Warsaw, Poland Warsaw was completely bombed and destroyed during World War II. On Black Monday(September 25, 1939), 500 tons of high explosive bombs and 72 tons of incendiary bombs were dropped, and there was heavy artillery shelling. Jews were rounded up and forced into a ghetto. Overall, Warsaw suffered approximately 25,800 civilian deaths. The Warsaw of today is an exact restoration of what it was before the War.
Krakow was such an amazing historical city and I felt so alive having gone there by myself and seeing all of these incredible sights and making new friends. It was the first time I opened up on my travels and I was kicking myself that I hadn't done it earlier.I discovered I shouldn't be so shy and to open up more to strangers, because other people can really make your trip so much more special. Now it's what I love the most about travelling and thinking back to that particular day always gets me so pumped and energised for new adventures ahead.
Gdańsk has a very long history…Its over 1000 years old, and for most of it’s life has been a free city. It didn’t actually become a part of Poland until 1945. Being the largest seaport in the area, and not being a part of Poland is what brought about the development of Gdynia. In 1920, Poland no longer wanted to face the expense of having all the imports and exports going through a free city, so they built up Gdynia as a large seaport. We also went to the the site of the start of WWII. On September 1st, 1939, Gdańsk was attacked from the sea.
From Zakopane, I continued north to Gdynia to stay with a friend of a friend. While there, my friends/hosts/tourguides Krzyzstof and Bart showed me around Gdynia, Sopot, and Gdańsk…tricities on the sea. I had a couple days there to get shown around the area with good food, good beer, and great riding through the city, which makes riding around a city in the US feel like kindergarden.
The Much-Talked About Culture
Grand Old Eastern European Ambience
Two hours (100 kms) south of Krakow, Zakopane is a popular resort town with the Poles, both in summer and winter. Set in the foothills of the Tatra Mountains, the town is dotted with oldworld wooden chalets topped by high, sloping slate grey roofs. Wander down Krupówki Street and the Gubałówka Market to shop for local souvenirs like wooden handicrafts and high quality leather products.Taste the typical Zakopane cheese, oscypek, a salty, smoked sheep’s milk cheese often served grilled with a dab of cranberry marmalade. Take the cable car up Kasprowy Wierch for a view of the mountains that separate Poland from Slovakia. Advanced skiers can take to two skiing and snowboarding pistes here or try the horse-drawn sleigh ride in the Tatra National Park to admire the winter landscape while ensconced under warm sheepskin.The best place to sample the local highlander cuisine is the rustic restaurant Bakowo Zohylina Wyźnio which hosts lively folk music and dance performances.
A trek to Rogi is a must for everyone who wants to see the amazing amalgamation of greenery and the barren mountains. It helps one to understand what they can expect once they venture into the Spiti valley.
Kindness might be constrained but cruelty knows no bounds!
It gives me a thrill in walking across borders!
Next was the Wieliczka salt mine. It was an active salt mine for about 700 years, closing down and turning into a full time museum in 2007. A hallway carved out of the rocksalt, and logs used to support the tunnels, caked in the salt after centuries of exposure. The various jobs that existed in the mine, depicted by gnomes…it felt a little bit like Disney world. All the tunnels and chambers in this mine were carved out completely for mining purposes…nothing was natural, yet it was surprising how cave-like some areas felt.