September 2006

Cracow's Royal Way has seen many distinguished processions over the centuries. There have been kings and counts, bishops and blackguards, generals and jesters.... In Renaissance times, the Poles - ever fond of the exotic - used to bring out elephants on these parades. And although the African jumbos are a rare sight these days, processions are still very much alive and well, with the hallowed observances of Corpus Christi, Independence Day and the Coronation of the Fowler King leading the pack.

On Sunday 10th this September, another venerable parade is set to take place. As always, the marchers will be donning splendid costumes, much to the delight of the admiring townsfolk. And just as tradition dictates, the march will begin at midday at the Barbican, the medieval gateway to the city. It will then proceed down to the Rynek past the ancient basilica of St. Mary's. The eccentrically attired marchers, valets in tow, will then deport themselves across Cracow's greatest plaza, wagging their tails, barking like mad and sniffing each others behinds. Because these magnificent marchers are of the four-legged kind.... more specifically, dachshunds. Cracovians love dachshunds. And if you're in town that day, you'll see dachshunds in cowboy costumes, dachshunds got up as medieval knights, dachshund ballerinas, dachshund minstrels, and that's just the tip of the bonio.

But enough of man's best friends for a moment. For besides a barking mad parade, travellers can also look forward to some more mainstream events this month. On 9th September, showbiz glitz and glamour hit Cracow with the Coca Cola Festival, headed by Jay-Z, the Sugababes, Shaggy and Polish temptress Reni Jusis. On a more classical tip, look out for the 4th Sacrum Profanum festival, scheduled to begin on September 18th. Art lovers are also in luck as the superb Fin-de-Siecle in Krakow exhibition has been extended until mid-October. For news of all these events and many more, have a surf through our online calendar.

Back on the accommodation front, a very decent mid-range hotel has just opened in the centre of town - Hotel Amber, whilst Kazimierz Secret Apartments is a sound offbeat option. On the gastronomic front, more and more good reports have been coming in about Edo, arguably Cracow's first proper Sushi bar, but for classic Polish fare, Wierzynek remains hard to beat. Sticking with Polish, try Babcia Malina for a cheap and cheerful lunch (if you see a weirdo with a ginger beard talking to the fish in the tank, don't be alarmed, that's our editor....)

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