Visiting Mr. Walesa

Finally, I attach a photo of me with President Walesa.

For years I have been interpreting him at various meetings, and suddenly I have a total of probably about two, maybe three pictures with him.

And yet he is a very significant person, and well known world-wide. Well in a sense he is a symbol of Poland, together with the Pope, and … Chopin.

So here I brag about having a pic done…

Earlier this month I had a great pleasure of accompanying a group of journalists from Montenegro. They had their own interpreter with them. So my role was only to guide them around. We did not have not much time, but neverthless we did see most of what I planned to show them in Gdańsk 🙂

And I also accompanied them to Mr. Walesa’s office. After their meeting with Mr. President, we had a group photo taken 🙂

And here it is :

In this picture - circling Mr. Walesa there were Adnan Prekić, Ivo Lacmanović, Maša Mališić, Razić Ranko, Katarzyna Zielińska, and me 🙂


Amber Contexts in Malbork Castle

What a shame I didn’t bring my camera with me today!!!

I sprang out from home, to late to think about anything. I overslept, and having quite a drive from Gdansk to Malbork to meet the group I was to guide, I rushed without thinking of anything besides to BE ON TIME…

The road was nearly empty – most of the citizens were in a frenzy of pre-Christmas shopping, probably crowding in some malls…

So, as always – I was much earlier and had some time for myself in the Castle. Therefore I went into the Middle Castle to the basement of the east wing, to see the newly arranged Amber Contexts Exhibition (if the text shows in Polish – just click the EN button on the top right side and it should be visible in English, or refresh the website)

Well, I am known for being a fault-finding person as far as the level of museums in Poland is concerned. And I am known for seldom going into raptures.

But this time I did…

I gasped with admiration. As the young generation would say – my jaw dropped with exaltation.

The exhibition is wonderful. AT LAST it shows the history of this Golden Teardrop of the Sun, as I call Amber.

(BTW – this is how I called Amber several years ago, and now everyone picked that phrase and it lives own life 😉 ).

Coming back to the exhibition – the darkness of the place, and the soft music, together with the detailed yet – interesting way of presentation – makes it AN EVENT. It is a pity that it was not that much voiced, as it should be. (It seems that Poland still does not know how to be proud of herself, and how to show her successes and heritage…)

Among the exhibits – besides the absolutely ravishing chest made by Christoph Maucher, there is the famous Great Amber Goblet. It comes from the collections of the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery in Glasgow. It once belonged to Dr. William Hunter, the founder of this oldest museum in Scotland. The goblet was  subjected to preservation in the workshop of the Malbork Museum. It is simply … wonderful.

( BTW – I am thrilled – as I am going to visit the Hunterian Museum early next year 🙂 ) – picture from the official website of the Castle Museum.

So, whoever is planning to come to Gdansk (North Poland) – MALBORK (abt. 1,5 hrs drive south east) is an absolute MUST SEE 🙂

Not only because it is the biggest heap of bricks in the world, but also because it has the richest and most interesting (at least in Poland) Amber exhibition.


Women’s Day in Cracow

I came back from training.

Nothing new, just in my case, it is rather very natural conclusion.

This training, however, was quite exceptional, as it took place in a very unique place.

The place was Cracow’s basements of the Main Market.

The Market Undergrounds Route Exhibition – is one of the most interesting tourist routes in Poland. Not only because of the content, (as one might say – the load of the material history – uffff, how smart it sounded). It is exceptional also because of the concept and idea and realization of the exhibition. Of course one can blame the authors of the exhibition (it is not the Historical Museum of Cracow), that they overdid – as it is too loud there (I mean the reconstructed sounds of historical Cracow coming from speakers placed in different places of the exhibition), therefore the guide actually has to strain the voice a bit. But, nevertheless all  there deserves a high appreciation.

Who has not yet been in Cracow’s Market Square basement, can “taste” a bit of the climate in Gdansk Blue Lamb (department of the Gdansk Archaeological Museum) – unfortunately the Museum site is only in Polish :(.

However, in Cracow, the creators went further on – and instead of figures served to the visitors a good script with short cinematics. And there are absolutely fabulous “archaeological witnesses” (it is a bit of the original profile saved for further documentation of the site)! And the impressive preserved medieval paved roads with wooden curbs!

Unfortunately, as A.S. was ill, I traveled alone, and therefore I did not take my camera with me. I was afraid to take it – mindful of the risk of travelling alone in our so-called mass transportation. BTW – if the Polish Railway System ran with equal frequency as is checking tickets – it would almost be an idyll in the country …

Who’d want to know more about the Underground Tourist Route can visit this site

It was worth travelling by train 13 hours to the former Capital of Poland only to spend 6 hours underground and then to go on the return trip – for another 14 hours. Why longer and further??? Noone knows. One is obvious – 21st century in Poland definitely should be noted in history as a Regression – and unfortunately in every aspect…

But back to the topic – I got a book 🙂 – by  professor Michał Rożek “Guide to the monuments of Krakow”. With his personal inscription and an unforgettable conversation.

And even the weather made life worth living, making Cracow more than usually crowded (Gdansk should learn from Cracow HOW to make business on tourism!).

And then I had a delicious dinner at the Szara Restaurant – but the restaurant is a separate story itself…

Thus, the training was successful in every aspect …

And by the way – there is something about the ages of the presence of the Polish part of my family in Cracow. Whenever I put my foot in this city – I sink in and return to the roots. Even the gossip (probably unchanged for centuries) seems nice and hearty.

However the view of Ilawa through the train window on the way back and involuntary emotion – that’s returning to Prussia, made it clear to me that this is My Place on earth.

On the other hand, luckily I do not really fully belong to The One Place.

I have Places Dear to My Heart – genetically encoded – and no matter how close or far they are – whenever I visit them – I do it with joy. 🙂