The houses in Chocholow come from the 19th century and are constructed of wood only, with just stone foundations perhaps. No metal nails, the sloping roofs are shingled, the verandahs or porches are made of wood and often decorated with carved woodwork. Most stand sideways in relation to the main street, protecting their owners from the curious glances of the passers-by. The outbuildings, if any, are wooden too and hidden deeper in the yards. They are all listed and protected by the Tatra Museum in Zakopane so their owners cannot alter them in any way.
You might wonder how it is possible for those old houses to look so clean, as if they were new. It's no secret - their walls are all scrubbed every year. Amazing, isn't it?
We discovered this restaurant on our way out of Chocholow heading for Zakopane. And what a discovery it was! The food was excellent, the service prompt and obliging and the decor all in the regional style, pure pleasure to look at! I have since checked their reviews on the internet and the people cannot praise them enough. The smiling and cheerful waitresses in regional dress certainly contribute to its popularity, too.
The restaurant has its own car park and is wheelchair friendly.
Favorite Dish: Chris had the local specialty, his favourite 'kwasnica' - sour cabbage soup with bits of meat.
Then he had sheep cheese fried in breadcrumbs with potatoes and a few kinds of salad (included in the price) while I had potato cake with goulash, also a local dish (placek po zbojnicku). All were great but the best was the cheesecake with coconut top and whipped cream we had for pudding, so freshly made it melted in your mouth. It keeps coming back in my dreams so we are sure to be back for more.
The Tatra highlanders are mostly Catholics going to Mass every Sunday and crossing themselves when they pass a church or a roadside cross. You will find holy pictures in their bedrooms and living rooms and many even build a shrine outside their house or on the wall, which is believed to protect the house and its inhabitants. The shrines often incorporate carvings or pictures representing Our Lady, Jesus Christ or one of the Catholic saints and are decorated with greenery or always fresh flowers from the garden. Aren't they pretty?
Favorite thing: The mountain soil is stony so you cannot expect the highlanders to have large gardens but every self-respecting housewife has at least a tiny flower garden in front of her house. Often enclosed by wooden fences and very colourful, they look so pretty against the beige of the logs the houses are made of.
Favorite thing: Have a good look at the houses in Chocholow and you will find a lot of decorative woodwork - carved ornaments above the doors or under the eaves to protect them from the elements. Some can even boast a carved sculpture or two, usually of a saint or a local man. Pay attention to the ornamental wrought iron door fittings, typical of the area.