The latest in my Dlaczego Kochamy Polskę series is Kristen Vanessa. Kristen is a writer based in Poland who works in a variety of niches (like myself), Kristen’s clients include Streetwise Warsaw. Today, she chilled out from her writing, to write (yes) for NIMIP. What’s she all about, well you really got to know…
Where are you from?
I’m what’s known as a ‘third culture child.’ I was born in Zimbabwe (6th generation African), grew up in Australia and have a British passport by heredity. So, you decide!
Where in Poland do you live?
I live in Warsaw but my heart is firmly entrenched in the Carpathian mountains stretching between Nowy Sacz and the Slovakian border.
When did you first travel abroad?
When I was 17 months old, we travelled to England for my brother’s Christening. As an adult, the first time solo was in 2003 when I was ….younger than I am now 😉
What is your favourite city in Poland and why?
Hands down Krakow, I love the authentically old parts of town, the myths and legends, the sweeping bend in the Wisła and the rynek is one of the most stunning in Europe.
What is your favourite town in Poland and why?
Bolesławiec. We happened upon it 2 years ago on our travels between the in-laws and home (at that time the UK) and were lucky enough to find an AirB&B right on the town square. Apart from the unique ceramics that can be purchased straight from the factory shop, it is a really pretty and quaint little town with some excellent restaurants.
What is your favourite village in Poland and why?
I’m biased on this one, it’s Czchow because that’s where ‘home’ is.
What is your favourite province in Poland and why?
It’s a tie between Podkarpackie because of the Bieszczady mountains and national park (Arłamow Hotel is well worth a visit, it used to be a PRL government fortress and housed political prisoners such as Lech Wełesa) and Małopolskie because it’s incredibly picturesque and there are so many cultural attractions.
Why do you like living in Poland?
It has a depth of culture and history that is so diverse and complex. I am also obsessed with the traditional folksy food, I really don’t mind a bit of pork on my fork!
What is your favourite Polish drink and why?
Tymbark juices are really good but why there’s an obsession with shoving mint into every beverage, I’ll never understand!
What is your favourite Polish food and why?
Oh this is a tough, tough, tough question. It’s grill season so the boczek and karkowka are up there. However, my husband’s aunt makes unrivalled cabbage croquettes, my MIL’s gołabki are worth the pain, I love making and having bigos on hand in the fridge but my all-time favourite’ go tos’ are ruskie pierogi and wuzedka (the best I’ve had, cake wise, in Warsaw was in Rozdroże café near Łazienki.)
What is your favourite random fact about Poland?
It has a 32 km² sand desert in the Silesian Highlands called the Błędów Desert where the Nazi soldiers went to train before deploying to Africa. Completely random!
If you didn’t live in Poland, where would you live?
This might be controversial; it would be next door in Germany. I love Germany as much as (if not a teeny, tiny bit more than) Poland.
You can stay connected with Kristen on these links:
Thank you and Dziękuję bardzo to Kristen for being the latest in my series of Those Who Love Poland! If you love Poland and run a blog or are a travel writer, please get in touch, you can be featured, either e-mail jonny (at) northernirishmaninpoland (dot) com or head to my contacts or work page and get connected! You can also subscribe to Northern Irishman in Poland by filling in the form below! Safe travels!