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Poland

Polska

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We entered Poland from the south, from Slovakia, and our first views were of the Carpathian piedmont of the Malapolska region.

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Toward the High Tatra's near Lapsze Nizne

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Dunajec Castle

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Dunajec Valley

 

 

Stork nest

 

 

PPK

We all use abbreviations in our communications and Judy and I are no exception.  And though I suspect that you are familiar with transportation abbreviations such as MPG and RPM, the above PPK may be foreign to you.

If you drive in Poland you will be very familiar with its meaning.

Pieceparts Per Kilometer

Undoubtedly the worst roads in our travels.  They are so bumpy in spots that we rate them by how many parts of Papillon are found laying on the floor rather than connected to the vehicle where they should be.

 

An old Army "Bailey Bridge" in temporary use

 

 

 

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Krakow

World Class City

 

With the largest central market square in Europe, Krakow has become one of the must stops on the tourist circuit.

Largely untouched by World War II most of what you see is original construction from over the centuries.   Well preserved and well maintained, the city captured our fancy and we delayed here a couple of extra days.

Architecturally interesting and exciting, it also has first rate churches, castles and a cultural life to rival many larger capitals.

It was Poland's capital city for many centuries.

 

St Mary's Basilika

 

A medieval festival was being staged while we were there and numerous performances where held throughout the city.

 

 

 

Saint Mary's Basilica

 

 

I am a very big fan of Gothic Architecture, but I must admit, that when I first saw the Brick Churches of Northern Europe I was originally not impressed.  I now have a better appreciation for the style.

 

But this church has moved up to be one of my top 3 all time favorites - largely because of the interior decoration.  Renaissance style, coupled with Baroque elements in a high Gothic structure, and here in a harmonious balance.

 

The church does not allow photography, thus this is a  photo from their guidebook.

 

a St Mary website

 

 

 

Baroque Concert

 

Five young musicians performing in a Baroque church.  Well done all around, and the lead violinist was exceptional.

 

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The Spires and Towers of

Krakow

 

 

 

 

 

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On Wednesday we visited Auschwitz - Birkenau

 

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It was only 64 years ago!

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Judy's grandfather, Christian, was rounded up by the Germans at a dinner party.

Her uncle, Svend Aage, was arrested in his bed.

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The city called

Zakopane

Looking south over the city and into the High Tatras

 

The Poles put the city up for consideration for the Winter Olympics.  They did not make the cut.  It is also a summer tourist destination for the Poles and it is one of the most overcrowded towns we have been in this summer.  The infrastructure is simply overwhelmed with autos.  Here they drive in once and park it - then walk.

All the mountain areas behind the city in the photo above is National Park.  There is a short road in that is restricted to buses.  Everywhere else you walk.  And even the trails are crowded.

But we liked the place and the scenery is gorgeous.

 

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We took the cog railway up to the ridge overlooking town.  We walked a couple of kilometers along the top and took a ski lift chair back down.

This ride, so silent, and so low to the ground was a magical moment for us.

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Wooden Churches

 

 

 

 

There are a couple of dozen wooden churches and other structures spread across the foothills of the Carpathian.  All date from the 16th through the 18th centuries and are superb examples of wood craftsmanship.

Saint Elizabeth at Trybsz

 

 

Saint Krzyza

Chabowka

 

 

Debno

Perhaps the most renowned - the interior is especially well preserved from the 1600's.

UNESCO site

 

Grywald

All hand joined - there aren't any metal nails in these buildings.

 

 

 

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