Tuesday, November 3, 2009

“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”

Travelled this weekend to Wroclaw, a beautiful small Polish city. Together with my wonderful travelling buddies, Caroline and Petro, we conquered this city. Literally, by the time we left on Monday morning, we walked practically every inch, at least that which was worth walking. We arrived late Friday night, allowing for full exploration on Saturday and Sunday.

Funny story time, the first morning in our hostel was quite an adventure. Petro, Caroline and I were sitting in the kitchen enjoying our “breakfast snack” when another guy staying in the Hostel came in. He threw some toast into the toaster and left. All of sudden, his toast practically caught on fire filling the entire room with smoke which then triggered the fire alarm. The guy came back into the kitchen, clearly embarrassed and awkward, followed by a disgruntled hostel employee who was clearly not happy about the almost smoky fate of Nathan’s Villa Hostel. It was quite a fantastic way to start off our adventures in Wrocław.

Saturday we meandered through the city, weaving in and out of small cobblestoned streets. The Rynek was the first stop, where we admired the beautiful architecture and clock. After taking several photos we made our way to St. Elizabeth’s. A beautiful church with quite an interesting history. It is the first church I've seen where there were no stain glass windows. The church was bright and beautiful, and the feel is completely different from any other church because of the windows behind the altar. They reach from floor to ceiling. After spending some time in that church, we walked to the Cathedral, another beautiful edifice.

The weather was cold, but we beat it with the help of Chococoffe. A local café, serving delicious chocolate treats. We all chose the same Chococoffee, a scrumptious combination of espresso and melted chocolate. It hit the spot perfectly.

Daily boosts of entertainment of our trip came from the little, almost completely hidden gnomes. Yes, gnomes. A simple word that when uttered results in nothing but laughter. There are 50 hidden all around the city, creating quite the scavenger hunt. Unfortunately we did not find all 50 but relished in the search all the same.

One of the most interesting parts of the trip was visiting the cemetery on All Saints Day. Poland is full of traditions, especially those related to religion. On this day family and friends light candles on the graves of loved ones. No grave is without a candle. While this day may not be as vibrant as the celebration in Mexico, it is beautiful and fascinating all the same. We went at night allowing the full effect of the holiday to hit us. While I’m sure it is beautiful during the day, at night the cemetery is glowing. It is eerie and luminous. The surrounding mood ranges from those enjoying some drinks to those deep in prayer. Everyone visits the cemeteries. The whole country practically shuts down on this holiday.

I enjoyed Wrocław, and will hopefully return again someday, preferably when it is warmer.

1 comment:

  1. That church is gorgeous!!! And I love the gnomes...