From Tradition to Tanks

Given that there’s not much left of the original township of
Makòw Mazowiecki and because we didn’t turn up much information on my relatives, Zbigniew suggests we travel to the Museum of the Mazovian Countryside in Sierpc, to get a glimpse of what life would have been like for my ancestors. This open air museum was created in 1975 and it now contains numerous buildings which have either been reconstructed or translocated to create a representation of traditional Mazovian life from the 17th to 20th centuries.

The museum is set up like a small town or village, dirt tracks, farm animals and all. The small family homes were simple but incredibly inviting with their colourful bedding, cushions and rugs. I could see so many traces of my Babcia’s life here.

It was also extremely interesting for me to come across the black-smithing shed and the little room the shoe-maker used to create his shoes. The tools of these trades were a highlight as we had both blacksmiths and shoemakers in the family.

I was incredibly grateful we back-tracked to see this place. Although I found nothing much in my Babcia’s home town, I found great insight into the way they would have lived life for real.

We retrace our mileage back through Makòw and get on our way to
Białystok, where we will stop for the night. Białystok sits near the border of Belarus, which we’ll visit tomorrow. We stop at a rail crossing and I’m not sure how to feel when the train passes…

We’ll wait for the train, tanks!

…I suppose tanks are just not something you really see on the back of a train in Perth!

It’s also the home to the Esperanto language, created by Polish eye doctor Ludovic Zamenhof. With the goal of being an international language, there are actually over 2 million Esperanto speakers in the world today, though Esperanto itself is not a language which is officially recognised by any country. Coincidentally we are booked into Hotel Esperanto for the next couple of nights.

After a short rest, we head into the town square to meet up with Chris, Sharon and Katherine, who will be joining me on this leg of the trip.

Not surprisingly Chris had his phone out trying to locate geocaching opportunities. Turns out Zbigniew was also down with that and both bonded over the app while we ordered a round of beers.

When two Geocache fans meet…

The fun and games wasn’t to last long though, as there was a load more research to do back at the hotel tonight. Any exploration of Bialystok would have to wait until another time. We have a big day ahead of us tomorrow.

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