I spent a most wonderful day in Tczew in September 2011 with my (3rd) cousin Irena, her daughter Barbara, and her sister-in-law Teresa. Among the high points of the day was the three meals I ate at Barbara’s restaurant, Restauracja Kulturalna Piwnica. The food was awesome. But let me start at the beginning of the day.
Alicja alerted me that my cousin Irena would be picking me up for the day. I also learned that Irena did not speak any English. No matter, I had enough (bad) Polish to get by, and that was indeed the case.
You can see my pictures from my day in Tczew here: http://poland.leonkonieczny.com/Poland%202011/Tczew/index.html.
Our first stop was at the cemetery in Tczew to visit the graves or Irena’s parents and her brother, who had passed away in the past year. It was a sobering experience, but I’m glad we got to go there.
Next, we headed to Barbara’s restaurant, Restauracja Kulturalna Piwnica. There, they had arranged to have one of the staff who spoke English join us. She spoke fine English, but it really wasn’t necessary. I think relatives communicate on a different plane, and we managed just fine. And so Irena, Barbara, Teresa and I enjoyed a nice bit of dessert at the restaurant. It was excellent.
Next we took off for Irena’s apartment. It was a very nice place in a somewhat older building. We spent a nice time mostly looking at older photos of family. It was amazing to see that among her photos, Irena had pictures of my great-grandparents, Alex and Kathryn Symbal (Cymbal).
Eventually we returned to the restaurant to eat again. This time we started with a very excellent soup, chicken, with find angel-hair like noodles. It was very good. There were also potatoes, pork with sauerkraut (also excellent) and some veggies–tomatoes and cucumbers. It was a feast fit for a king!
After that dinner, we headed to some cultural attractions in Tczew. Tczew is an ancient city, with ruins and artifacts dating back to prehistoric times. We visited the local cultural center where I was able to tour the exhibits with a device that talked to me in English, explaining the various exhibits. Way cool!
After that we went down to the river. One of the most famous landmarks in Tczew is the bridge over the Wisła river. The main bridge was constructed in the 1850s. At close to a kilometer in length when it was constructed, at the time it was one of the longest bridges in the world! Originally it had 10 towers, but today only four remain. A second bridge was built near the end of the 19the century, this one a railway bridge.
We also visited downtown Tczew (the square) and several churches, as you can see in the pictures. It’s a very quaint town.
After our visit to the regional museum and the bridge, we again returned to the restaurant to eat. Yes, again! Our last meal consisted of several varieties of galaretka and some meats, cheeses and breads. All were most excellent. I was most well taken care of by my cousin Irena, her daughter Barbara, and her sister-in-law Teresa. The pictures themselves tell the tale of the fantastic day I had there. Enjoy!