Today we got a car, which made things easier. After spending some time at the railway station to check out which ticket I needed to get to Prague, we had a quick walk around the shops and onto an industrial estate.
This might sound a strange to do on holiday, but on this estate are the Polish offices of Soft Solutions – Gosia and my old employers. There is still a chap there who knows us both and to say he was shocked to see me there is an understatement! Hey, Artur!
We just made it in time for Gosia’s dentist’s appointment and tried to visit her church but mass was just starting so we couldn’t wander around. Always tomorrow.
Up at a shopping mall, I was introduced to Mrs Gosia – Gosia’s mum. We snacked on ice cream and then Mrs Gosia drove us into the country for a rather delicious meal in one of Gosia’s favourite restaurants – Chata Za Wsia (“cottage outside village”). She’d had her university graduation meal here (stuffed piglet – which has to be ordered five days in advance) but we settled on Hungarian pancake (“Placki po wegiersku”). The closest thing I can think of is lasagna, although the pancakes don’t normally have cheese on top as this one did. Filling, but not so filling that it didn’t warrant a desert afterwards.
Nearby was a small military vehicle display, I think owned by the man who was collecting the small entry fee. These were all Russian technology and mainly field command vehicles, RADAR carriers and one helicopter. All of them can be climbed onto and into, and even have the witing blueprints and technical manuals inside. OK, I can’t read them but they looked cool. As I thanked the man on the way out, He gave me a sharp, deep bow from the waist and a huge smile – obviously a man who likes to show off his toys!
I (rudely, I’m sorry) snoozed in the car as Gosia’s mum drove us for almost ninety minutes out to Krzeszow Monastery in a town I didn’t catch the name of. The area around the building has several other structures, including a church and a crypt. There is a small entry fee which covers them all and it seemed that Gosia and I were the only ones there. The church has been restored – in fact is currently being restored – and the before/after images no display of the paintwork is stunning. The original images were, in places, almost unrecogniseable but are now as bright as if they’d just been painted for the first time.
The mausoleum of the last Piast royal princes & princesses was closed, which is a shame as Gosia says it’s nice and creepy but we did get to climb the main tower which isn’t normally allowed. The view from the top is pretty spectacular and gives a lovely overview of a typical Polish village.
Mrs Gosia then drove us for another long distance to see some of Gosia’s friends in Karpacz. More typical Polish hospitality resulted as we were fed delicious cakes, tea and (non-Polish) beer. I was also let loose on the internet for ages as Gosia caught up on gossip.
Then a taxi back to Chez Gosia, more granny-supplied nibbles and bed once more. I could get to like it here.