The is absolutely, positively, most likely the last time we do this.
  • Day57

    Copenhagen.

    September 26, 2018 in Denmark ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    Made it to Copenhagen and staying at most expensive hotel we have ever slept in.
    Upside is at 1035pm it is 3mins walk from airport.
    Mark’s original plan was a train ride, a walk down a highway and a hotel in what looked like an industrial estate.
    This one is worth every krona.

  • Explore, what other travelers do in:
  • Day57

    On the way

    September 26, 2018 in Poland ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

    Chopin airport is obviously in Warsaw.
    Nice modern, well laid out and could show Manchester how to do security checks. Then again Albury could as well.
    Traffic around airport incredible and only our bus driver could have gotten us there.
    Waiting for the Copenhagen leg. A long day but making progress.Read more

  • Day57

    Our Lady of Czestochowa

    September 26, 2018 in Poland ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    National shrine of Poland.
    Believed to have been painted sometime between the 8the and 12th centuries it was brought from Ruthenia (Ukraine) in 1382 and entrusted the Pauline monks.
    In 1439 it was renovated and repainted in a more gothic style after it was damaged by Czech Hussites. This is when it went dark as the different paints reacted.
    In 1655 the monastery was besieged by the Swedes but wasn’t taken after a 49 day siege. Our Lady was credited with the success and was crowned Queen of Poland.
    Place is nuts as almost every kid in Poland gets brought here. Small chapel with the painting. Huge baroque basilica with we hope very repentant Polish teenagers. Groups of every other shape, size and nationality. Older monk mad sure we were directed to the gift shop. Somethings are the same everywhere.
    Not a bad finish to Poland.
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  • Day56

    Wyjscie Salt Mine.

    September 25, 2018 in Poland ⋅ ⛅ 8 °C

    They have been mining salt here since the 12th century and it is enormous.
    The source of one third of mediaeval Poland's total revenue it still produces 8,000 kilos a year but that's just to sell to the tourists.
    Only 2 of the 20kms of tunnels are a open to tourists. That’s the 2 million that visit each year.
    To get to the first level at 64 metres you walk down 380 stairs. There are 800 by the time it’s all over.
    Absolutely amazing. Chapels, reception rooms, stairs and stairs. One room is over 35 metres high, they used to do bungie jumping a few years ago.
    In the middle ages there were 60 horses stabled underground and hundreds of workers.
    Condition have improved since the. Now there are just 400 guides.
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  • Day55

    Zakapone

    September 24, 2018 in Poland ⋅ 🌧 8 °C

    What do you do in a mountain resort in the rain and sleet.
    Look in H&M where it’s dry.
    Zakapone is about a hundred kms from Krakow and is the “Winter Capital “ of Poland.
    It’s in a valley with sky resorts around and the usual sort of mountain things. Funicular, mountain lookout, rain, sleet, sun, repeat.
    Has a great wooden church and an excellent cemetery . Also had market that sold cheap gloves As it was about 6 degrees these were the best investment of the trip.
    Out travelling companions took it in their stride. In Vermont and Michigan this is spring weather.
    Lovely place.

    Dinner in restaurant with traditional music and dancing, yes we were both forced to participate with varying degrees of reluctance.
    Night time drive home to hotel, bus very quite.
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  • Day55

    Krakow

    September 24, 2018 in Poland ⋅ 🌬 8 °C

    Lovely city. Old capital of Poland. Unusual for Poland wasn’t destroyed during the war so has quite a different feel. Four hour walking tour and then a couple of hours wandering, church, market, cemetery. The usual.
    Biggest market square east of the Pennines and a few of the biggest buskers.
    Why aren’t we losing weight?
    The answer, Polish cuisine.
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  • Day53

    Auschwitz

    September 22, 2018 in Poland ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    A long drive to a depressing by required day.

    No photos only memories.

    Rabbi Lord Sax wrote:

    Today, on Yom HaShoah, we call on You, Almighty God, to help us hear Your voice that says in every generation:

    Do not murder.

    Do not stand idly by the blood of your neighbour.

    Do not oppress the stranger.

    We know that whilst we do not have the ability to change the past, we can change the future.

    We know that whilst we cannot bring the dead back to life, we can ensure their memories live on and that their deaths were not in vain.

    And so, on this Yom HaShoah, we commit ourselves to one simple act: Yizkor, Remember.

    May the souls of the victims be bound in the bond of everlasting life. Amen.
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  • Day52

    Contributing to Human Culture.

    September 21, 2018 in Poland ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    A trip to a Polish pottery factory was on the agenda for today.

    That and driving across Poland. We are now in the western part only 30 kms from Germany. Total time 6 hrs.

    Today was also take your truck for a drive day as semitrailers are not allowed to drive on the weekend.
    Exception is for perishable goods and in Germany no exceptions at all. So everyone is trying to get wherever they need to be. Result is a moving wall of trucks on the right hand lane.

    Long day but interesting in a how many corn fields they stuff into Poland sort of way.

    The Pottery Factory has confirmed that despite the EU OH&S Poland could still do with a little work.
    Breathing masks in a clay filled room?
    Never did got an answer.

    What we did get was opportunity to contribute to the world’s cultural store by decorating a pottery plate.

    Have to say the results, which will be sent to us, did not seem worth the price of the postage.

    Strangely enjoyable day however.
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  • Day51

    Torun

    September 20, 2018 in Poland ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    Not much to say about Torun. Ha.

    City of 200,000 on Vistula River founded by Teutonic Knights in Middle Ages and birthplace of Nicholas Copernicus.
    Hasn’t got a lot: city walls , ruined castles, gothic houses and streets, Renaissance town hall, another church the size of a small mountain, biggest gothic bell in Europe, couple of squares surrounded by more gothic architecture. Everything brick as they had a lot of clay and not a lot of stone. Seems to go on for street after street.

    Unlike a lot of cities sin Poland it”s all original as Torun wasn’t destroyed in the war and only the local Communist city officials did any real damage to the place.

    Walking tour in 31 degrees was very good if a little sweaty but place well worth 3 hr drive to get there.

    Have a frog fountain based on legend similar to Pied Piper. Replace rats with frogs and you get the idea. Rub frog and you will return to Torun. A Soyuz can see frogs are very shiny and great opportunity for kids to splash each other.

    One high light was demonstration march by kindergarten children who appeared from nowhere holding banners and flags.
    Converged on central square with a police escorts, stood in front of fountain, sang 3 minute song and dispersed back into the side streets.
    No one was able to explain purpose of event. We don’t thing it was political although the Apprentice Hairdressers School (everyone’s hair braided and warming hives yellow jackets over traditional dress) looked most determined. One group looked like they were wearing Polish Olympic Team uniforms including white hats for boys. Some fairy dresses on display and lots of red and white.
    Most bizarre but very enjoyable.
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