Przemyśl(ałam to)*

*I thought it over. I NEED to go back to Przemyśl. Fortresses are awesome! Another thing to add to my Bucket list: to spend a night in fortresses. It was so much fun!!!

Busy day… In a moment we’ll cross the border. Ukraine, here we come!

Przemyśl to!*

After an unpleasant Fall and far too long Winter all of the Poles cannot wait until May. It’s a month of national celebrations which also means time off work. This year long weekend (majówka) became a free W E E K. It’s this month of year when the sun starts to shine and the world seems to be a better place.

Along with Monika we decided to finally go somewhere together. We divided those couple of days into Poland and Ukraine. In Poland we have visited Przemyśl and in Ukraine Lviv. Let me start from the first one.

Oh, how I love trains! Polish trains in particular. I was supposed to meet Monika in Kraków but the city vanished from the map for some time or simply transformed into Kielce. Long story short: I finally managed to get to Kraków in a relatively short period of time. After one beer with Monika and a several hours of talks we fell asleep, just to wake up early in the morning to catch a train to Przemyśl.

We were so excited about the trip that we forgot about the lack of proper sleep last night.  5 hours and roughly 250 km later we were already there. Our new friend, Darek picked us up from the railway station and the sightseeing began!

Darek is a true (local) patriot. He made a historical background of his beloved city and showed us its every single corner. We found very interesting and mysterious Wanda’s street. I wonder who is/was that lucky lady to whom the name of the street was dedicated.

We made our way to Kopiec Tatarski, which was a place of religious rituals. There was also a temple in the past. What we’ve found, I guess you can easily recognize. Yup, the Wedding photo shoots.  Btw, beautiful views from above! great place to contemplate your life.

From above  all my problems seems to be smaller.

For sale. Those two words took me into other dimension. I imagined I bought this hovel and living there happily ever after…

Again… May is magical with blossoming flowers and sun! Did you  know a pansy flower is eatable? I did, but it was my first time I actually tasted it. Twice. The taste of it isn’t overwhelming. Anyway, give it a try!

The coat of arm of Przemyśl is represented by a bear. Thus, on the main square you can see a fountain with bears.

This day was worth to remember. I love small cities. Przemyśl has almost 67,00o inhabitants.

It’s a place where everybody feel free to do what they want. And to present their opinions in public in many different forms. Like this guy ;) He’s kinda famous there.

Unfortunately we didn’t find more time to spend there. Darek encouraged us to try local specialty, which is a kind of pizza. Well, I am sure it’s great that we couldn’t find time for everything we wanted to do. It means we have to go back there anytime soon.

* think it over or think about it and of course it’s the name of the city

Łódź się, łódź!*

Oh Łódź!
My joy and my pain in the ass! Adore you or despise you?

I choose to focus on the positive aspect of the city. Therefore I’d like to encourage you to visit Łódź and maybe you’ll find something special to love it as I did.

I have a theory that I can confirm by my own experience. When you have a week to discover all wonders of the city you are sightseeing you’ll find extra energy sources within yourself so that you could take advantage of the precious time you have. However, when you live in a place for several months or years you always think you have all the time in the world to see and experience everything. Well, you don’t.

My friend Andrew has lived all his life in Łódź. I dare to say he started to explore his home town because of me. I’ve come here almost 2 years ago and this big and neglected city overwhelmed me with its opportunities and peculiar beauty. I am a kind of an independent and self-reliable person. However, every single thing is much more enjoyable when it’s shared with a friend.  I am sure Andrew thinks the same way I do. This is why we have been discovering Łódź together since we met. I always thought the locals are the best guides in their territory. Another stereotype is abolished. This Sunday I will show Andrew the Poznański Palace. I’ve been there last week and I will be there every next weekend. It’s gonna be my own weekend’s palace.

The owner of the palace was Izrael Poznański known as a King of cotton . He was a successful textile producer. Since 1975 the palace was transformed into museum. Let me just say it is called the Louvre of Łódź and there is nothing more to add.

The museum is divided into parts. There is temporary exhibitions and permanent  gallery of art and the Pantheon of Famous Citizens of the City of Lodz. One of the most interesting exhibition is Music Gallery devoted to Arthur Rubinstein. He was very successful pianist. In the gallery you can see the Oscar award that he won in 1969 (L’Amour de la Vie) and the pictures of him standing next to Charlie Chaplin or Albert Einstein.

by Monika

I shall not reveal more details. I’ll let you discover them by yourself. Enjoy!

* Łódź is a name of the Polish city. It has two meanings: 1) as a noun it means a boat  2) as an imperative it means delude yourself, but it has different spelling (ó should be changed into u), but the same pronunciation (ó sounds exactly the same as u).

Home Sweet Home

This is a story about how much I love my family and what I am able to do for them.

Long story short: After a long and tiring journey without a sleep for 33 hours I found myself in crazy circumstances – I walked into my house through the window. I wanted to stay for Christmas in Tallinn, but finally I decided to go home and surprise my family. That time, in a warm and comfortable room I thought it was a great idea.

Well, after couple of hours I had second thoughts… But let me start from the very beginning.

My expectations: bus trip for 16 hours, one hour break, then change to a train for 6 hours, than another train trip for 30 min and a walk (2 km – nothing, right?) to my uncle house. Knocking to his door and enjoying his happiness after seeing me. Resting all night. Visiting parents in the next day. Easy as that.

Reality: Sigh…

In Estonia everything went smoothly. I just needed to re-book my ticket from 6.30 am to 2 pm bus. It facilitates the connection between bus and a train I was supposed to catch later. After I crossed Polish-Lithuanian border it started to snow so there was a delay of arrival to Warsaw. I missed the train obviously. I took into consideration all circumstances (Polish realities and the wintertime) to think about the best solution. It seemed reasonable to take a direct train to Opole or Brzeg so that I didn’t have to freeze at the stations.

For the next train I waited four and a half hours. Silly as I am I didn’t even bother myself to check the weather in Poland. I assumed it’s much warmer there than in Estonia. How wrong I was. I didn’t prepare myself for that. I really considered drinking beers to warm myself up, even it’s only an illusion of warmth. I know myself so well, after one sip I would fall asleep immediately. I needed to stay focused or at least awaked. After 5 hours of sleeping I was awake for 21 hours, so I was pretty tired, especially when I thought about the next couple of hours without a sleep. A blessing in disguise I found a working heater in a waiting room and I almost hugged it. It became my friend. I was checking the clock from time to time and I realized it’s my enemy for a change.

Damn you, Time! Why do you run when I need you to stop and stop when I need you to run fast? Anyway…  I tried to find any undemanding activity to kill time. I read a book for a while but I didn’t really help. It made me sleepy actually. Then I paid my attention to the people in the line. I heard what tickets they needed, where they were going and how much they paid and what platforms they were looking for. After some time I was able to answer all their questions. I could easily replace the lady who worked in a Information Office. It bored me, too.

Then I focused on pigeons. (Something is wrong with my interest in pigeons lately). I didn’t register too many noticeable events: one footless pigeon, one poo – not much really happened. While “admiring” the pigeons I looked at the ceiling. It simply hung there and threatened to fall down.

An interesting observation about homeless people: Most of us are afraid of them, but they are more afraid of our intentions. They keep their bags so tight as if somebody wanted to steal it from them. I don’t think they have any valuable things there, but well… it’s all they have. And the discussions between them are simply hilarious. They consist mainly swears, but that only gives an emotional character to the speech.

In a magical way I had one hour left to start my trip again. In my head I counted how much time it takes to transport my heavy bag down stairs and up stairs to the right platform. Fortunately there was always a nice gentleman to help me to carry my bag. No wonder why… I had to look pitiful pulling the bag up the stairs (this direction is much more demanding for me). Probably he saw my misery and had a mercy on me. I had a nice chat with him. In 3 minutes he told me the story of his life. Amazing person. He defeated the cancer and now he lives his life to the fullest. Every time I meet an inspiring person I am truly amazed and it changes my life somehow. I am really lucky if it comes to meeting wonderful individuals. Or this is only my attitude toward people and I can find all good features in them. I believe it’s both.

The time to go home had come. I expected train to be full because of the coming Christmas, but it was almost empty. I met a very nice couple which helped my with my bag. People here are always so helpful and kind. In Częstochowa I had all free places for myself. I could get some nap, but I was too tired to go to sleep. Silly, but true.

After a few hours I saw my sister waiting for me at the station. Finally! She took my bag and took it to the car. I hide myself behind the tress to surprise my uncle who thought he is here to take a package that my sister need to pick up. Yeah, he was surprised! After a moment of joy and happiness we went to my parents’ house. My uncle and my sister went to the kitchen to hold my parents there so that I could walk into a house unnoticed. I walked there through the window and sat down on the couch in the living room as if nothing had happened. Then my parents walked into the room and stood still for a few seconds. They didn’t know what’s going on. They were so happy! In that moment I saw in their eyes the whole trip was worth it!

Good to be home.