Sunday, 3 June 2007

Poland - A Traveller's Tale of History and Culture




So, it was that time of the year again...time to choose the next destination - time for some learning - a journey closer to home. This time I decided to visit Europe, to learn about our history, to gain an understanding about what happened in the Second World War. So, I was off to Poland.


The trip started when I landed at an unfamiliar airport and shuffled onto a mini-bus with a group of strangers, all nervously introducing ourselves to each other... ...and that's where my first realisation commenced... ...I was getting on a minibus that was almost entirely populated by teachers... ...my first thought was to shrink down into my chair... oh my goodness, 2 weeks talking about school curriculum's and naughty children... this initial emotion was short lived as I began to chat to everyone.


The first destination - Warsaw, the capital city of Poland. We were dropped off at our first hotel and soon off to the old city centre for some refreshments. That evening, the group were introduced to our Polish guide. Unfortunately he only found out that he was supporting our group a couple of days before our trip. He had never given a tour of Poland before and was really nervous. Great start!!!



Our first morning in Warsaw took us to a small district South West of the old town to the memorial site of the Jewish Ghetto. The Warsaw Ghetto was the largest of the Jewish ghettos established by Nazi Germany during the Holocaust in World War II (just under three square miles). Between 1940 and 1943, starvation, disease and deportations to concentration camps and extermination camps dropped the population of the ghetto from an estimated 450,000 to approximately 70,000. In 1942 the Warsaw Ghetto was the scene of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, one of the first mass uprisings against Nazi occupation in Europe.

Standing at the foot of the memorial and looking around the square was an extremely moving experience. I closed my eyes and tried to comprehend what it must have been like, knowing that whatever I imagined wouldn't even come close to the reality. This was a very humbling and emotional start to the day and to the holiday. Throughout the next two weeks we would learn visit many locations around Poland and learn more about what happened during Polands history.


Our next destination was to the historic old town where we had some time to look around and try the quaint local cafes.

The photograph above shows the devastation caused as 85% of Warsaw was destroyed by January 1945. The photographs below show how, since that time many of the historic streets, buildings and churches have been rebuilt and in 1980 , this historic old town was inscribed onto UNESCO's World Heritage list.







"Anyone for a ride?"





No sooner had our first learning about Poland begun, our visit to Warsaw came to an end and we were back on the mini-bus to our second destination.


We arrived at Torun (North of Warsaw) in the afternoon and were given guided a tour of the magnificent medieval city situated on the Vistula river.



ToruĊ„ is a birthplace of world famous astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus (see the photograph below). I tried to take on the local accent when pronouncing the name Nicholas Copernicus, but the nearest I could get was "Knickerless Copper-Knickers" with a strong English accent, poor chap - I'm sure I had him turning in his grave.


The house where Copernicus was born and the chapel where he was christened are still standing in the city. From Middle Ages the town has been known for its ginger breads.

Nicolaus Copernicus (1473 - 1543) was the first European Astonomer to formulate a modern heliocentric theory of the solar system. His epochal book, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres), is often conceived as the starting point of modern astronomy as well as a central and defining epiphany in all the history of science


Our tour ended at our next hotel. As our guide ended his speech, he informed us that Torun was twinned with a town in England. The town was Swindon in Wiltshire... ..."Swindon"? my goodness, I am stood in the middle of a strange but beautiful town in Poland, to find that it is twinned with the town that I currently live in. What a coincidence! I suddenly felt all self important, pushed my shoulders out, held my head up high and proceeded to spend the rest of the day with a smile on my face. What an amazing start to my holiday.


Now, I remember the meal in the evening very well. It was our first attempt to try and order in a language that we did not know, from a menu that we could not read. I had my main course (which was a nice steak) arriving with my starter on the same plate (deep fried Camembert). Still, I did not complain as both tasted delicious. However, I was slightly more surprised when the glass of fine red wine that I ordered arrived looking suspiciously white. A little voice in my head told me that I needed to brush up on my Polish.



Nevertheless, the meal was greatly enjoyed and soon I was on my way to bed in anticipation of more excitement the next day.


An early start (as most of them were going to be on the trip), was introduced by a hearty breakfast before boarding the mini-bus for the next location.



On the way to our next stopping point in Gdansk, we stopped at Malbork Castle.




This is the largest Medieval Castle in Europe. The town was built around the fortress Ordensbury Marienburg which was founded in 1274 on the east bank of the river Nogat by the Teutonic Knights (a group of people we were going to hear a lot about on our travels around Poland - they popped up everywhere!). Both the castle and the town of Marienburg (Malbork) were named after their patron saint, the Virgin Mary. This fortified castle became the seat of the Teutonic Order and Europe's largest Gothic fortress.



Under continuous construction for nearly 230 years, Marienburg Castle, or Malbork Castle, is actually three castles nested in one another. A classic example of a medieval fortress, it is the world’s largest brick castle and one of the most impressive of its kind in Europe. The castle was in the process of being restored when World War II broke out. During the war, the castle was over 50% destroyed. Restoration has been ongoing since the war. An amazing castle, full of history and another emotional example of Poland's determination.



Soon, we were back on the mini-bus and on our way to Gdansk. Gdansk is situated at the mouth of the Motlawa River. This was an important seaport since medieval times and subsequently a principal ship-building centre. The city of Gdansk is famous worldwide as the birthplace of the Solidarity movement which, under the leadership of Lech Walesa, played a major role in bringing an end to communist rule in the Eastern Bloc.

The first thing noticeable in Gdansk was the amazing array of colours -the buildings, the people, the arts and crafts....breathtaking!



Everywhere I looked, every house was a different colour - so full of inspiration - so full of pride.


As the sun set over the buildings, the architecture cast it's shadows, providing yet another view of this fantastic place. Each rooftop had a slightly different design....what an imagination.




The night soon set in and the city came alive - it was time to visit the local bars and sample the Polish vodka and dance to the local music... A great night, but an even bigger headache the following morning - Well, it had to be done!


Back on the bus in the morning we went to the city of Frombork with it's magnificent castle. In 1414, the city was plundered and burned during a war between Poland and the Teutonic Knights. In 1454, during the Thirteen Years' War, the hill and it's catherdral were occupied by Jan Skalski.

In the middle ages, Frombork's inhabitants were mainly merchants, farmers and fishermen. The most famous resident was the astronomer and mathematician Nicolaus Copernicus (who we were first introduced to in Torun). It was at Frombork that he wrote his epochal work, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium. Shortly after its publication in 1543 Copernicus died and was buried in the cathedral (shown in the photos below).




That afternoon, after leaving this beautiful place, we made our way to somewhere that couldn't feel more different. Our next stop was the "Wolf's Lair".


Wolf's Lair was the codename for the major World War II Eastern Front Military headquarters of Adolf Hitler's. Adolf Hitler spent 800 days here between 1941 and 1945. The remains of this complex are located at the hamlet of Gierloz near Ketrzyn, although at the time of operation this area was part of the former German province of East Prussia, a territory which was assigned to the People's Republic of Poland after 1945.


As we walked around the site, our tour guide showed us that is consisted of a group of bunkers and fortified buildings in a thickly wooded area, surrounded by several rings of barbed wire and defensive positions. He also informed us that the codename 'Wolf' was used as it was a derivation of the given name 'Adolf' from the old high German "adal" and "wolf" ("noble wolf"). Hitler began using the nickname in the early 1920's and was so addressed only by those in his intimate circle.


The photograph below is from the memorial site where there was a failed assassination attempt on Hitler's life. A two pound block of plastic explosives was placed in a briefcase under the table in the conference room where Hitler and 20 officers had gathered. At 12:40pm on 20th July 1944 the explosives were detonated - but miraculously Hitler survived.



We continued our walk around the ruins, learning more and more about some of the atrocities that were devised there. Then we came to bunker #13. This was Hitler's bunker. The feelings that went through my mind at that point were indescribable. I was walking on ground that was once walked on by probably the most evil man to ever set foot on this earth. Shivers ran down my spine.

The photograph below shows one of the entrances into Hitler's bunker....


...and the next photo shows the crack down the side of the bunker caused by the explosives that Germans set off on their retreat from the site. The reason they chose to destroy the site when they abandoned it in 1945, was that they thought it was too valuable too allow the Russians to use.


After such a dark and oppressive afternoon, we were in need of some relaxation. We ventured over to the Polish Mazurian lakes. This was large lake district area that catered for boat rides, cycling, walking and naturally eating and drinking.


We were fortunate to spend a couple of days here, and had the opportunity to experience a great boat ride - however, no sooner had the boat set off, the heavens opened and it rained... and rained... and rained.... and.... I think you've got the picture. The first day that we got to travel in an open top boat rather than a small compact mini-bus and it bloody rains! Yet, being typically English, we all braved the weather and admired the views with just our noses and eyes poking out of our waterproofs.


Arriving back at the dock, our first priority was to find some food and alcohol. My goodness, what a selection of places to eat and drink, everywhere one looked, the smells and sights were so appealing.


Four of us found a small bar and proceeded to tuck into some Pierogi (very traditional small white dumplings, larger than ravioli, filled with sauerkraut with mushrooms). Mmmmm tastey! This went down a treat! However, we encountered the usual language problems as we tried to order some drinks. We knew we must have been pronouncing the words wrong - purely by looking at the series of confused expressions on our young waitress's face.

After two days of fun and froliks, we made our way to our next location. To Biebrza National Park. This is the largest of Poland's National Parks. Marshes are the most precious part of the park. The park protects vast and 'untouched by civilation' peatbogs with unique varieties of several species of plants, birds and animals. We spent a wonderful afternoon here, in three-man canoes floating around the amazing channels within the marshes.



Click on the play button below to watch a video clip of the journey through the marshes.




After a very enjoyable afternoon we made our way to our next hotel. This was one of the destinations that I had been looking forward to since the moment I booked the trip. I was on my way to Bialowieski.


The hotel was quaint. It looked like something that belonged in a painting on top of a chocolate box. A long sloping roof, a wooden front, with Ivy climbing up the walls. A nice place to stay when in the middle of a forest.


Bialowieski National Park is the oldest national park in Poland and one of the oldest in Europe. It was founded as "Reserve" Forestry in 1921 but officially established as National Park in Bialowieza in 1932. In 1947 it was restored as the Bialowieski National Park. At one time the property of Polish kings, the Bialowieskie Forests have survived in an almost unaltered form.


It is without a doubt the most valuable, natural area in the lowlands of entire Europe. Located on the watershed of the Baltic and Black seas, this immense forest range consisting of evergreens and broad-leaved trees is the home of some remarkable animal life including rare and interesting mammals.


The total area of the park, which was 5,348 ha, was nearly doubled in 1996 up to 10,502 ha. The Park comprises about one tenth of the entire Bialowieza Primeval Forest, which has a wide range of flora and fauna typical of both western and eastern Europe. The Bialowieskie Forests are among the World Biosphere Reserves in Poland. Since 1979, as the only Polish monument of nature, Bialowieski National Park has been inscribed on the World Heritage List.


The Park's animal life totals 11,000 species including 62 species of mammals and 200 species of birds. These wilderness areas are inhabited by some 300 European bison (a species which has been reintroduced into the park in 1929).....






elk (North American - moose)........ ...I think I surprised this one!!!!




stag, roe deer...... ..... this guy posed for hours - a real showman!




wild boar,




....lynx, wolf, fox, marten, badger, otter, ermine, beaver and numerous bats. It is also a show place reserve for tarpan (the Polish wild forest horse). Bird species include the black stork (Cioconia nigra), Pomeranian eagle (Aquila pomarina), tawny owl (Strix aluco), crane and raven.


I have to confess, we were unable to spot many of these wild animals during our walks through the forests, but thanks to a local Bison reserve we were able to get very close up to some wonderful creatures and also get some great photographs.



Although it was an extremely wet morning, we did have better weather in the afternoon. We had a very enjoyable walk along the forest path. This was followed by a relaxing break in the village before all meeting up in the restaraunt to tuck into an amazing meal. After the meal a few of us made our way outside to enjoy the night time atmosphere. Many stories and anacdotes were shared during evening, whilst all being warmed up with vodka.


The next day was the long journey down to the South of Poland, towards the Pieniny range of the Tatra mountains.


The Tatras are the highest mountains of the Carpathians and provide the only example of an alpine environment in Poland. Extending for 65km along the Poland–Slovakia border, 210 sq km were designated in 1955 as the Tatra National Park. The park is very popular, attracting over 3 million visitors, and is an excellent area for both hiking and skiing. Only 25km to the east, the Pieniny National Park offers a different experience. Covering just 23 sq km in the central section of the Pieniny range, the park is compact and accessible. As well as hiking and rafting there are medieval castles and picturesque timber churches to visit.


The visit here started off with a free day. A few of us decided that this would be a good opportunity to walk down by the river and cross over into Slovakia. So we started off on the long and pleasant walk. Everything went well until we reached the checkpoint border control. Then I had the sudden and sickening realisation that my passport was safely tucked away in the security safe in my hotel room. Oh dear! Still, I had managed to get within a couple of feet of Slovakia. Time for a slow walk back to the village for a nice cup of tea. Luckily I was not alone in forgetting my passport, so three of us enjoyed a nice couple of hours sat overlooking the riverbank.


That afternoon we took a chair lift up to one of the peaks for some fantastic photo opportunites.



A rafting trip through the Dunajec gorge provides a different perspective on the sheer cliffs and the peaks above. Rafting has developed into a tourist business, with men garbed in traditional costumes steering the timber crafts. At its narrowest point the gorge shrinks to a width of 12m and the waters are quite fast, although for much of the journey the river is wider and calmer.



This was too much of an opportunity for us to let pass by. So, the next day we all clambered onto our rafts for a very enjoyable cruise down the river. Well, it was a very relaxing trip apart from the occasions where our guide decided to dowse us with water.


As we approached the end of our cruise and could see the moorings in site, our childish characters began to show as we all wanted our rafts to reach the bank first. I am proud to say that I was in the 'winning' raft and spent the next few hours feeling quite victorious.


What a day!... What a week!.... What a holiday!!!

Our final destination was Krakow.



Krakow is one of the oldest and largest cities of Poland. This historical city is situated on the Vistula River at the foot of Wawel Hill int the Lesser Poland region. It was the capital of Poland until 1596.







The old town district of Krakow has rich historical architecture, mostly Renaissance with some examples of Baroque and Gothic. It's palaces, churches and mansions display variety o fcolour, architectural details, stained glass, paintings, sculptures and furnishings.







The Gothic St. Mary's Basilica stands in the middle mrket place. It was built in the 14th century and features the famous wooden alter carved by Wit Stwosz. Every hour, a trumpet call, the hejnal mariacki, is sounded from the church's main tower. As we stood in the square, our tour guide explained that the tune was played during a Tatars' invasion in the 13th century by a guard who wanted to warn the citizens against the attack. He was shot by the Tatar warrior while playing. Since that day the melody breaks off at the moment he died.





As we walked around the old town square, there was a nostalgic sound of horses hooves clopping on the cobbled streets.


The morning after arriving at Krakow, we had the opportunity of visiting Wieliczka Salt Mine.

The mine, in the town of Wieliczka, has been in continuous operation since the 13th century, and still produces table salt. It is one of the world's olderst operating salt mines. The mine reaches down to a depth of 327 meters and is over 300 km long.




I'm glad to say we were not expected to walk the whole length. There was a 3.5km tourist route that we were taken through. The tour was exceptionally well layed out and included statues of historic and mythic figures, all sulpted by miners out of the salt.



There were also manaquines and scenes set up along the route to provide an example of how the different processes took place.


Each turn we took, sent us futher down into the depths of the mine (although still only experiencing less than 1% of it's total size)




Then we arrived at another one of the most spectacular views that I have ever seen in my life. Down in the depths of the mine we arrived upon the most amazing chapel. Every part of which was painstakingly carved out of salt - even each individual crystal in the chandeliers were fashioned out of salt.

When we arrived at the entrance of the chapel, we were stood near the ceiling (as shown in the photograph below), with a sweeping staircase just in front of us. The room glowed with a deep warmth.


We made our way down the staircase and over to the carvings on the walls. Each depiciting a biblical scene. Each so magnificantly carved with the most unbelievable amount of detail and in such a way that the shadows from the lights gave the scenes a great depth.






After a period of observation and reflection, we began our ascent to the surface - still in complete awe of what we had just experienced.

We retruned to Krakow for a spot of lunch - this provided us with an opportunity to truly absorb the character of the place and the friendliness of the people.



















And then it came.... ...our final afternoon.


As you remeber, we had started our tour in Warsaw, and stood in the centre of the historic Jewish Ghetto that was the holding place for up to 450,00 men,women and children.


Now we were at Auschwitz.


All over the world, Auschwitz has become a symbol of terror, genocide, and the Holocaust. It was established by the Nazis in the suburbs of the city of Oswiecim which, like other parts of Poland we had visited, was occupied by the Germans during World War II.



During this time the name of the city was changed to Auschwitz, which became the name of the camp as well. June 12, 1940, when the first transportation of Polish politicl prisoner deportees arrived in Auschwitz, is regarded as the date when it began to function.



Over the following years, the camp was expanded and consisted of three main parts: Auschwitz I, Auschwitz II-Birkenau, and Auschwitz III-Monowitz. It also had over 40 sub-camps.



Our first emotional experience was at Auschwitz I. Even standing at the entrance to the camp , I became overwhelmed with emotion.


The haunting words of "Arbeit Machen Frei" that stood above our heads were an immediate reminder of where we were. Thousands of prisoners went out of here each day to long hours of arduous labour. In the evening, they returned exhausted, carrying the corpses of those who had died.


We made our way into the grounds. The atmosphere hung heavy around us. We were soon met by a guide provided by the camp, who took us from building to building - explaining about the events that led up to the camp creation, how selections were made and what took place within the compound.

As we walked from room to room, large black and white photographs of vicitms looked back at us, helpless. Their eyes staring, trying to say a thousand words.

Some of the rooms had been transformed into artifact display areas - the first was full of shoes, the second full of spectacles, the third full of suitcases and the fourth was full of human hair that had been shaved off as people arrived. The emotion was too much, tears began to flow from my eyes as I looked through the glass and saw amongst the mountains of hair, a short length of a young girls blonde hair that had been caringly platted with a red ribbon on the end. I could imagine so clearly, this girl having her hair platted one morning by her mother or sister, thinking that she was going away to a better place and then ending up here - the last place that she would ever see.

Our journey continued hearing and reading accounts of heroism, accounts of torture, accounts of needless loss of life. Walking through long corridors with hundreds of photographs of people's faces (the camp's initial arrivals) - male, female, tall, short, large, slender, old, young, very young - all real people, all who's lives were lost.

We ended our tour of Auschwitz I, and made our way back to the coach to visit Auschwitz II-Berkenau. It was at this point that I had realsied that nobody in our group had uttered a single word during the visit - even, back on the coach there was complete silence.

We soon arrived at the tower of Berkenau. This was the second part of the camp (which held over 90,000 prisoners in 1944). This was the largest part of the Auschwitz complex.


Historians estimate that among all the people sent to Auschwtz, there was at least 1,100,000 Jews from all the other countries of occupied Eurpoe, over 140,000 Poles (mostly political prisoners, approximately 20,000 Gypsies from several European countries, over 10,000 Soviet prisoners of war, and over 10,00 prisoners of other nationalities. The majority of the Jewish deportees died in the gas chambers immediately after arrival.



The overall number of victims of Auschwitz in the years 1940 - 1945 is estimated at between 1,100,000 and 1,500,000 people. The majorityof them, and above all the mass transports of Jews who arrived beginning in 1942, died in the gas chambers.



As we walked into the camp, the weather changed. The clouds shut out the sun, the sky turned grey and it began to pour with rain. It was late in the afternoon, the camp was empty now and we were given the privacy to walk around and absorb the moment. I took a long slow walk up the middle of the camp along the side of the railway line. The rain kindly disguised the tears that ran down my face.

As I reached the end of the line, I was surrounded by the derelict gas chambers. I could feel the sense of helplessness, I could hear their cries. As I looked to the sky, I could feel the tears of those that lost their lives pouring down upon me. I turned back and looked down the track. I know it was in my imagination, but I could smell the steam engine. I could feel people walking around me, moving towards the gas chambers that were just behind me....

This was truly a time to reflect. I suddenly became riddled with anger - and anger pointed directly at myself, at my ignorance -I was 34yrs old and until now hadn't bothered to try to understand what World War II was about. I stopped, stood motionless and made a promise to myself that when I returned home, I would make an effort to learn more about what happened - I felt I owed it to those that died here and to those that died to protect our freedom.





I was completely drenched through, but it dawned on me that in a short while I was going to be able to walk out of the gate and climb onto a comfortable mini-bus to take me to my luxurious hotel and eat a three course meal and have a warm drink. This thought made me feel nausiated - how complacent has civilisation become now? Just a few years ago - just two generations before mine, people were brought here, starved, tortured and killed.


I knew that I was looking at an exit and that I could simply walk out in my own time, I stopped again and thought of those that had looked at the same gate, knowing that they were never going to see the other side....


The day finally came to an end. We made our way back to the mini-bus, back to the hotel - each step of the way, the scenes of the afternoon were running through my thoughts.


That night a small group of us met up to have a farewell meal. I was asked what I thought of the Polish experience and what I thought of my fellow group memebers. I replied "I have met a some nice people, seen some amazing places and learned many things during this trip - much of which I shall never forget. I came expecting one thing and found another. The most significant thing that I have learned on this trip is the realisation of how little I really know."

The next morning, we all met for breakfast before returning to the airport for our flight home. We finally said our goodbyes at Gatwick airport and another amazing venture that held lots of laughter, lots of learning came to an end.


I found it almost impossible to talk about my experiences at Auschwitz for many weeks without getting upset and emotional. Even now, as I finish this post several months after the trip, I can still feel the sadness of that afternoon. An enjoyable and educational trip to remember, another trip that has made a significant impact on my life - I will forever be a little more humble, a little less complacent and a lot more appreciative of life.



xxx The End xxx

by Graham Ettridge

If you are interested in reading a first hand account of life within Auschwitz during the World War II, I cannot recommend enough the book "Survival in Auschwitz" by Primo Levi.

In 1943, Primo Levi, a twenty-five-year-ols chemist and "Italian citizen of Jewish racce," was arrested by Italian fascists and deported from native Turin to Auschwitz. Survival in Auschwitz is Levi's clasic account of his ten months in the German death camp, a harrowing story of systematic cruelty abd miraculous endurance. Remarkable for its simplicity, restraint, compassion and even wit, Survival in Auschwitz remains a lasting testament to the indestructibility of the human spirit.


If you would like to consider this trip and experience the amazing history of Poland, then please click on the link below:

http://www.exodus.co.uk/holidays/avn.html


Please feel welcome to leave a comment about this post by clicking on the COMMENTS below,
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13 comments:

artbylmr said...

Thanks so much for leaving your comment on my blog. I look forward to seeing your Adventure in Poland. Hopefully no accidents. I, too, love to travel and have been to several European countries. I have become more of a home body of late, but still look forward to returning across the pond again.

Raspberry Grace said...

I would dearly love to visit Poland myself, especially Krakow and Auschwitz, hopefully I will get the chance very soon.

Primo Levi,what a brave,sad man,I started to reread "If this is a man" the other day, I had meant to post his poem on my blog and forgot, glad your post reminded me of that.

You have a lovely blog, and the photos are ace,I hope you are mightily blessed in your future travels! (no more broken bones though!).

Werewolfking said...

I really enjoyed your travel-log and photos from your Polish trip. Yours was one of the finest travel blogs I've seen on Blogger so far. I've been all over Western Europe but never been to Poland, although I'm of Polish descent. Your post was very thought-provoking and the Auschwitz narrative was sobering. Hope to see you again on my Werewolfking's Howl blog at werewolfing.blogspot.com for more political commentary.

Getty72 said...

Hi all!!

artbylmr,
Thanks for your kind comments too.

Raspberry Grace,
Primo Levi is such an inspiration - I have read his books several times now - and never with a dry eye. Thanks for the comments :D

werewolfking,
Glad you liked the post. I've been visiting your blog and your posts are great...keep it up!!!

LadyBanana said...

A fascinating account of an amazing trip.. I would love to have the opportunity to travel more!

rainypenguin said...

Very informative account of your trip to Poland! I spent a few weeks in Poland myself a few years back and absolutely loved it. I traveled from Berlin through central Poland to my final desination, Augustow and the area around it. All in all, I visited Augustow, Bialystok, Suwalki, Gdansk, Sopot, Szczecin, Olsztyn, and Poznan. My favorite part of the trip was my time in Northeastern Poland with all of the crystal clear lakes and forests. While I was in the area I went hiking, biking, kayaking, and sailing--and it was, of course, very affordable to do all of those things. In general, though, it was such a wonderful trip because I got to see areas of Poland that the average tourist doesn't get to see. And because the people of Poland are so incredibly nice!!

Wayfaring Wanderer said...

The architecture photos were definitely my favorite. Thanks for visiting my blog, I enjoyed viewing yours as well and will surely be back!

Marek said...

Some really nice photos there my friend.

I visited Malbork castle for the first time only two weeks ago and was higely impressed by the sheet scale of the place. It's easy to lose yourself within the castle and you can spend a good few hours exploring away.

I wasn't very happy about the bouncy bridge that leads to the castle though !!

Tim Dodwell said...

A great little read for a monday morning, when I should be doing more productive things !

New York Hotel said...

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Holidays in india said...

Awesome shots by you.I Like to read your post because you are providing more information.

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great post, I would love to visit poland....

Boston Hotel said...

Once I planned my trip to Poland but for some reason it was canceled, till that I didn't got a chance to be in Poland. Poland looks great and beautiful, hope someday I can plan my trip to it.

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