Christmas. Location: Poland, Krakow

We woke up on the morning of the 24th and headed over to the apartment building of That Husband’s friend Tetija. I love how colorful his apartment building is!

When we got to Krakow, we pulled up onto the sidewalk to park. What? Apparently that’s how they do it in Poland.

Please, someone explain to me why you would import this car from Pennsylvania?

Apparently this is That Husban’s name street. He doesn’t feel comoftable with me publishing his name, but since this looks about 1/4 like his name to me I think we are safe.

Krakow town square. Made 10 times better with a Christmas market in the middle.

Whenever I travel somewhere I pick up a pendant to remember the trip. I fell in love with this selection of pressed flora and fauna.

These books smell weird (really organic) but they look cool. We picked up one with a sun and moon on front, and it’s perfect for holding our guestbook postcards from the wedding.

You know how whenever you visit a fair or market in America, there is always a Native American booth in the mix? Apparently that is also the case in Poland.

I’m 99% sure that bekon is better than bacon. I didn’t go inside to test it out though.

After spending all of our money in the Christmas marketplace we headed over to the nativity exhibit, where we were told that under no uncertain terms were insober persons to be admitted.

The nativities were breathtaking! I’m not sure that the multitude of colors is really my style but credit must be given for the immense amount of detail these nativities include.

Some of them were as big as I am. How do you transport something like that? Especially when all the cars in Europe are really tiny!

Best part of the nativity exhibit was hands down discovering all of the interesting characters present at the nativity that I never knew about before.

King Herod, flanked by the KKK and the devil.

I’m sure that right after the birth a hot salty pretzel was all Mary could think about.

What Mary really disapproved of was the choice of costumes these miscreants chose for the costume party held on the Christ child’s first birthday. Both the donkey and the skull man are so scary! They didn’t even make it in the stable door.

Dragon bodyguards come cheap in Bethlehem.

Sure,the shepherds smelled bad from being out in the fields all day, but that was nothing compared to the sooty mess the chimney sweep was when he showed up.

Cinderelly Cinderelly, you’re late! The little drummer boy will play the child a song, but what will you do? Offer to let him try on your glass slipper?

The bride and groom make sense to me (all nativities I fashion from now on will probably include a bride and groom), but the dragon butler with eyes that blink on and off dressed in a circus inspired outfit? That, I just can’t wrap my head around.

This guy got a little bit lazy with his design and decided to cut his Mary and Joseph out of the bible study manual.

Let’s not forget the pope!

What is the story behind the black wiseman? I hope he stays out to take care of the horses when they go to visit King Herod.

Last but not least, the Jews. Is this supposed to be funny? Ironic?

They also had a room full of nativities fashioned by children. They ranged from simple…

to crazy elaborate. I think this guy has a future in this kind of thing. I kind of want to eat this one.

I was impressed by the nativity made out of matchsticks. It was in the room full of children’s nativities. A kid made this?

Unfortunately, corporate sponsorship has made it’s way over to Poland. This cookie nativity is brought to you by Lajkonik.

It was late in the afternoon by the time we emerged from the nativity exhibit and so we headed back to the Christmas marketplace to eat some dinner at one of the stalls located inside. I don’t think the health food craze his hit Poland yet.

We went with something classically Polish, sausage and poatoes.

Delicious and nutritious in a 2000 calorie kind of way. We couldn’t even get anything to drink because all they had was hot wine. I would have paid $10 for a good cup (maybe even a bad cup) of hot chocolate right then.

After we ate it was time to load up the car with our purchases and head back to the house for Christmas Eve dinner!

18 thoughts on “Christmas. Location: Poland, Krakow

  1. Looks like an amazing trip! I’m begging my boyfriend to change our trip to visit his father and family in Germany from July to December- but he’s not biting. (yet…)

  2. Meg-We’ve actually decided never to go back in December again. Traveling there with all of the snowstorms and closed airports was just too much of a hassle!

  3. I love those nativities. The Dragon butler, the ghost and devil around Herod, Cinderellas carriage that’s great.

    I miss the old days of the History channel when they actually played history stuff and you could learn about old traditions across the country. A story about those nativitiy scenes would be so much fun to watch.

    The Sausage and potatoes is making me drool, or maybe it’s just the German in me.

  4. All that yummy looking food is making me hungry.
    The various characters on the nativities are puzzling, I wonder what the tradition is in Poland to bring so many off characters in it.
    It looks like a very interesting city, and you look very cute on that picture with That Husband.

  5. I want a nativity scene like those! How awesome. I loved Old Town—wish I could have it seen at Christmastime. It looks so pretty.

    Also, I love the picture of the car…I have about three pictures just like it from my own trip to Poland. My fiancee told me that I would be an excellent Polish driver. However, it isn’t my fault the curb just appears from nowhere :)

  6. Oh how I love a bit of dodgy translation. Insober is classic!

    I agree about your hair, too. It looks lovely on you. You’re very lucky to be one of those people who suits both light and dark hair.

  7. Wow! Those are amazing nativity scenes. I wish the ones in north america were so amusing!
    I’m glad that you had fun! :)

  8. I LOVE these pictures so much jenna. It looks liek you guys had a great time. Polish Christmas = like 50 desserts? get me over there! also…I think i might have died at the jello fish. SICK.

  9. That looks just so wonderful, especially the food. But I must ask, as a Polish girl– no cabbage rolls, no perogies? I would be sad! I must visit Poland sometime, especially after seeing your pictures :) I’d love to eat some of those potatoes by the way…

  10. Thanks for the comment on my blog! What an amazing Christmas! How fun!

    And yes, I would LOVE to speak Italian with you, but, you’re going to have to let me get caught up–it’s been several months since my semester long class ended and I wasn’t exactly a star student when it was over. Did I mention this was a beginners class?

    Thank you!!!

  11. Paula-Thanks so much for the explanation! I’ve been wondering why they are in so many nativities I am seeing lately.

  12. We had a black Wise Man in our nativity growing up. I was wondering what you meant when you asked about it.
    Do the nativities in the US only have 3 hite Wise Men?

  13. I just don’t think I’d ever really noticed before, but I’ve looked at a LOT of nativities over the holiday season and it was really jumping out at me.

  14. Also interesting to me is that the Christmas carol references “these three Kings of Orient are…” The terminology of “The Orient” is believed to be referencing “a distant place,” that a person would have to travel a long distance to get to and not Asia specifically.

    I think countries and cultures tend to ethno-centralize imagery around religious figures. So, yes, in the US we see a lot of nativities where the scene includes fair skinned people, although since the US is multi-cultural, we see nativities reflecting all walks of life. That’s what makes them interesting :)

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