Archive for April 18th, 2022

April 18, 2022

Pinoquio ,a dandy in Lisbon!!!

This is a very memorable restaurant in Lisbon. I have come here each time in the city which has been several times. There is an anecdote read on. However, I like to update this older post to tell you about the Cervejaria Pinoquio brewery which I came from a local recommendation in 2014, and goes on.

This is Cervejaria Pinoquio a brewery and restaurant at  Rua de Santa Justa 54, just facing the wonderful Rossio and Praça dos Restauradores. With tables outside facing the bustling Praça dos Restauradores, this restaurant attracts tourists but also many locals who have always enjoyed its seafood, especially its clams.  The steaks are also popular, all served in a very relaxed, unpretentious ambience.


The historic Cervejaria Pinoquio (brewery), in Praça dos Restauradores, has new owners and will close for works, going to be inserted into a hotel! . The new owners of Pinoquio, who in addition to the brewery of Filipe Costa (old resto owner) bought the remaining floors of the building, plan to keep the brewery on the ground floor of the building and increase the terrace area. The restaurant is back fully so the history continues.

I have many great stories of eating and drinking at by now my friends restaurant Pinoquio at Praça dos Restauradores. The typical Portuguese seafood and vinho verde wine place, love it. Many stories here; like the time gathered all my friends to come here thinking only 7 will come, the rest show up by taxi and we were 22 without reservation. I told the staff ,quick needed to find space, they knew me from many times here, and they move, so fast they created three spaces with extra tables/chairs to accommodate my friends, they were all impress of my contacts lol! This time ,I ordered my usual beers and then my favorite dish Feijoada de marisco. This is magnificent casserole of shrimp, lobsters,clams, and white beans stew, just fab and of course enough for one person ,really it could be ordered for two. Another time they serve the seafood platter and ate it all, they ask if enough I said no, and they came with another platter or 2×1 deal lol!! Memories forever, can’t wait to be back eventually.


The official Pinoquio :

The Zomato Portuguese reviews on the Pinoquio

There you go folks, hoping you will be able to enjoy this wonderful resto in Lisbon, eventually . I will keep my wonderful memories of the people there and the great company and food all these years at Cervejaria Pinoquio .And of course, always looking forward to be back; and I will eventually.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

April 18, 2022

The Wawel Royal Castle of Krakow!

Ok so going into new territory, just a few years ago I had the opportunity to travel to the old Eastern Europe countries, and finally got to Poland. It was a nice experience that took me in two trips. I like to update this older post on a wonderful monument of Krakow; therefore,let me tell you a bit on the Wawel Royal Castle of Krakow!. This is a must to see, but after going around so excited seeing the different venues and night spots, I ran out of time!! Walked right by it and no time to go inside. This will definitively have to change eventually!  Nevertheless, hope you enjoy the introduction as I.

krakow-wawel castle-visiting-entrance-may17

The historic city is of Krakow is located at the foot of the Wawel Hill. The city was before Warsaw, the capital of Poland and is often considered the true center of the country with its traditions and over 1 000 years old history. It is the cultural and scientific center of the country Karol Wojtyła was Bishop and then Archbishop of Krakow, before becoming Pope John Paul II in 1978, the first non-Italian pope for 455 years.

The main thing here is the Wawel Royal Castle. The castle is wonderful bordering the Vistula river or wisla. The castle was built at the behest of Casimiro III the Great, who reigned between 1333 and 1370, and consists of several structures located around a central courtyard. In the 14C it was rebuilt by Jogaila and Eduviges I. During his reign the tower called Hen’s Paw (Kurza Stopka) and the Danish tower were added. The Chamber of Eduviges and Jogaila, in which is the Szczerbiec sword, which was used in coronation ceremonies, is exhibited today and is another remainder of this period.   On the hill were built other structures that served as barracks for the numerous clerics, royal employees and craftsmen. In this period, defensive walls and towers were erected such as Jordanka, Lubranka, Sandomierska, Tęczyńska, Szlachecka, Złodziejska and Panieńska.

Krakow wawel castle belltower may17

The Wawel Royal Castle and Wawel Hill are the most important historical and cultural places in Poland. For centuries it was the residence of the kings of Poland and a symbol of the Polish state. It is currently one of the best art museum in the country. Founded in 1930, the museum comprises ten departments responsible for collections of paintings (including an important collection of Italian Renaissance paintings), engravings, sculptures, textiles (including the collection of tapestries by Sigismund II Augustus), Goldsmiths, weapons, armor, ceramics, Meissen porcelain and furniture. The museum’s Oriental Art collections include the largest collection of Ottoman tents in Europe. With seven specialized conservation studies, the museum is also an important center for the preservation of works of art.

krakow wawel castle arriving may17

The current castle comprises Romanesque fragments and important gothic elements. Its current aspect mainly dates from the period (1504-1535), from the reign of Alexander Jagiellon (1501-1506) and from Sigismund I the Elder (1506-1548). The Treasure of the Crown, located in the historical Gothic rooms that were used since the 15C for the storage of the insignia of the crown and the jewels of the crown, exhibits objects of incalculable value of the ancient treasure that survived the looting, among them the memories of the kings of Poland, like the hat and the sword that the Pope gave to John III Sobieski after the Battle of Vienna or the crowning sword Szczerbiec.

Krakow wawel castle walls may17

A fragment of a column of Wawel Royal Castle has been incorporated into the skyscraper Tribune Tower of Chicago , IL USA. Located in a niche on the upper left corner of the main entrance, it is a visual tribute to the large Polish population in Chicago, the largest outside of Poland. And I used to live in a major second concentration in and around Perth Amboy, NJ with the ZBA or Polish Congress of America! 

The official Wawel Royal Castle of Krakow

The Poland tourist board on the Wawel Royal Castle

There you go folks, something that must be seen, and will look forward to revisit more in depth eventually. In the meantime you can search for Krakow in my blog and see my previous posts. Hope you enjoy this post as I

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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April 18, 2022

My introduction to Krakow !!

Let me tell you about a wonderful find in Europe. I visit Krakow first on a business conference and still looking forward to be back. Let me update this older post for you and me as a reminder. It was a pleasant surprise finding another jewel in the vastness of our Europe. This is Krakow or Cracovie in French, in Poland the eastern reaches of the European Union. The trip went well and nice memories of it still lingered,worth a detour indeed. As I have several posts on it, and plenty of pictures will only post here two not shown elsewhere on my Krakow posts.

Krakow has a variety of architecture from Gothic, Baroque, and Renaissance a reason for its recognition. All the more so, that during WWII, it remained intact.  Capital of the Lower Poland , it is located 300 km south of Warsaw, on the Vistula river. Dating from the 7C, it is one of the oldest and most important cities in Poland, whose architectural heritage is very well preserved. The historic city is located at the foot of the Wawel Hill. Krakow was, before Warsaw, the capital of the Poland and is often considered the true center of the country with its traditions and over 1 000 years old history. It is the cultural and scientific center of the country, with the Jagiellonian University of Krakow, the second oldest university in central Europe (1364); that of Warsaw dates from 1816. Karol Wojtyła was Bishop and then Archbishop of Krakow, before becoming Pope John Paul II in 1978, the first non-Italian pope for 455 years.

Brief on transports:  There is a large tramway  network connecting the majority of the districts with the city center and complemented by a bus network. This set is managed by the SIKiTL . A large part of the historical center of the city was transformed into a pedestrian zone leaving a place for horse carriages, cyclo-cabs and electric vehicles destined for the visit of the city.  The central station  (Dworzec Główny) is located just outside the old town. It forms an ensemble with the bus station, served by numerous regular bus lines, local, regional, national or International. The airport Jean-Paul II is located 11 km west of the center of the city, and the one I used as the rest walking is superb. There is a STR Special train shuttles from the central station serving the airport in 15 minutes.

A bit of condense history I like:

According to the earliest testimony that has been found , of the Bishop of Krakow, Vincent Kadlubek, who lived from the late 12C to the beginning of the 13C, an imaginary ruler, Krakus , founded the city of Krakow on the hill of the Wawel above the Dragon’s Den overlooking the Vistula river that he had just killed. This legendary king, Krakus, gave his name to the city of Krakow. The first historical writings show the Slavs settling on the banks of the Vistula in the 8C. The history of Krakow begins before the creation of the Polish State, as the capital of the people of Vislanes. It is possible that Krakow was a vassal, ally or even part of Great Moravia, then a vector of Christianity in the region. The Legend of the dragon, reminiscent of that of Saint George, could be a reminder of the abandonment of paganism. When Great Moravia was destroyed by the Hungarians, Krakow was administered by the Kings of Bohemia.

Bolesław the Valiant, first king of Poland, was crowned in Krakow in 1025. In 1038, Krakow became the capital of Poland. From 1072, Saint Stanislas, patron saint of Poland, is Bishop of the city. The Kings of Poland resided in the city of Krakow from 1305 to 1595, and where they were crowned. Tadeusz Kościuszko launches a last insurgency movement from Krakow to try to maintain the independence of Poland but this ends in a failure and in 1795, the country is divided between Prussia, Russia and Austria that inherits from Krakow.  The year 1809 brings the liberation to Krakow which is integrated into the Duchy of Warsaw. Between 1815 and 1846, it became a Free City of Krakow with limited sovereignty. In 1846, after a new attempt at rebellion, Krakow passed under the direct control of the Austrian Empire. After the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, Austria granted autonomy to the Galician Province in exchange for Polish loyalty. Krakow is once again a national symbol.

During WWI, the Krakow troops fought alongside the central empires with Germany and Austria in order to achieve greater autonomy, following a promise made jointly on 5 November 1916. In September 1939, Krakow fell into the hands of the Nazi Wehrmacht following the sharing agreement between Hitler and Stalin in Poland. It became the capital of the occupied Polish Territories not integrated into the Reich, the general government.  The district of Kazimierz was portrayed in the film by Steven Spielberg, Schindler’s List, made on the spot; that brought lots of tourism. The filmmaker’s work highlights the role of a German industrialist who saved hundreds of lives by working in his factory many Jews that otherwise face certain death. With the Ghetto pharmacist, Tadeusz Pankiewicz, he was given the title of “Righteous Among the Nations” of the Yad Vashem Memorial in Jerusalem. Too bad the Gulag effect on Poland are hardly mention and the suffering under Communism.  Visitors now go to the scene of the filming and discover restaurants, cafes and bookstores drawing from the Jewish past of the city a original theme. The Festival of Jewish Culture in Krakow is the largest event of its kind in the world in a community without local Jewish population.

Things to see that I like are:

The parks are great even if no time to see all of them, the best are Krakowski Park, Jordan Park ,and Błonia Park. There is a great number of Religious buildings such as 48 Catholic churches, 10 millenarian churches, 8 Protestant temples, 5 Buddhist temples, and 48 Orthodox temples, so says the city!

The Wawel Royal Castle (see post)  designed in Italian Renaissance architecture, and the St. Stanislas and Wenceslas Cathedral Basilica of Krakow on the Wawel Hill where King John III Sobieski is buried. The old medieval town (Stare Miasto in Polish) with its large Main square or Rynek Główny,(see pic) the largest medieval square in Europe, lined with colorful mansions of the 14C and 15C in the middle of which is the Sukiennice , a hall filled with small Souvenir shops. The floor of this Hall with portraits contains a museum of paintings and sculptures of the 19C of very good quality. On the east side of the square thrones the Basilica of Santa Maria and the statue of Adam Mickiewicz; since September 2010, under the slab of the square, you can visit a new interactive museum that talks about the Krakow of the Middle Ages. As said , dozens of old churches and museums such as the Jagiellonian University (see pic) dating from the 14C; Kazimierz, the historical center of the Religious and social life of the Jews of Krakow. The old Theater ,and the National Museum of Krakow;  Czartoryski Museum (Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt), the Bunker Sztuki museum on modern Art; Contemporary arts museum of Krakow , inaugurated in 2011. Polish Aviation Museum, and the Oskar Shindler museum.

Krakow city hall tower main square or Rynek Główny may17

Krakow Jagiellonian University may17

The Krakow tourist office :

The Poland tourist board on Krakow :

There you go folks, a nice review for a wonderful introduction to Krakow, Poland. It is indeed worth a detour while in this part of the world. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

And remember, happy travels , good health, and many cheers to all!!

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