If I'd been told I would travel to Poland four times in just over a 2 years I wouldn't have believed it. Traveling to the same country 4 times in such a short span of time isn't my usual style.
However when I found myself with some spare time but not a lot of spare cash I went online to see where I could go for a cheap weekend getaway.
The next thing is that rocketed Poland to the top of my list was my sister and her partner's decision to base them selves in Poland for 10 months of a year long sabbatical. This made logistical sense for them as the cost of living was low (for Europe) so their Canadian dollars would go further and it was a central location for exploring. As well her partner Peter was born in Poland making the visa situation easier and the language barrier less of a hurdle.
The town Wrocław, which we lovingly called Rock Claw in private but the real pronunciation is vrots-wahf. It's located in the south west of Poland and is the 4th largest city with a population of over 600,000. The university has a strong presence and makes the city a young lively place.
So after I finished my course at Makers Academy off I went to Wroclaw. When I landed I found myself in a shiny new modern airport with easy public transport to the city centre.Next came the large apartment blocks found in most cities in this area of Europe, then the city centre with the typical old town square which my sister conveniently had her flat located off of.
This trip was a brief one as I was job hunting and needed to get back to Russia ASAP.
My next visit to Wroclaw was in February and this time Nathan joined me.We were trying to squeeze one last trip in a couple weeks before Lisa and Peter left Europe.So what is there to do and see in Wroclaw? There are a lot of malls, a surprising amount of them (with extremely nice washroom facilities) no sign of the old Soviet rule in this area of life. As well there are lovely boutiques around the Old Town Square as one would expect. On my first visit there was also a summertime version of the Christmas Market on the shopping area leading up to the square.
We dined at the best restaurant in Wroclaw and had a whole room to ourselves. This was because that they still allow smoking inside and I have an extreme sensitivity to it (call it allergic reaction if you like but it's serious stuff). So when we asked for a nonsmoking table and they sat us in the same room as a smoker Peter had to explain to the waiter that this wouldn't suffice and was there another area, to which we found ourselves in our own private room.They'd opened up the upstairs for us, now that's hospitality. The meal at this restaurant for 2 of us with starters, mains and drinks, total: £40 - bargin.
Other amusements we enjoyed were bowling and a movieWe chose one that wasn't dubbed so it was the original soundtrack in English with subtitles the only thing to remind you that you were in Poland.
On my first visit Lisa and Peter took me to the Panorama of the Battle of Racławice, a huge panoramic painting which is housed in it's own 1960's brutalism-inspired cylindrical building due to it's size, a massive 15m high 114m around. It took 7 artists and 750kg of paint (in 1794) 9 months to create the painting. The tour of the panorama lasts 30 minutes and with the headset given you can learn the history of the scene depicted in the painting and why the painting is so significant to the Polish people and culture.
We spent some time wandering the halls of the University of Wroclaw which has areas open to tourists. The most popular being the Aula Leopoldinum. A stunning Baroque interior, embellished with elaborate stucco work, sculptures, paintings and ceiling fresco, if Kim Kardashian was around when it was completed in 1732 I think she would have approved, they didn't hold back in this room which is now used for important University ceremonies.
Also worth checking out at the University is the Mathematics Tower. On the way up you will pass by the 17th Meridian line marked on the floor, at the top you will be rewarded with a panoramic view of the city from the terrace of the tower. Unfortunately the day I was there it was a little too windy and cold to linger. After exploring the University be sure to grab something to eat at the Milk Bar and enjoy the floor to ceiling view of the beautiful University building.
Of course time in Poland wouldn't be complete without beer, which really is cheaper than water in some places! As an ale lover I was surprised to find some darker beers that were to my liking.
So now that Lisa and Peter are back in Russia I suspect it may be a while before I'm back in Poland again but I look forward to my next visit and exploring another area of this interesting and underrated country.
|Date created :||2015-09-27 22:52:41|