Saturday, August 30, 2014

Augustow (northeast Poland)

Linking to Weekend Reflections
and Shadow Shot Sunday 2

The Augustow Canal is a cross-border canal of Belarus and Poland, built between 1823-1839. There are only three canals like this in the world; the other two are in the UK and Sweden. Prussia introduced high custom duties on Poland and Lithuania goods and the canal was built to bypass Prussian custom duties. 

The canal is a direct link between two rivers, the Vistula and the Biebrza. Thus goods could be shipped to the Baltic Sea. They built 22 locks and 22 sluices (a water channel controlled at its head by a gate). It is now a tourist attraction and boating adventure. Although I would not want to go into Belarus - my guide said it has not been kept up in that area.

I hired an English speaking guide and she suggested I stay in Augustow which now I agree was the place to stay.  My hotel was right on the Netta River and a short walk into town. Those who owned boats were able to park their boats close to their rooms. 

 I joined an evening cruise on the Netta River going into Necko Lake and Rospuda Lake. 
 Netta River
 Viking tourist rides
 The viking boat owners and their guides were dressed in period costumes.
Along the Netta River was this monument for Freedom from Russia and dedicated to those who lost their lives during WWII. Flowers and candles were left from August 1 - celebration of Freedom Day.  Notice that the electric lines are not on wooden poles but cement poles that look like an upside down V.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Warsaw Old Town

Linking to Sky Watch Friday
 The only section of Warsaw Old City left standing after it was blown up in WWII.
 Old Town
 St. John's Cathedral

 Another church
 Door on a church
 It was a swelting hot day probably close to 88 and this man was advertizing his business in this very hot costume.

 The mermaid of Warsaw - protector of the city.
Part of the Barbican, now filled with vendors selling paintings and such.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Augustow, Poland - Not on the tourist routes

Much of Warsaw looked beat up to me. Some building were still riddled with bullets on the outside. Repairs are very costly but Poland is growing and building anew, fixing and repairing. Right across the street from the Marriott is a gigantic mall, the likes of which I have never seen before. Every Salt Lake City mall store was there plus all kinds of European stores. To get there, I climbed downstairs into underground tunnels which were lined with tiny stores.

 Roman style amphitheatre in Warsaw with wrought iron fencing.

 Modern brick and wrought iron fencing taken from a bus headed toward Augustow (northeast Poland).

Fenced holy sights in Ewy, Poland (close to Lithuania border). This is one of the small villages where my ancestors lived. I did not know that most of Poland is farm land and considered the bread basket of Europe.

 Warsaw Barbican rebuilt after Nazi Germany blew up the original Barbican and Warsaw Palace.

Warsaw Old Town - wrought iron fencing on top of an apartment complex) also rebuilt since the war. Notice the modern satellite dish and antenna for television.

Linking to Good Fences.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

August 1 Celebration of Freedom

August 1, 1944 was the day that Nazi Germany invaded Warsaw and the Polish rebellion lost since Russia did not back up Poland like they said they would. Over 200,000 polish people were killed and, Polish people pause to remember that it was August 1 for those who were killed and after the fall of communism in 1989,  they are free.

There were flowers and candles all over Warsaw and scout troops having field days.
 A monument dedicated to Freedom.

 Flowers and candles left at the Royal Warsaw Castle which was completely destroyed during WWII and finally rebuilt in 1984.

 Scout troop in Warsaw Old Town

 Souvenirs Old Town

 Ship facade on building in Warsaw Old Town.

Come one, come all the bell ringer said.

Linking to Ruby Tuesday Too 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Warsaw's Royal Lazienki Park

This section of Warsaw was the residence of King Stanislaw Augustus Poniatowski in 1772.

I borrowed this portrait from Wiki of the King in all his regalia.

Linking to Shadow Shot Sunday 2

Friday, August 22, 2014

Sights in Warsaw

My direct flight from Salt Lake City to Paris, France was 10 hours; then my next flight to Warsaw was 3 hours.

I stayed at the Polonia Palace Hotel in Warsaw. Right across the street from my room was this apartment building. Look closely, there are swans on both sides of the black rot iron terrace.
The only disconcerting problem, being tired from only dozing a bit on the plane, was I couldn't get the power to my room to come on.  Apparently, you need to put your key card in a holder by the door which activates the power.  

 The tall building is called the Palace of Culture and Science, the one Soviet building that Russians left behind.  

These little cakes were part of the breakfast buffet that was held every morning at our hotel.  I have never seen so much variety in food. There was every kind of cold cut meats, bacon, cheeses, eggs, cereals, beans, vegetables, tomatoes, breads, yogurts, fruit including watermelon. I nearly missed these little cakes but a couple next to my table had some and I thought, I need to find them.  I usually don't have sweets for breakfast but these were an exception. They had chocolate ones too - on the left.

Pan in the park - he was the God of rustic music, nature and mountain wilds although most of Poland is very flat. Only southern Poland has mountains.

Front of the bathhouse built in the 17th century.

Reflections of the water around the Palace on an Island in Lazienki Park. It was a bathhouse palace.

Back of the bath house.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Fences in Warsaw

After two weeks in Poland, and eight days home, the jet lag is finally leaving my head so I can think straight.  We've actually had a couple of rare August rain storms here - unusual for Utah.

Linking up with Good Fences

The Royal Łazienki Museum Park was on my first tour in Warsaw. Łazienki literally means baths park or royal baths.

I studied the most important Polish phrases, I thought, before I left for Poland and one was "where is the bathroom" (Gdzie jest Łazienka?) and our guide told me that meant not bathroom but bathhouse or wash room.  I had studied old stuff off youtube. No wonder it was free. 

They actually use toalety which is toilet and WC in the malls and train stations. What I didn't realize was that if I was not in the mall, the hotel or a restaurant, I had to pay to use the toalety. It was someone's job to collect money for those using the bathroom - ugh, not a job I would want.

 This amphitheater was surrounded by statues and fencing. There was a performing group from China practicing for their performance that that very evening for the Festival of the Lanterns.

A corner clip of the royal bathhouse from the Amphitheater.

 Lanterns next to a little stream.
 Chinese lanterns within the Park.

 Anyone for a swan boat ride?
Chinese dancers practicing. We watched a bit of the dancing and music for free and sat on the cement bleachers out of the hot sun.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Leaving Warsaw

As I was about to leave Warsaw for Paris, I ran across this unusual scene.  Bison grass - that is something you don't see every day.  I am home from my trip to Poland and have a lot of photos to share about my trip.

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