travel diary, kraków – day 3 …. christmas and sunshine

I woke up early and I saw the bright morning through the window. Christmas Day and we were talking about another day of serious walking – but up to the more colorful part of the city … Rynek Główny, the main square and the area around it.

It had been a cold night because the frost was still on the roofs. I went back to bed and watch BBC’s news. There was no rush for an early start. 

After breakfast I went to local my waterhole and dining adventure for the evening, 3 min walk from the hotel and there it was, Old Town Restaurant and Wine Bar, just like Google had told me.

Time to visit the truly beautiful and a lot more commercial Stare Miasto with St. Mary’s Basilica, Rynek Główny, St. Andrew’s Church, Teatr im. Juliusza Słowackiego, Church of St. Wojciech, Sukiennice (the famous cloth hall), and of course Wawel Royal Castle plus the Christmas Market. 

Around Stare Miasto goes a green belt called Planty Park with walking path, monuments, fountains, and playgrounds. It was established in place of the medieval walls between 1822–1830 as part of the urban development projects to preserve the concept of a “garden city”.

I walked up to the Royal Castle and St. Andrew’s Church along ul. Grodzka. A lot of people around and nearly every shop was opened, and the horse carriages were back in demand.

I decided to visit  St. Andrew’s Church, to light candles for mum and our good friend Inger. They had the most beautiful Christmas crib on display, but impossible to the get a shot that will make it justice, so I settled for the cute angels.

One of Kraków’s most idiosyncratic Christmas traditions is the popular creation of ‘szopki’ or ‘Christmas cribs’ as they are somewhat oddly referred to in English, Something of a strange cross between a nativity scene, gingerbread house, and dollhouse, these unique structures more resemble colourful, foil-covered castles or cathedrals than cribs, and are the bizarre result of a folk tradition started in the 19th century. These impressive folk creations will be on display in Celestat following the annual competition on the Main Square.  (text: 

I fell in love with the most beautiful handbag – made in flannel fabric (made in Poland) … but I didn’t buy it. Plus the lovely Santa figurines, that I really wish I had gone back for.

At on the Christmas Market was is very lively and busy. I walked around the stalls … and let Oscar do what he is best on.

By the St. Mary’s Basilica there were 3 fantastic harmonica players that filled the square with beautiful music. Beside me was a father with his little boy, my type of Santa. I asked the father if I could give the boy some coins to give to the musicians and that was okay.

So I put the coins in the little boy’s hand and he took me by the other hand … we walked up to the box and he dropped the money. The same did the father and that is when I was able to get a shot of my special little Santa. Walking hand in hand with this little smiley boy was the highlight of the day. He put me in Christmas mood. 

I notice then that my battery was very low … and I thought I will enjoy a  mug of grzaniec galicyjski (mulled wine) as I change the battery and found an outdoor seat straight away at very busy “Noworolski”, but my backup battery wasn’t much better. So I had my hot wine with a view over the market and decided that was time for me to return to the hotel – to recharge both me and the batteries. The clock only showed 1.30pm. 

“Good wine needs no bush”
William Shakespeare

7 thoughts on “travel diary, kraków – day 3 …. christmas and sunshine

  1. Were you on your own this trip, Vivi? I’d love to see the szopki 🙂 🙂 My friend Ann thought of Krakow for Christmas but thought it would be too quiet so chose Budapest instead. It looks fine to me. Not TOO many people and a nice atmosphere. Crispy, cold hugs this morning, darlin!

    • Yes, I was alone … !!! The was a special place in the Cloth Hall that were holding loads of the “szopkis” – this was the biggest I saw.
      If you love the Christmas … Krakow is the place. It was busy, but not crowded.

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