I know this seems like a rogue choice of blog post for the middle of summer. But I periodically scroll through my photos from the past and often end up finding a whole set of pictures I never shared, edited or even gave a second thought to and then want to put them out into the world.
Snowy Kraków was a dream compared to the clouds from the prior few days in Poland. I remember Wrocław being a challenge to photograph, with the thick grey clouds, low light and drab buildings making it hard to find interesting pictures. Kraków was not much easier at the start, with the same cloud cover bathing the whole city in muted light. But, finally, the temperature plummeted and it started to snow. It snowed for most of the night and the next day, we woke up to perfect blue skies and fresh snow on the ground.
Kraków’s centre is encircled by a public park, which we walked through on our way to Wawel, the castle complex. Jake and Alinka did well to put up with me darting between the trees to pick up the sparkling ground and fit the sunbursts between the branches. The trees cast striking shadows across the ground, which gave lots of my photos alternating blue and yellow tones. The blue skies also brought out the colours of the buildings, the various churches and the bright colours of the Wawel complex.
The other great things to photograph in Kraków were all the details; the crown in the crypt, the gingerbread at the Christmas market and the falling snow illuminated by the streetlights all offered a more focused perspective on the city. As with any European city at Christmas, the city comes alive at night. The main square of the old town was full of strings of Christmas lights, enormous trees covered in an unholy number of baubles and enough mulled alcohol to subdue even the chilliest of tourists who were not prepared for temperatures of -8C and hadn’t felt their toes since morning.
At the time, I didn’t give much thought to my photos from Kraków. I was busy writing other blogs and wrapping up my work at my actual job before taking some time off for Christmas. But I came back to them again recently and was reminded of how much thought I put into getting nice shots from snowy Kraków, and how pleased I was to get such bright, colourful photos after days of cloud cover. So, to commemorate summer, here are some snowy, Christmassy photos from Poland.