This is my “advance warning” post: Look out Poland, here we come. Tommy and I are heading to Poland for two weeks later this summer. The reason? The marriage of my 3rd cousin’s son! I first went to Poland in 2010 and met my third cousin Alicja there, along with her oldest son and some other family. Then I returned to Poland the next year, 2011, and had a 3 week adventure of a lifetime, staying with and travelling with Alicja, her husband Wojtek, and their youngest son, Filip, who traveled with us as we visited our mutual cousins in Ukraine, as well as saw many great sights along the way. That was a fantastic trip, and I wrote a lot about it in this blog.
But this time, we’re going for the wedding of Alicja and Wojtek’s oldest son, Bartek. I am so excited that we’ve been invited and we are very excited that we’ll be able to go. Just imagine, I’m going to attend a real Polish wedding, in Poland. I could not be any more excited.
So the planning for this trip has already begun, and I’ll give a short outline of it here. I hope you’ll like and follow my blog and I plan to write more as we get closer to the trip, and them even more as our adventure in Poland unfolds.
In brief, here’s our plan:
- Day 0 — we leave Orlando, fly to Chicago, and they fly overnight to Warsaw on Lot Airlines Dreamliner, a Boeing 787.
- Day 1 — We arrive in Warsaw after our overnight trip. We’ll pick up our rental car at the airport–look out, Polish roads, I’ll be driving. We have a hotel booked in the Mokówo area and plan to visit Łazienki Park and Wilanów.
- Day 2 — We drive to Malbork to visit the largest (in area) castle in Europe, then head on to Gdańsk where we’ll be staying in the city center, steps away from the Main square and Neptune’s fountain.
- Day 3 — This is the day we came for, Bartek and Asia’s wedding. Bartek has a room for us arranged at the wedding venue, so we’ll head there in the late morning or early afternoon to check in. And then the fun wedding festivities begin. I’m sure it’ll be a great time. I may even get a chance to use my rudimentary Polish skills, but better pack my English-Polish dictionary and phrase book, too.
- Day 4 and Day 5 — we have nothing specific planned on these days, nor a hotel booked as of yet–we’ll just go with the flow of things. Hope to spend some time with family, but also to see some of the sights of the Trojmiasto area (the tri-city area of Gdańsk-Gdynia-Sopot). And relax after the wedding, of course. I’d also maybe like to visit the museum of Polish Emigration in Gdynia, if time. And the Sopot pier would be fun as well. We’ll see what time we have. Family is important, too.
- Day 6 — We leave the Gdańsk area early in the morning and head to the historic site at Biskupin, an open-air museum and archaeological site that I’ve longed to visit. After that we’ll head to our hotel in Gniezno. We’ll spend some time in Gniezno, arguably Poland’s oldest city and it’s birthplace. Lots of history, churches, and a museum at Poland’s oldest Archdiocese.
- Day 7 — We get up early today and drive to Częstochowa where we’ll visit the shrine of the Black Madonna at Jasna Góra. That will be a wonderful experience. Then, time permitting, we’ll head to Zamek Ogrodzieniec, a 14th century gothic medieval castle that is part of the Eagle’s Nest Trail of castles in southwest Poland. Finally, we end the day in Katowice and spend the night there.
- Day 8 — This will be a somewhat somber day, we plan to head to Auschwitz in the morning and visit that concentration camp. I know it’ll be emotional, but it’s a story worth remembering, and remembering the Holocaust and all who perished as a result. Then, later, we’ll take a hopefully scenic drive down near the Czech border and eventually arrive in Zakopane where we’ll spend two nights.
- Day 9 — We have this day in Zakopane, we’ll see what there is to do. I’d like to take Tommy to the top of Gubałówka, the view from there is stunning. And of course we have to be tourists and visit Krupóski street. We have bicycles on reserve at the place we’re staying, too. Who knows where else we’ll end up? Visits to Morskie Okno or Kasprowy Wierch would be nice, if we have time.
- Day 10 — Today we leave Zakopane, headed to Kraków. But first a stop and tour of Wieliczk, the salt mines. I’ve been there, and they are amazing. I want to see it again, and I know Tommy will enjoy it. We’ll end up at our apartment just outside the old city, where we’ll spend two nights.
- Day 11 is reserved for Kraków. Of course on the list of things to see and visit it Wawel, the Sukiennice, and the Mariacki basilica. I’d love to climb the tower again, too. And we’ll see what else there is to do. There’s a lot of history and many museums and galleries in Kraków. And I’m sure we’ll eat well, too.
- Day 12 — Today we leave Kraków and head to Warsaw where we’ll stay two nights. Not sure what’s on tap for this day, but in Warsaw we’re staying in New Town (Stare Miasto) but right outside of the old town. I believe this is the same hotel where Wojtek, Alicja, Filip, and I stayed when were spent a night in Warsaw in 2011. It’s pretty convenient to old town and to many sights.
- Day 13 will be a day spent in and around Warsaw. There is lots to see and do. One pace I want to visit is the Palace of Culture, and to see the view from the top (said to be the best view in Warsaw because you cannot see the Palace of Culture from it). There are many other places to see.
- Day 14 — Today we leave our hotel, return the rental car at the airport, and return home. Again we’ll be taking a Lot Dreamliner to Chicago, then a flight to Orlando. It’s a long day of travel and we arrive in Orlando after 11 PM, then have to get our car and drive home. But we’ll have a pleasant sleep that night with dreams and memories of a fantastic time, a Polish wedding, and a great vacation.
That’s it, that’s our tentative itinerary, all summed up. We are very much looking forward to it. I hope to keep my blog up-to-date during our trip there, as well as time gets closer.