Poland Here We Come!


Mar 19th, 2004, 09:16 AM
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Poland Here We Come!

We are leaving early May for our Jewels of Poland tour with Cosmos. I have heard some mixed reviews, but I think it will be just fine. I really enjoyed the Globus tour to Italy and was very apprehensive about that initially. We can get a taste of Poland and then next time we can go back on our own to the places we don't get much time to explore. My Mom and I have been reading many travel books on Poland and there are some great ones with tons of information. I even have a CD to learn Polish that was a birthday gift, but I have yet to attempt it. I will do so very soon though to learn the basics. I have read many posts on this site about Poland. Krakow seems to be a favorite to all, but the whole country sounds very interesting and beautiful. The weather should be perfect in May and I am really looking forward to it. If anyone has any new information on Poland or has taken a recent trip there, please feel free to give me any and all input! I would love to hear about any of your adventures.

Jenkuje (sp?) Thank you!

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Mar 19th, 2004, 09:58 AM
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Mybelle, let us know how it was! My husband is half Polish(half Welsh) and he is curious about Poland. Krakow sounds quite lovely and I think it could be a future trip for us. Judy
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Mar 19th, 2004, 10:18 AM
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Enjoy Poland. It's a great country. It's been about 12 years since I was last there(right in the middle of the changing of the guard & partial economic collapse). Krakow is great, don't miss the old town (starye mesta) and you can take a train from there to Auschwitz (Oswiecim). when I was there, and I've found in other Eastern European countries, a larger portion of hte younger generation will speak more english than the older. As you're discovering, Polish is a difficult language to learn with all the zh,sh,ch all put together. I got by in a mixture of German, Polish & Russian, although I found they'd only speak German or Russian to you nicely if they knew you weren't German or Russian! Wroclaw (pronounced Vrotswaf) is nice and bustling now. Warsaw is fun as well. Wish I had more relevant information for you. Have fun.
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Mar 23rd, 2004, 06:56 AM
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Since you are going with a tour group, I assume they have tours planned. We went to Poland last October and loved it! I can't wait to go back! We also went to Prague so we only had 5 days in Poland, which werent' enough. Krakow is a beautiful city! We stayed at Hotel Saski in Old Town, close to the Main Square. Visited Wawel Castle and Cathedral, & had a tour of the royal apartments. Walked around Old Town a lot. Visited the Art Museum on the second floor of the Cloth Hall. Also went to Auschwitz and the SAlt Mines. Then we traveled by car through the southeastern countryside and stayed at the Krasiczyn Castle near the Ukraine border. We had delicious Polish & Ukrainian food on our trip for very reasonable prices. Had lunch at a cafe in Old Town...delicious food, $8.00 for 3 of us, including drinks! I don't speak Polish but we didn't find that to be a barrier. Most people in Krakow speak English. Once in the countryside, though, no one spoke English. But we managed with a small pocket guide. Enjoy your trip!
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Mar 23rd, 2004, 06:25 PM
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Was in Krakow in April 2002 and it snowed. Still was a fabulous place to stay. We stayed at the Hotel Europski (sp) across from the train/bus terminal and "across" for the square.

We took the bus to Zakopane for 2 days; a day trip to Auschwitz; Kalmeria Debschedovzic (spelled phonetically - it's where the Passion Play is at Easter); and Czechetowa (sp) to see the Black Madonna.

I learned some phrases off the travlang.com website and wrote them down phonetically to practice on the long flight over there. I also had handy phrases pre-written so when I got to the train or bus station and they looked at me goofy, I handed them the piece of paper. Worked like a charm.

If you can make any religious events I would recommend it. We were there at Easter and I was overwhelmed with the pagentry and welcomed spirit they demonstrated during the Easter weekend.

The Pope's picture seemed to hang in every window and people would mention their contact with him despite how long ago it was (he was the Cardinal of Krakow 25 years ago). Gives an interesting insight.

Have a wonderful time - it is a great place.
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Mar 23rd, 2004, 06:31 PM
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I think Gdansk is really beautiful. Wonderful port city. Enjoy your trip! You might consider reading Poland by James Michener. His prose can be rather klunky, but he manages to cover an amazing span of fascinating Polish history. I was really happy i'd read it before i visited.
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Apr 1st, 2004, 06:35 AM
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Sorry for the delay, but I have not been on this site for a while. Thank you all so much for your input! I can't believe how fast the trip is coming up. Just a little over a month now! I have really been listening to my Polish CD and as you know, it's a tough language! I am hoping with the tour group and the major cities, we will have plenty of English speaking people. However, it is quite fun to try to learn. Don't ask me to write it though! I'd need years for that. My Mom and I regret not learning more from my Great Grandma before she passed away many many years ago. She spoke fluently and we learned a few key words, but nothing substantive. I will post about my trip when we return mid-May. Thanks again! Do Widzenia!
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