cumberbatch.
Webber reveals his secret weapon for tracking down his favourite type of places, which this week includes a haunted castle and ends with a foamy adventure.