In pictures: Surviving a thunderstorm in Kazimierz


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Kazimierz, also known as the old Jewish quarter in Krakow, Poland, is an atmospheric district that acts as a counterbalance to the postcard-perfect old city centre, full of lovely venues but also swarming with endless weekend stag parties.

Kazimierz is old and crumbling. Such statement, I guess, generates a slightly different reaction from its residents than it does from the tourist who flock to the area labelling everything as ‘amazing’. Some things are amazing though. The people, the quiet streets and the numerous bars, galleries, restaurants and street markets filled with seasonal veg and fruit – as well as random knicknacks no one would ever buy – make this a unique place to explore.

I was looking in amazement at the numerous venues which weren’t even there last time I visited the area briefly some five years ago. It was a hot day and we had just started our exploration (having just spent an hour in a tea room which also doubles as an art gallery, and which looks like somebody’s old living loom, complete with ancient furniture and lace table covers) when we heard the first rumble of thunder.

We were just walking past the cult Kazimierz venue, the Alchemia Cafe, when it began to rain. Within minutes it was bucketing it down.The thunderstorm turned violent. And Alchemia Cafe was the only place where we could find shelter. And that’s where I took these. Completely unplanned, totally random, but turned out to be my favourite images from this trip to Krakow.

So let’s start with the rain…

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Meanwhile, those who – like us – managed to find shelter inside the cavernous cafe, were chatting, listening to some quiet music and simply watching the spectacle outside…

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…others were thinking and writing….

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…while their dog waited patiently, also clearly fascinated by the downpour outside:

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And while some chose the dry, dark, but very welcoming interior of Alchemia Cafe…

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…there were also those who preferred to stay outside under the leaky awning:

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I do love Kazimierz. Always full of surprises. Always fascinating.

And not a single stag party in sight.

By Michal Dzierza