Blogs from Poland, Europe

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Europe » Poland August 11th 2019

10.08.2019. We had an horrendous day. Train 30mins late leaving Krakow, dirty carriage, filthy toilet. A change over in Bohumin down a filthy lift through a filthy tunnel, up a filthy lift to a filthy platform. This train 30mins late. 1st class ok, good comfy seats, not many in this part of the train. 2 hours out of Budapest train breaks down, in the middle of nowhere, we sit for over 30 mins and then told to get off, transfer to another train. Struggle off train on to tracks, walk across tracks, struggle onto local train, which was hot, smelly, dirty. Nobody happy. Finally we leave, train stops at every station, everyone sweating from the heat. Get into Budapest 2odd hours late, thirsty, hungry, not amused at all. We have one more train trip into Zagreb ... read more

Europe » Poland August 9th 2019

07.08.2019. Our morning started with a leisurely breakfast and then a walk into the Jewish Quarter of Krakow, a short distance from our hotel. We visited the oldest existing Synagogue in Poland which was built in about 1407. It’s the height of the tourist season but everyone shuffles around so we can all see the exhibits. We then wandered through to the Eagle Pharmacy which, when the Nazis created the Jewish ghetto in 1941, its Polish owner Tadeusz Pankiewicz found himself at the very heart of it. Deciding to stay, he and his staff were the only Poles allowed to live and work in the ghetto and over the two years of the ghetto's existence, the pharmacy became an important centre of social life as well as aid in acquiring food and medicine and falsifying documents. ... read more
Old Synagogue
Interesting mosaic pattern on the floor at Schindler’s Museum.
Room of Choices Schindler’s Museum

Europe » Poland August 6th 2019

06.08.2019. We left Warsaw this morning on the train - first class - so we thought! The carriage consisted of compartments, six seats in it, facing each other. This was the same from Vienna to Warsaw. A couple were already there near the window, we put our cases up, a French chap came in, nowhere to put his large bag but between his feet and mine. The compartment was hot, he opened the window - well, the man exploded, no, no fresh air and closed it! The three of us complained, the woman jumped up, pointed to her seat and said to me, you sit here! I refused, why should I? A group of young people were in the corridor with nowhere to sit so stood for most of the 3.5 hour journey. John and two ... read more

Europe » Poland August 5th 2019

02.08.2019. What, 5.00am already? Time to get up and get going for our train journey to Warsaw which will take about seven hours. Luckily for us the staff in the breakfast room allowed us to get something to eat while they were setting up and the cabbie rolled up at about 6.30 even though we’d ordered a taxi for 7.00. Still, he had a cup of coffee on the house and soon whisked us away in his you beaut Mercedes Benz – very nice! The train station was bustling at this early hour and we still had plenty of time for our train which ended up being 20 minutes late, due to a technical hitch down the line. We arrived in Warsaw just before 4.00pm and are staying at the lovely Mamaison Residence Diana. We were ... read more
Jewish Wall
Another section of Jewish Wall with small white plaque from Melbourne’s Jewish Community
The Warsaw Uprising

Europe » Poland June 25th 2019

25 June 2017 The reason we stayed at Elblag is because it is the Northern terminus of the 82 k canal which links several lakes and finishes in the town of Ostroda. The canal needed to climb 100m in a 10km stretch and to achieve this the engineers built a series of 5 slipways up which boats are dragged on a rail-mounted trolley working on the principle of a funicular. We drove to one of the slipways and were fortunate to see a couple of pleasure boats using the facility. Then it was a 150k drive to the lake district in the north eastern corner of Poland where we met up with the rest of the group who are doing the Baltic States tour.... read more
Boat manoeuvring into its trolley
Being dragged out of the water
Going down the slipway

Europe » Poland June 24th 2019

24 June 2019 Today we visited Malbork castle, a huge structure on the banks of the Nogat River. We stayed the night at a pleasant riverside campsite in the town of Elblag.... read more
View of the inland side
Another tower to climb to get a view of the inner courtyard
Elblag’s reconstructed St Nicholas’ Church in the evening sunlight

Europe » Poland June 23rd 2019

23 June 2019 We took the bus and tram into Gdansk’s centre and under cloudless skies but in comfortably warm temperatures had an excellent day exploring the city’s ancient Main Town which has been lovingly restored following extensive damage in the 1945 German Russian fighting. We entered through three gates, walked along the 500 metre Royal Way, climbed the Town Hall tower which gave us wonderful city wide views, went into St Mary’s which is often cited as the largest brick church in the world, visited several museums and admired the Zuraw, the unique medieval dockside crane.... read more
The huge 15th century Foregate
Golden Gate, built in 1612
The same view in 1945

Europe » Poland June 22nd 2019

22 June 2019 We drove 150k through rural Poland to Gdansk, the county’s major port, that we plan to visit tomorrow.... read more

Europe » Poland June 21st 2019

21 June 2019 The coastal Slowinski National Park has a unique geological feature which we wanted to see, so in the morning we drove to the nearby resort of Leba. We got the bikes out and gave Wendy’s shoulder a test by cycling 7k to visit a huge area of sand dunes that for the last 5000 years have been blown inland for a few metres a year and are gradually engulfing the nearby forest.... read more
Engulfing the trees
And leaving dead stumps behind
We could have taken an electric bus to visit the dunes but felt very virtuous having cycled

Europe » Poland June 20th 2019

20 June 2019 By ferry we crossed onto Wolin Island, one of Poland’s largest and the home of a beech forested and hilly national park with lakes and sandy cliffs. From there we drove along the Baltic coast through a number of resorts. The road proved to be disappointing as although we were mostly close to the sea, we couldn’t see the water and sandy beaches because there was always a band of trees restricting the view. Eventually we arrived in the large resort of Kołobrzeg where we found an excellent campsite. In the evening we had a pleasant stroll through a wooded park to the town beach and later a walk to the old town to view the town hall and cathedral which had been restored after being damaged in the 1945 German retreat. ... read more
Looking down the Wolin sandy cliffs
One of the lakes
The Kołobrzeg beach shows the always present Baltic coastal tree band




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