It is official. I totally love Poland!
We have visited Poland twice now and have been fortunate enough to see the city of Krakow (only briefly) and the country. It is just magical.
I was speaking to someone about our future travels to Poland and they gave me a warning. Someone she knew had traveled there before and had found it slightly uncomfortable and felt a little targeted because they were a foreigner. They found that the impression was that because they came from somewhere else they had a lot of money.
Sometimes this can be the case and let’s be honest travelers are sometimes easily picked out of the bunch. It worried me as this was the first time that we had travelled with the girls and we were going to so many different places. (Have you figured from majority of my post I am a worrier?!) In all the places we were staying in Poland, we were meeting with friends that are Polish so that did put some of my fears aside. We were not spending a lot of time in the cities so that was also a good thing in my eyes.
For me I never once felt anything but welcome anywhere we went in Poland. Everyone we met, strangers and friends alike, wanted to talk to us, engage with the girls and with us. We are lucky so many people were introduced to us through our friends and in turn they have become our friends. Returning to see some of them on this last trip was like returning to family. We just felt like we belonged.
I loved the Polish countryside. The first time we stayed there we stayed in a friends, friends house near a ski area. Waking in the morning and going out onto the balcony and looking out across the paddocks with low fog and rolling hills was so picturesque. Ski lifts were dotted all over the place. It would be amazing to see it in the winter, but I am unsure my body would take that kind of cold! I loved that we got to the house from the main road by driving through a bunch of other little houses in the middle of a paddock and then there was our house with some others a little further on!
People in the town always smiled and waved to us and would ask our friend where we were from. When they said Australia we would always receive a bigger smile and the best G’day they could muster! It would make us proud that whoever had been here before we had left such a positive impression for us. Everyone was happy to see the girls and they never seemed to be put out by having to cater to two little girls far from their own home, who in all honesty were probably being slightly hard to handle in some situations! The food was always great and you just could not go past sneaking some from their plates as well to sample it, as it looked so good!
Our kids were able to play and laugh. Even though many of the people and children they met didn’t speak English they made the best of the situation and had an absolute ball! They said they always felt safe and felt confident wandering around a short distance from us.
Willow especially loved the history that the country has. She has learnt some of the bigger and better-known countries histories, as everyone does but with Poland I think that much of it is pretty unknown. It was great for her to be able to ask someone who grew up there all the questions she could think of. Marley, on the other hand, liked the space and the quiet. She also didn’t mind the very grand armories that we got to visit in some of the places. Looking at how things were done such a long time ago really got her little mind thinking.
For Mark and I it was about seeing the ‘real’ Poland. Being in a small town, having a Polish BBQ with our friends and with their friends, being cooked traditional Bigos by our friends mum and having the most divine cake made for us by the family that wanted to meet us and see pictures of the Aussie beach. I think being in the city you can sometimes think that that is how a country is and who their people can be. I know even at home there is nothing better than country hospitality, but then I think we may be slightly biassed as we live in the country! And while traveling in beautiful Poland I fell in love with all things Polish and that is Why I love Poland