People and Places

Party like it’s 1356

Posted on January 11, 2011

It is foggy and raw here in the Polish countryside outside Krakow, so we have decided to make this our one down day after two weeks of museums, miles of walking, and constant movement. After all, we are staying in a castle, perched on a hill, and built in 1356 or thereabouts.

Our rooms have roaring wood fires, heavy oaken doors, and stone walls. It is a lovely place to read, picnic (inside), nap, and chat. There is only one modest local restaurant, a place where not a word of English is spoken, and the menu is Polish home cooking. Three kinds of peroygis, spinach filled pancakes, and borscht. No wine, just good Polish beer, and an owner who smiles at our attempts at the language. It is a twenty minute walk down a country road and we will return there tonight–there is no other local option.

Tomorrow we move into Krakow proper and resume our touristic ways. For now, it is another log on the fire and back into Sy Montgomery’s Walking With The Great Apes. My girls tell me these blog posts are WAY too long for a blog, though I think of them as my way of processing what we are seeing and experiencing as much as anything else. My guess is that unless someone is named Brezinski, Poznanski, or Kalicki, I have probably lost them long before now.

On a final note, how the heck did we ever come up with the idea of Polish jokes in America? This is the nation that produced Chopin, Curie, Conrad, Copernicus (okay, so all great Poles have names beginning only in C?) and a Pope who spoke eight languages and was a poet before a Pope. The culture exporting to the world The Jersey Shore, Lady Gaga, and Jackass II, we might be a little more respectful of Poland’s proud history.

One thought on “Party like it’s 1356

  1. Tina Hitchcock says:

    So glad you are enjoying the land of my ancestors. My great (x5) paternal grandfather was a Polish count, and Polish was my first language although I’d sadly lost the facility. We do have a proud is embattled heritage, and the craftsmanship of some of the people in the rural areas is worthy of museum placement.

    As far as Polish cuisine is concerned, I’m sure it will never take over the world as it is one cuisine that just doesn’t have a flavor profile (unless you call cabbage and potato a flavor profile. I think the only spice my mother ever used was black pepper. Still, there’s nothing like good homemade pierogi and farm made Polish sausage!

    Enjoy your trip. Your blog is fantastic. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

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