Saturday, January 16, 2010


Happy 2010 everyone! I'm back from my trip to Poland and it's time to share some photos. We stayed in Krakow and made one weekend trip to Warsaw, a day trip to the mountain town of Zakopane on the border of Slovakia, and a day trip to Auschwitz (no photos, I just couldn't). I read about the history of Poland before going and was so happy I did because when I got there it was like leaping into my books. Amazing. I live in the oldest city in America and I guess I get cocky about it, because nothing compares to seeing buildings that were built in the 1400's. the history of Poland pervades everything, as you'll see in the photos.

The food was another highlight. Everything was cooked in butter and bacon fat, and preserved meats, various kinds of cabbage, and dumplings made an appearance at almost every meal. We took a cooking class where we learned to cook traditional foods (which will greatly help when we cook food for Wigilia next year). My favorite dish was Bigos, a stew featuring sausage and sauerkraut.

Krakow: Battle of Grunwald monument. This is one of the most important battles in Polish history, it happened in July, 1410.

Krakow: Christmas tree and nativity scene in Old Town Krakow, in the main market square (Rynek Główny w Krakowie), the largest medieval town square of any European city.

Krakow: The Church of St. Adalbert (Kościół św. Wojciecha) in the main market square.

Krakow: (left) St. Mary's Basilica (Kościół Mariacki) in the main market square. (right) the Adam Mickiewics Monument (Pomnik Adama Mickiewicza w Krakowie), Mickiewics was a Polish romantic poet of the 19th century.

Krakow: inside St. Mary's Basilica (Kościół Mariacki) on Christmas Day

Warsaw: Castle Square (Plac Zamkowy), the entrance to the reconstructed Old Town (it was completely levelled by the Germans during WWII). (right) The Royal Castle (Zamek Królewski w Warszawie)

Warsaw: Stencil

Warsaw: Plaque commemorating Polish citizens who died by the hands of the Nazis. (These plaques are all over Warsaw and they often have the number of people who were shot on them. Sobering).

Warsaw: Castle Square (Plac Zamkowy)

Warsaw: Castle Square (Plac Zamkowy)

Warsaw: Doorway

Warsaw: Stencil

Warsaw: City walls that surround the Old Town (Stare Miasto). They were severely damaged during WWII and rebuilt meticulously using brick from houses that were the same age as the original wall.

Warsaw: Wilanow Palace (Pałac w Wilanowie) built for King John III Sobieski in the late 1600s in the baroque style.

Warsaw: One of many churches we saw during our trip (the Polish people are almost 90% Roman Catholic).

Krakow: Making pierogies in our cooking class at The Culinary Institute in Crakow

Krakow: View from Wawel Hill (Wzgórze wawelskie)

Krakow: Stencils (Notice how there are layers of stencil on top of one another - as though it was a collaborative piece and people came along and added to the picture.)

Zakopane: Peksow Brzyzek cemetery

Zakopane: Peksow Brzyzek cemetery

Zakopane: Oscypek, salted and smoked sheep's milk cheese from the Tatar Mountain region of Poland. We tried it cold and it was gross, but when they grill it and add a dollop of cranberry sauce? Mmm, mmm, good!


Carlene said...

These are really great photos. I don't see many current pictures of Poland. The Basilica gave me goosebumps. The pierogi making photo looks like a painting.

Era said...

Wow, thank you! My favorite is the first one with the birds.

Nicole said...

I love that one of the birds too---I can imagine what it felt like standing there. So many interesting buildings! I love the pierogi-making picture too! Oh, those are fine little pierogi. So much new skill for Christmas next year! Glad you had a great time and got to see so much!