Thursday, October 27, 2011

Poland Recap

I've been trying to write this blog for a week with no success. After I got back from my Poland trip, I turned right around and accompanied Sean on a trip to Landstuhl to visit the doctor. Although we had internet, it was a bit spotty, so it made uploading pictures a bit difficult.

Anyway, a couple of my friend and I decided we wanted some Polish pottery. The best place to do this is Boleslawiec, Poland, where all the pottery factories are located. Although we considered driving, we found some 18 euro round trip tickets on RyanAir that we couldn't pass up and instead, decided to fly. The only downside to flying on a budget airline is that there are small weight limits. So, even though I paid to check a bag, I only had 15kg to work with. With that in mind, Polish pottery shopping was on!

This is where we stayed while in Boleslawiec. I had several blog buddies who stayed here and loved it, so I booked it right away. Let me just say, this place is amazing. It might be my favorite place I've stayed since I've lived in Europe. The service was top-notch and the food there was amazing. You can also schedule cooking classes, massages, pedicures and manicures too. I had a 30 minute foot massage for 10 euro and it was heavenly. Seriously, I wish I could have one everyday. 

I had several different soups while I was here, two different types of pierogies, the breakfast buffet each morning and lots of different types of beer and alcohol. Everything was delish (although I'd stay away from the vodka) and the raspberry jam was so good that my friend Sarah and I both bought some to take home.

This is my friend Sarah in one of the many pottery shops/factories we visited. I think in all we visited 12. The first day we knocked out 9. Our hotel gave us a list of recommended shops with some info on each, which I found very helpful.  A word about Polish pottery, some times there are more common patterns that you'll find at several shops. Most of the time though you won't find similiar patterns at different shops. We also went in a few shops to get an idea on prices before we bought anything, which I think worked out well in our favor.

Most of the time we ate at our hotel since the food was so good, but one day for lunch we stopped in at a little place had a bite to eat. I had these pancakes with smoked salmon and a cream sauce with caviar mixed in. For that, a bowl of soup and a beer, it came to 7 euro. That was with the tip included. Poland is seriously the cheapest country I've seen when it comes to food. And it's all tasty! I told my friends I wanted to move to Poland just for the food.

Check out this nest! It was outside one of the more rural shops we visited. We tried asking the lady who owned the shop what kind of bird made it, but she only spoke Polish and since I don't speak Polish, the only thing we could learn from her was that the bird showed up in April and left in September. Later, looking at some postcards in Wroclaw we found out it's a stork that lives in it and this stork is one of the national symbols of Poland.

Although we went to Poland for the pottery, it wasn't all pottery all the time. One day while we were there we took the opportunity to go visit a castle about 20 minutes from where we were staying. Just so happened they had a medieval festival going on at the castle that day. The above picture is some of the scenery we passed along the way to the castle.

This is part of the castle I was talking about. It was foggy, rainy and chilly that day, but I'm still glad we braved the weather to see a little bit of the surrounding area.

This was the delicious soup we had while we were at the castle. I believe the soup was traditional, as we saw it on several other menus while in Poland, but it was very filling and quite tasty. I couldn't even eat my bread bowl when I was done with the soup!

One of the towns we passed on our way to the castle

After our time at the castle we headed back into the town of Boleslawiec to check out some of the downtown area. This is in front of the church in the main square.

Colorful buildings in the main square of Boleslawiec

For some reason when I'm traveling, I always happen upon black cats. This is the fourth time it's happened. This cat was all about posing in front of city hall.

Some of the various pottery we encountered in our shopping.

These are the beef pierogis I had the last night we were in Poland. Although they were good, the traditional filling is my favorite.

There were big pieces of (fake) pottery around the town of Boleslawiec, so my friend Sarah and I took the opportunity to pose with some of them.

Our last day in Poland, we headed over to the bigger city of Wroclaw (which is actually where we flew in and out of) This is the town hall. It was beautiful!

This is just one more reason why I loved Poland. Do you know how long it's been since I've had Starbucks? Too long my friends, too long.

All over Wroclaw they had these little dwarf statues. There were about 100 in all and they are scattered throughout the city. Each dwarf is in a different pose. We found about 10 or so while we were walking around.

My friend Sarah and I posing as dwarves.

One of the many outdoor cafes, too bad it was too rainy and cold to enjoy them while we were there.

My view of the Wroclaw airport as we are getting ready to fly out.

These are the goodies I got, minus a Christmas tree, as it was in my friend's backpack and I neglected to get it from her.

All in all, I highly recommend going to Poland. I'm really wanting to go back and explore a different part of it before we leave.


Michelle A'etonu said...

great post! some friends and I did poland in september and we loved the blue beet root! next time, we'll do some more sightseeing and not just pottery. you went to somereally cool places!

Lisa said...

I love reading about your travels in Europe! It makes me hope P and I head there eventually so I can travel as much as you are!

When do you guys head stateside?

Anonymous said...

I have honestly never really thought about Poland as a vacation destination, but this post totally changed all of that! It looks just gorgeous, and The Blue Beetroot sounds absolutely amazing! I'm so glad you had a nice trip. Your pottery haul is fabulous! My heart went pitter patter when it saw those polka dot pieces :)

I hope Sean's appointment went well!

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to visit Poland.

My husband and I live about 10min away from Lanstuhl, not even.

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

What a great trip!!!! I love perogies!! They are sooo good!

Casey (@ Ever-Changing Life) said...

Next year Poland is going to the Euro and prices are going to change dramatically. Glad you had fun before then! :)

Lexilooo said...

Obviously a late reply, as I just found your blog, but I love this post! I lived in Krakow for two years and miss Poland so much! Also, I collect Boleslawiec pottery!