All posts filed under: Poland

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What do you think when I say….

… Poland? Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about the power of associations. The Internet is full of trends, people tend to navigate towards certain aesthetics. The best example of that is Pinterest, which is bursting with images with highly saturated colours, white space and natural light. What interests me most though, are associations we make related to certain countries and cultures. Obviously they will be rooted in our experience of people, products, literature, art and cuisine. However I think our perception of certain countries is deeply influenced by marketing, news and media i.e. PR. ^^ Slowinski National Park, Sand Dunes I tried to remember what was my perception of Great Britain before I moved here. I remember reading Wuthering Heights, The Importance of Being Earnest, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and of course Jane Austen in high school. Oh, how I loved the descriptions of misty fields covered in heather, cold country houses with high ceilings and dogs lying by the fireplace. Harry Potter books sparked by imagination as I thought they described the …

Mushroom hunting // Grzybobranie

My younger brother (age 23) is not a morning person. In October when I was in Poland one morning my mum shouted from downstairs: who’s going mushroom picking? My brother was the first one downstairs, basket and a small knife in this hand, ready to go to the forest. Another story: A couple of years ago I was having lunch with a bunch of people and someone asked me if it was true that mushroom picking is a national sport in Poland. I laughed and then said he was absolutely right.  I remember my grandfather used to have a knife with a picture of two mushrooms on the handle. He used to say it was a magic knife which would point to the place where mushrooms grew as though it was a magnet. Us kids were over the moon to spot the mushrooms magically detected by the knife.  I find it charming that “grzybobranie” (polish word for an outing to pick mushrooms) is such a thing in Poland. Whole families or retired men on rickety …

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Borowice // Poland

I just finished reading “Call of the Wild” by Guy Grieve, a Scot who felt trapped in his office job and yearned for adventure. He left his family for a year to live in the Interior of Alaska in the solitude of the great forests and temperatures plummeting as low as -60 degrees. His story reminded me of the Polish winters, which I dearly miss. Don’t ask me why, but I love a very cold crispy winter day,  as in when the air is so cold it hurts a little when you take a breath. The coldest winter I remember was in 2006 – we went on a trip to Karkonosze Mountains on the Polish-Czech border in the south-west Poland. We took an overnight train with our friends and the inside of the coach was covered in frost – as the heating on the train wasn’t working. After 12h we arrived in Borowice. ^^ that’s my younger sister. The temperatures were reaching -25 Celsius. We stayed in a small guest house and rented very old …

Tatry

Tatry hold a special place in our relationship – this is where we first met each other back in 2004. I think we spoke for the first time on a walk down Koscieliska Valley and then a hike up to Ornak (1854 m). We don’t get a chance to go to Tatra mountains very often but it’s something I definitely want to do more often. Now with  flights from Edinburgh to Krakow, which is only a 2h drive away from Zakopane (the capital od Tatra mountains, similar to Inverness in Scotland). Last summer we went for a hike from Kuznice to Murowaniec and then up to one of the beautiful ponds called Czarny Staw Gasiennicowy (translated as the Black Pond). It’s not a very long hike, lasts perhaps 5h or so or 6-7 if you want to take long breaks to take in the views. The next day we went for another hike but we were cought by a thunderstorm and decided to go back. We got completely soaked and were running down the path …

Wanderlust: Tatra mountains

Czerwone wierchy mountain. (Source) Today is the first day of Autumn according to the calendar. It’s also the fall equinox which means that the sun’s centre will be directly over the Equator at solar noon, making the day’s and night’s duration almost equal. The full moon close to the Autumnal equinox makes the moon light last well into the night, which used to help the farmers to finish off the harvest – hence The Harvest Moon*. Ornak mountain. (Source). Source Nowadays, it’s just the definite end of the summer. From today on we can expect shorter days, waking up in the darkness and coming back from work when it’s dark again. But hey, Autumn can be fun. Mother nature makes sure we’re entertained during the day with all the pretty colours around, we get sunny crisp mornings, apples and pears are in season and it’s a perfect season to go hiking in the mountains ( at least in Poland). If we could go anywhere in the world right now, it would be the Polish Tatra …