I went for an evening walk in Cracow. How to relax after a day of work in the bustling Kazimierz? Do I have a chance to calm down at the Forum, which for many years has been one of the most crowded party places in Krakow? Let’s check!
I see Krakow every day from behind the car window. Everyday noise and bustle, crowds of tourists, traffic jams blocking the passage, smog that makes it impossible to breathe – these are the first associations with my city. But there are places that help me to calm down and catch the balance. Night walks, twinkling lights and music in headphones allow me to relax after a day full of noise. I would like to share my favorite spaces with you, so I went for a walk with my friend Martyna – you will see her photos in this article.
Freedom from wires
I especially appreciated the opportunity to get outside in the pandemonium. Like most of society, I was confined to my home for a long time. Work, everyday life confined to a small space – all this was extremely tiring in the long run. Walking, which I didn’t like before, brought me a much-needed break. Now I leave my house accompanied by my favorite music, and being free from cables, even those in headphones, gives me the freedom I was looking for.
So far I have been using earphones with a cable. Now I’ve received the Huawei FreeBuds 4i and FreeBuds Pro headphones for testing and they will accompany me on today’s walk. I started by connecting them to my smartphone – I placed the case in front of me and instantly paired it thanks to the Bluetooth feature. To do this, just open the case and hold down the button on the side for two seconds. My phone found the device without a problem. Done. I could start listening to music.
Sunset at Bernatek Footbridge
I start my walk by the Bernatka Footbridge, a pedestrian and bicycle bridge connecting Kazimierz with Podgórze, one of the most interesting investments in recent decades, thanks to which the beautiful but somewhat forgotten Old Pogórze has been revived. A lot of worthy restaurants have appeared in its vicinity: Thai, Basque, French, and on the other side – Georgian cuisine, plus cafes and ice cream parlours. No wonder that a lot of people hang around here. The footbridge itself is made more attractive by acrobats balancing precariously on ropes in the space between the pedestrian and bicycle passage. It seems that the heavy figures are about to fall into the Vistula with a loud splash. In the background a sightseeing balloon is hovering, the sun is starting to set. I walk down and sit on the riverbank.
I fire up the music app and into this romantic setting comes Cardi B. But before I can listen to the rhythmic rap, I notice Martyna saying something to me. I take one earphone out of my ear – the music automatically goes silent. When I put it back in, it starts playing again. An incoming notification softly mutes it for a moment. It takes two taps to stop or restart the music. So I turn Cardi B on again and with a swipe on the earpiece I turn it up to maximum volume. The rapper’s music isolates me from the world, but that’s not hard here – there are no crowds on the boulevards today. So we decide to move to the bustling Kazimierz district.
Conversations in Kazimierz
Kazimierz in Krakow enjoys a constant interest of tourists. Today, although it is still summer and one of the last hot days of the year is good for walking, we take pictures without much trouble. The exception is the closed intersection of Corpus Christi and Meiselsa Street. A small crowd gathers there. As the lady from security explains – you have to wait two minutes, because some romantic comedy is being filmed here. Some look on with curiosity, others complain indignantly that they will miss the streetcar. But really, after two minutes you can already pass. We did not see the filmed scene; it probably took place inside one of the historic buildings.
While we are walking around Kazimierz, my phone rings. Great! A perfect opportunity to test calls through FreeBuds Pro. I answer the call with two taps. I can hear the caller perfectly, he does not pay attention to the quality of our connection, as is the case, for example, when talking in speakerphone mode. Headphones worked perfectly. With two taps I end the call.
Huawei FreeBuds Pro do not have silicone rubber bands. So how do they stay in your ears? The headphones use the shape of the ear to adjust the active noise cancellation. This is how the manufacturer explains it from the technical side. What does it look like in practice? When I turn on Moderat’s “A New Error” I’m immediately struck by the purity of the electronic sound, the unpleasant harshness that comes out of my laptop’s speakers disappears. But what draws my attention most is the incredible bass, which the headphones boost to the limit – it sounds really great.
Testing in harsh conditions
We decide to look for conditions that will be a real challenge for the headphones. Martyna suggests Forum – one of the most crowded party places in the city. In addition, under the former hotel on the Vistula River there is now an amusement park and a balloon. There will certainly be crowds there. So we move again to the other side of the Vistula, this time using the Grunwaldzki Bridge. Although it is Thursday evening, the Forum is really bustling with life.
Music is playing loudly, groups of friends are engaged in lively conversations over beer, couples are spinning on the carousel, taking colorful selfies for Instagram. I decide to contrast the dynamic environment with subtle music. I take a moment to consider what playlist would fit this setting. In the end, I decide not to give my FreeBuds a forum-I choose the quiet and gentle sounds of Sufjan Stevens’ music.
I hold my finger over the right earpiece. After a moment, I hear a female voice saying: “Noise cancellation.” Suddenly it gets noticeably quieter. The hubbub of conversations and the music from the club are heavily muffled; I can hear them a little, but somewhere in the distance, as if everything has been covered with a giant pillow. Now only the music from the headphones accompanies me. At this point I notice that despite wearing them for many hours I don’t feel that they weigh me down in any way, cause discomfort or fatigue. Still, just like at the beginning, I can barely feel them.
Favorite music accompanying me on the road, allowed me to look at the city from a different perspective. Sunset over the Vistula River watched to the rhythm of rap, colorful Kazimierz and overflowing with life space under the Forum contrasted with calm music – all this freed me from stress accumulated throughout the day. The walk not only gave me the expected tranquility, but also the feeling of freedom I so longed for.
Partner of this publication is Huawei, manufacturer of FreeBuds 4, FreeBuds 4i, FreeBuds 4 Pro