Living with intent, social engagement, learning, growing, giving
We are an expat family living in Trondheim, Norway, missing sunshine and all of the best parts of Australia. We like Trondheim but the thought of spending Christmas, as a family of 4, in the dark, wet, cold of Trondheim was not appealing. Flying to Australia for less than 2 weeks and dealing with jet lag at both ends wasn’t appealing enough either. 1/4 of my family is Polish and in 2004 we had a warm and emotional reunion after my uncle discovered that my grandfather’s relatives still lived in the same village that he was forced to leave in WWII. So we decided to spend Christmas wrapped in the bosom of family.
We took an early morning, direct flight to Krakow from Trondheim today. I studied Polish in 2012 and some important words and phrases are coming back again.
We used the last of my Qantas frequent flyer points to pay for a two bedroom apartment in a lovely old building near the Florian Gate, just outside the old town. We were lucky to be allowed to check in on arrival at 10am this morning. My husband and both children have been sick on and off over the past month and today I feel unwell so I took the unique opportunity to have a nap in the streaming sunshine as my family wandered around our neighborhood exploring. It was gloriously sunny and it’s by far the most sunshine that we’ve seen since September.
My family returned to take me to a lovely restaurant, in the basement, that served good quality Polish traditional food.
We started with apple and leek soup, followed by a fillet of fish with mashed pumpkin and cabbage. It was a delicious and satisfying meal. The waitress was kind to let me bungle along as best I could in Polish. Our children made good use of their tablets when fatigue from our early start set in.
Afterwards we wandered over to the Christmas markets near the railway station. It was cosy and festive and we were happy to see genuine Polish delicacies and handicrafts on display. We had mulled wine, oscypki (which we first tried in Zakopane in 2004), bought some funky pottery and beautifully decorated gingerbread.
We admired the Christmas tree, watched the people ice skating and deliberated about whether to join them but opted against it because of fatigue and lack of skill and crowding on the ice. We were delighted to find live salsa music being performed and I danced enthusiastically with my children (I’ve had lots of Latin dance courses and spent many hours dancing) to the mild amusement of some onlookers.
Our children were tired and cold but it was only 5pm so we headed over to the main square in the old town to see the other Christmas markets.
We had some delicious street food like in the photo above and pierogi and gołąbki.
It was beautiful and festive. Our daughter even got to buy a babushka doll set, which she’s being looking forward to for over a year.