Starting with Vilnius, Lithuania. I have to say that from the outside I wondered what we were in for. It was in a typical European apartment block, four buildings joined at the corners to make a square with green open space in the middle, think a very large courtyard. These spaces are used in a variety of ways, parking, dog walking and play areas. What made this building different was it was obviously Soviet era and not at all visually appealing. Our host, Vitas, met us on the street to help with luggage and orientation. The flat itself was on the fourth floor and as is typical, no lift. Despite the pictures that had been published on line I couldn’t help being a little apprehensive. No need, when Vitas opened the door it was everything it was advertised to be and more. We had the entire first floor of the flat and our hosts were upstairs in the attic rooms they have so beautifully renovated. Two stylish, comfortable and completely separate living areas. Our bathroom came with a washing machine and heated floors! It was lovely and the cost was around $35.00\night. Vitas and Sigita were wonderful hosts and we spent one evening drinking wine, eating crudités and getting some insight into their years living under Soviet occupation. It was a wonderful experience. I would recommend to anyone that wants more than just a hotel room.
Next up, Warsaw, Poland. We arrived at Elektoralna 4/6 around 1:00. Our host Zofia was there to meet us and I gratefully let her carry my bag up the remaining flight of steps. She wasn’t quite finished cleaning so we dropped our things and went out to grab some lunch. Before we left I had to ask her who had designed the flat? Well, of course she had. It was so well done, no attention to detail was missed. The tile on the floor was so classy, with delineated spaces, the custom cabinetry and the art on the walls, all joined together to make the space truly beautiful. Carl and I estimated that the square footage was probably around 425sf but it was something that this spoiled American could have lived in. Two dormer windows filled the space with light and we were more than comfortable during our stay. Zofia made herself available for any questions we had or anything that we might need. A wonderful stay and recommended if you are in Warsaw. The cost of Zofia’s place was just $66.00/night.
Krakow, Poland. Having wanted to visit this city for a long time, I have had a lot of time to romanticize it in my mind. I hate it when I do that because so often I am disappointed. Not this time, Krakow is wonderful, an eclectic mixture of old world and new, a true smorgasbord of architecture, historical sites and good food everywhere. I have loved every experience that I’ve had so far not the least of which is the Air B&B at Miodowa 13/16. Natalia was here when we arrived and happy to spend time with us to answer all of our questions and give us her personal recommends for the Kazimierz neighborhood. She is an excellent hostess and her place is beautiful. From the minute we opened the main door on the street we knew this was special. First off, there was a lift, even though this flat was only on the second floor when you have luggage and you’re tired from an arduous travel day a little help from a lift is nice. Second there is a balcony onto a courtyard, a generously sized balcony where we sat the first night and enjoyed two dark beers. English speaking TV stations, a washing machine with soap and in a great location. It does not get any better than this for $83.00\night.