Until I came to Poland I would never have put a trade union, a pope and right-wing western president into the same basket, but being here has made me see things a little differently. This junction, honouring Solidarity - the ship-builders union formed in Gdansk in the 1980s - and Pope John Paul II, is at one corner of Ronald Reagan Square in Nowa Huta. The connection being, of course, that they were all keen to end Soviet Communist rule in Poland.

Nowa Huta is one of only two entirely pre-planned socialist cities (the other is Magnitogorsk in the Urals). The scale is grand and the material is concrete but it isn't as bleak as I was expecting from the guide book description. There was masses of grassy open space, filled with families playing, lazing and eating ice cream in today's warm sun. The flats here were built to house the workers in the nearby steelworks and I took the tram to the end of the line hoping to find something industrial. The works now have Arcelor Mittal's logo outside, and I was very definitely not allowed in.

Having got to one end of the line, I decided to ride the tram to the other and see Krakow's untourist spots. Much as everywhere else: low rise flats, out-of-town shopping centres, garages, light industry, car parks, Lidl...

All very different from Old Krakow, which is where I started my day, in the main square, to find out about Easter Saturday traditions. That was a good move: just outside the church there was a long table, covered in food and beautifully decorated with flowers, leaves and ribbons, all guarded by two police officers. Nearby, stalls were selling small baskets, flowers, sprigs of leaves, lacy cloths, painted wooden eggs, decorated Easter cakes, rams made of bread, chocolate (including the only chocolate teapot I've ever seen) and other treats. 

As the morning went on, I saw more and more people, adults and children, carrying baskets with their individual selections.

After a good look round the square I left the Easter baskets and went to visit the only medieval gate into the city that still remains, walk along a short bit of city wall and admire its brickwork (extra). I climbed the old town hall tower for a birds-eye view of the square and I visited the underground museum, created when the square was being excavated 15 years ago, to see cellars, layer on layer of old streets and an explanation of how safely to bury people who you suspect might turn out to be vampires. Plus a host of gimmicks - such as a projection onto smoke and 3D images if you download an app and point your phone at a symbol - which I now know enough to ignore.

The baskets reappeared in St Francis's Basilica, where I went for the art nouveau wall paintings and stained glass and where a surprising number of others were queuing for their turn at the confessional, in preparation, I suppose, for taking Easter communion tomorrow. In the cloisters a constant stream of adults and children placed their baskets on a long table. A priest emerged from behind a makeshift curtain (extra) to say some prayers and bless the baskets, then everyone made way for the next lot of baskets and the next priest on the rota.

I do enjoy observing other people's rituals.

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