Visit to Poland. Memories by Elly van Oudenaren.
Four years ago my husband died. I was alone and couldn’t travel with him anymore. I sold our caravan and made plans. With my husband we travelled to Spain, Italy, France and Germany. But now I wanted to do something else. I took the car and drove to Poland. I was curious. Poland looked so far away and everything was new for me. I couldn’t understand the language and the food was different. Even the people were different, I thought. Friends warned me: “In Poland it’s very cold” and the roads are very bad.
I passed the border and the roads looked the same as in Germany. I left the highway and headed for Jawor. I was speechless. What a beauty. I never had seen something like this before. I sat in the pew and was silent. Then I went on. I visited
Swidnica. I got the same feeling as I had in Jawor. A beautiful church and hardly any visitors. How was that possible? Such a beauty and I was alone! I wrote it down in my blog with pictures. But a picture is not reality, not the feeling you get when you are inside.
I had to go on, to Krakow. It was very busy because the Pope would also visit Krakow. But I found my hotel and went into town. So beautiful, so cozy. I visited the churches, the castle, the Jewish quarter and just enjoyed the ambiance in town. You could easily do everything by foot, because the old centre is not big.
But I wanted to see more so after a few days I drove to Częstochowa. It was still early and quiet. I admired the Black Madonna and I became silent. The ambiance was great and in the Basilica I grew very silent. I sat down and just enjoyed and got that mystic feeling that I cannot describe. All the people came in, the devotion, the worship. And not many “real tourists”.
It was difficult to leave this place, but I had to go to the north, to Malbork. There I had booked for 10 days. The people were very kind and I went to the castle, which was very impressive. There was so much to see. I went to the Elbląg-Ostróda-kanaal, to Kwidzyn, Sztum and to Frombork. Then I took the train to Gdansk, the city of my dreams. It was so beautiful, it was a fairytale. The Złota Brama, the Brama Wyżynna,
the museum in the Town Hall, the paintings on the ceiling and the Marianska. I lost my heart in Gdansk. So beautiful. And there were a lot of people. I never heard of the Dominic Fair, but it was there and I enjoyed it. I walked for hours and hours and decided to go another day to Gdansk. I decided to visit Gdansk the next year again.
It was time to go back to Holland again and made an overnight stay in Swinoujcie.
At home I made plans to visit Poland again. I made reservations in hotels and I stayed another ten days in Gdansk. I went to the beach and to Torun. It was lovely.I have visited Poland now three times. From the churches south of Tarnow, to Grunwald, to Westerplatte, to Wroclaw with the stunning Panorama and to Masuria.I listened to the organs in Święta Lipka and Oliwa. I wondered that I often was the only foreigner. Such a beautiful country with so many culture and nature.
This year I wanted to go to Gdansk again and I made my reservation. I wanted to visit Poznan and Silezië. I read a lot of books over Poland to be well prepared. And now ….. now we have the coronacrisis. We are not able to travel, live our lives as we did. I cannot visit my beloved Gdansk. But I’m alive and if possible I will visit your lovely country next year.