Those Crazy Poles

This morning we leave Poland for our route home:  Warsaw to Frankfurt with a 10 hour stopover before heading off again.  So it’s gonna be a long boring couple of days.  Frankfurt Airport is horrible.  It’s massive.  But the signage and maps are totally unable to explain where you are and where you want to…

Baby You Can Drive My Nysa

This morning we are in the hands of Adventure Warsaw to experience their “Off the Beaten Path” tour.  An our incredible journey starts in an original Polish van, the Nysa 522, symbol of Polish communist times. Our guide is Adam, and there are two other guests along for the ride.  Given we are already in the…

Warsaw’s Sad Panda

Mum and I are on our own today as Dad has gone down with a cold.  Whilst this is unfortunate for him, we are a bit excited that as well as sightseeing, it means there will also be an opportunity to do some shopping. On the way to the old town (Stare Miasto), we stop…

Searching for Princes

So last night was our family dinner and I got to meet Stan (who is related by marriage a little way back, so not really a relative), his son Waldek, wife Dorothea and daughter Paulinka, plus the family of Dad’s cousin Graszinka, her daughter Dorota, husband Wyeslaw and daughters Paula, Susie and Maya.  It was…

Treasures in the Rubble

Today we leave Krakow for Warsaw. We are supposed to arrive at 1.20pm, but our train is over an hour late.  No idea why, the Poles don’t seem to think it is important to let passengers on their express intercity trains know in English what is going on.  Even the Polish announcement is almost inaudible.  It’s…

Legends of the Wawel Dragon and Nowa Huta

In a cave at the bottom of Wawel Hill there once lived a terrible fire-belching dragon. This dragon roamed around the countryside and did whatever he wanted to. He ate sheep and cattle and scared the farmers so much that they didn’t let their animals graze in the field near the Vistula River. Many brave…

Show Me Your Krak!

The word Krakow originates from ‘Krak’ or ‘Krakus’, and he, Krak, was the fabled ruler of the Vistulan tribes.  According to legend, he founded the city some time around 700AD, built Wawel Castle, slayed the Wavel Dragon (more about him a bit later) and beat back the armies of the Roman Empire.  Quite a busy…

From Zakopane With Love

The name ‘Poland’ originates from the tribal name ‘Polanie’ meaning ‘people living in open fields’.  And today, that’s where we are heading – to the fields.  Well, kinda. A private tour to Zakopane and the Dunajec River Gorge awaits us today.  Zakopane is the most famous Polish mountain resort (it was even Pope John Paul’s…

Get that Knife away from my Sister’s Head!

Growing up I didn’t really know much about Poland.  I knew we had funny little folk costumes of garish red and green stripes, with peasant shirts and felt vests and ribbons and garlands of flowers for our heads, that there was different food at my Babcia’s (grandmother’s) house, and that my Babcia spoke a funny language…