Idaho Day Four: Idaho Falls To Salt Lake City, On The Road Again

 After experiencing the total solar eclipse on Monday , I slept well in my budget hotel in Idaho Falls, falling asleep thinking of plans to view the next total eclipse which will be closer to my home in Northeastern Pennsylvania in 2024. Econo lodge room Idaho Falls

I awoke early ,  packed, but before heading to Salt Lake City, I decided to drive to downtown Idaho Falls to take a closer look at the famous falls.Water tower near pond downtown Idaho Falls

I parked at the local library and walked to the river walk along the Snake River. waterfalls on Snake River Idaho Falls Idaho

The sun had not yet risen and it was chilly, in the low 50’s  considering it  was close to 90 degrees  the afternoon the day before. The falls were visible from the start of the river walk.LDS Mormon temple in distance along Snake River Idaho Falls

Even though it was early, around 7 a.m the river walk’s paths  were  busy with walkers, bikers and runners enjoying the beautiful view and unique grass sculptures. There were a number of hotels in the area and I hope to return to this city someday and stay at one of them, within sight and sound of the falls. grizzly bear shrub Idaho Falls Idaho

The sun rose as I was walking across the Snake river  from the LDS Mormon Temple.Sunrise LDS Mormon temple Idaho Falls

Again I wish I had more time to explore and enjoy the city but I had to move on, it was a 3 1/2 hour ride to Salt Lake City and I hoped to visit some sights along the way. So I returned to my hotel, checked out and was on the road again. Here is a link to some more photographs from my morning walk. Morning walk photographs.Snake River falls Idaho falls

I was soon heading south on Interstate 15 and found little traffic on the highway. I enjoyed the passing scenery, many buttes, hills and ridges of the high desert.View of high desert Idaho on Interstate 15

I wanted to get to Salt Lake City early so I would have time to explore the city but I soon made my first detour. I came upon the Shoshone Bannock Casino and saw a sign for a museum. I love museums and I am especially interested in all Native American history and culture. Fort Hall Casino Idaho

Unfortunately, Google maps misdirected me and I drove a few miles out of my way but enjoyed a nice conversation with a member of the local tribe and got to see some of the old building associated with the old fort that was located here. old house at Fort Hall Idaho

I eventually found the museum and spent about a half hour learning about these two Native American tribes and their peaceful co-existence and love of  the land they lived on. Native American couple on horse pack in traditional attire

And also about the sad history of how they were mistreated by the new “immigrants” and how many of the  treaties made with them were  broken.  And, as I have said so many times I wish I had more time to spend in this museum. Here is a link to some more photographs from my visit to the museum. Shoshone-Bannock Museum PhotographsShoshone Bannock tribes insignia

I was back on the highway and made good time until I got into Utah. Road construction slowed me down to almost a dead stop and it took me almost an hour to travel 15 miles. traffic on Interstate 15 Utah

But this is what travel is about, unexpected delays, sights and situations.  Once I was out of the construction I again made good time but was I late in arriving at my next planned stop, Antelope Island, in the Great Salt Lake. Antelope Island Utah welcome sign

I had wanted to visit this famous lake since I first saw a photograph of people floating in it’s salty waters in elementary school. I had come close twice before, once on a cross country trip I took after I graduated from law school. I tried to make it to California but I ran out of money in Jackson Hole Wyoming and had to head home. Salt flats near Great Salt lake utah

I also was planning to visit the lake on another trip across country, in 2011, but torrential rains caused me to change my plans. So I was very excited to finally see this beautiful lake surrounded by mountains . view of Great Salt lake

I would have loved to have had the time to take a swim in the lake , but, wanting to get to Salt lake City, I decided to visit the famous Garr Ranch and the bison that roam this section of the island. view of horses, clouds and mountains near Great Salt Lake

The scenery on the island was spectacular. I would love to return and hike some of the many trails that crisscross the island. Here is a link to some more photographs on Antelope Island. Antelope Island PhotographsBuffalo in grass on Antelope Island

I spent about an hour on the island when I realized my gas tank was almost empty. I mean empty.  There are no gas stations on the island.  I just made it to the first gas station after I left the island  before I ran out of gas . I was on the road , finding heavy traffic again, and watched some rain clouds move in from the south as I neared Salt Lake City. Here is a link to some more photographs from my drive to Salt Lake City.  Drive  from Idaho Falls photographs Highway near Salt lake City Utah

It was now late afternoon, later then I wanted to arrive, and I decided to first check into my hotel near the airport.  I was debating with myself whether I wanted to drive into the downtown traffic to do some sightseeing or just call it a day  since I had a very early flight the next morning. While checking in, the girl at the front desk informed me there was a train from the airport to the downtown. After getting settled in my room I drove to the airport, returned my car, and was soon on the green line train to downtown Salt lake City. inside train car on way to Salt Lake City from airport

It was now raining outside, as our train made the 15 minute ride to Temple Square, making about five stops along the way. View from train on way to downtown Salt Lake City

Fortunately, the rain had stopped as I departed the train and I soon found my way to the famous LDS Mormon Temple. Temple downtown Salt lake City

And the even more famous Tabernacle Building. Mormon Tabernacle building Salt Lake City

I have enjoyed so much wonderful music performed by the famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir and it was truly a joy to sit in this building. Organ and interior of Mormon Tabernacle Salt Lake City

I walked around the beautiful grounds of Temple Square and was impressed by the many beautiful displays of flowers which were planted everywhere. flowers on Temple Square Salt lake City

The grounds were crowded with visiting Mormons, tourists and even local folks, like this couple who found the lake and surrounding gardens as a good place for wedding photographs.Couple posing for wedding photographs Temple Square

It was getting late, and starting to rain again and I decided to eat in one of the few restaurants on the Temple Square grounds and was pleased to have chosen the Roof  Restaurant and it’s spectacular views of the Temple. 

And the food, served buffet style was very good too. I ate way too much, and I think I am still walking off the many delicious desserts I sampled. Here is a link to some more photographs from my dinner at the Roof Restaurant. Roof Restaurant photographs. desserts at Roof restaurant Salt lake city

After dinner, I made my way back to the train stop in a light rain, and after a short ride to the airport, I was picked up and returned to my hotel. I finished packing and was soon asleep since I had an early flight.

I was up early the next morning, at the airport and soon,  heading home. I  hope  to see, at least one more during ,my lifetime , one of the most amazing natural phenomena that occurs on our planet, a total eclipse of the sun. It is amazing. Here is a link to some more photographs from my brief visit to downtown Salt lake City.  Temple Square photographs.

“Life is not always perfect. Like a road, it has many bends, ups and down, but that’s its beauty.” 
― Amit Ray,

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Idaho: Day Two Rivers Of Water And Lava, Atomic Energy And More.

As I almost always do on my travels, I awoke early, before the sun, my first morning in Twin Falls, Idaho. Wanting to get on the road, I packed, had some coffee and  left my hotel to drive to Shoshone Falls Park to watch the sun rise.LDS Morman Temple Twin Falls Idaho

Twin Falls, located along Interstate 15,  was a typical interstate highway exit city.  Near the exit were hotels, gas stations, restaurants and a Walmart and other chain stores. And  like every town I visited in Utah and Idaho there was a LDS (Later Day Saints) Temple too. Close up of sun rise at Shoshone Falls

I drove the 8 miles to Shoshone Park and just caught the sun rising over the high desert of Idaho. 

I first visited a nice  local park, Dierkes Park, which had a man made lake used by the locals for swimming and fishing. There were already a few people trying to catch the many fish I heard jumping in the calm waters. The park also provided a view for a picnic or for a hiker like me.scenery of sage and brush in high desert near Shoshone Falls

I proceeded to the Shoshone Falls, also know as the Niagara Falls of the west, but was disappointed to find only one small waterfall along the massive drop off  of the Snake River.I t is summer, usually the dry season, and this year there was even less rainfall than usual.

I walked along the park for about an hour enjoying the many informative exhibits  describing the geology, history of the area and the Native Americans who first lived here.  Here is a link to some of these exhibits  and other photographs I took on my morning hike. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/idaho-solar-eclipse-2017/nggallery/idaho-solar-eclipse-20017/Idaho-Day-Two-Shoshone-Falls-Morning-hike-August-20-2017Snake River at Shoshone Falls

After a quick breakfast at the hotel, I was soon heading north on Route 93 and was very surprised to find that there was little traffic on the highway. I enjoyed the scenic 2 1/2 hour ride to the Craters of the Moon National Park. Route 93 highway near Twin Falls Idaho

In addition to some beautiful scenery I also saw a few critters along the way,Mountains and grassland scenery Idaho

a number of horses on the many ranches I drove past, Horses on ranch Idaho

ducks on some of the ponds along the highway, ducks on pond Idaho

and these interesting critters enjoying the Idaho high desert sunshine. Here is a link to some more photographs from my drive to Craters of the Moon National Park. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/idaho-solar-eclipse-2017/nggallery/idaho-solar-eclipse-20017/Idaho-Day-Two-Drive-to-Crater-of-Moons-National-Park-August-20-2017-alpaca along highway Idaho

As I approached the Craters of the Moon National Park traffic did increase and the parking lots were filled with automobiles, recreational vehicles and tourists buses. 

I did not have a lot of time but I decided to do the loop drive and got out a few times to explore the ancient lava flows and other geologic formations. lava cones Craters of Moon National park

I hiked one of the trails and again learned so much about this unique and beautiful area of our Nation.

lava rock formations Crater of moon National Park I wish I had a lot more time to explore this other worldly park but I had to move on. Here is a link to some more photographs from my brief visit to the park . http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/idaho-solar-eclipse-2017/nggallery/idaho-sol20-2017ar-eclipse-20017/Idaho-Day-Two-Craters-of-The-Moon-National-Park-August-scenery Craters of Moon

I now had about a half hour drive to my next stop, the first city in the world to be powered by atomic energy, Arco Idaho. 

I had planned to spend some time in this town but I was running late and so just had to take a few photographs and move on. landscape scenery Arco Idaho

I drove on to find another stop I planned on my route to Idaho Falls, Atomic City. This area  of the Idaho high desert was home to the first atomic energy research facilities in the United States. nuclear reactor information roadside sign

There were dozens of nuclear plants here in the 1950’s and a number of nuclear disasters, including a nuclear melt down that resulted in a number of deaths . Atomic City was once a booming town  due to these facilities but was largely abandoned after the meltdown. abandoned gas station Atomic City

The highway was re-routed and I had to drive 8 miles on an unpaved gravel road to reach the almost deserted town. gravel road Atomic City Idaho

I arrived in the town and did see a few of the 25 residents still living there , two men sitting next to the drag racing track and a family in one of the old homes that remain. old car Atomic City Idaho

I took a ride through the deold gas station Atomic City Idaho serted streets wondering about the people who lived and worked here when it was a boom town in the 1950’s.

This old bar must have many tales to tell.  old bar sign Atomic City Idaho

Again I wish I had more time to roam the streets of this near ghost town but I wanted to get into Idaho Falls before I did encounter any of the predicated traffic. Here is a link to some more photographs from my briefs visits to Arco and Atomic City. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/idaho-solar-eclipse-2017/nggallery/idaho-solar-eclipse-20017/Idaho-Day-Two-Atomic-City-and-Arco-August-20-2017fire engine Atomic city Idaho

I drove back over the gravel road, which further delayed me, and I got back on the major highway for the last leg of my journey to Idaho Falls. I was fortunate that traffic was still light and I found myself at my hotel for the next two days, the Econo Lodge, at around 3 p.m. 

After checking in, unpacking and taking a short rest I decided to walk to downtown Idaho Falls. It was late afternoon but the sun was still hot during the 1 1/2 mile walk to downtown and the Snake River walk. 

The walk to the river was through a commercial district but once I made it downtown I cam upon the very scenic Snake River and the park that is located on both sides of the river.

I rested a while under the shade of the many trees in the park and enjoyed watching the many people taking advantage of a sunny Sunday afternoon in the park. I was tired but wanted to see the famous Idaho Falls LDS Mormon temple, so I walked the few blocks from the park to the temple. 

You are not allowed to enter a temple but I did enter the visitor center and learned a little more about this religion. The staff was very friendly and happy to answer the questions of the many tourists who were visiting Idaho Falls for the total eclipse. Statue of Jesus in Mormon temple visitor center

It was still hot and late afternoon so I decided to walk back to my hotel, where after a shower I had a delicious meal at D’railed a very fine restaurant in an old building along the railroad tracks near my hotel. D'railed restaurant building

After diner I was back at my hotel uploading and editing photographs and soon asleep, excited to see the total solar eclipse the next morning Here is a link to some more photographs from my afternoon walk. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/idaho-solar-eclipse-2017/nggallery/idaho-solar-eclipse-20017/Idaho-Day-Two-Idaho-Falls-Afternoon-walk-August-20-2017interior of D'railed restaurant Idaho Falls

 

Of  all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.” – John Muir

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Total Eclipse Of The Sun: The Journey Begins. Utah And Idaho Are Beautiful States.

As a child, my first interest in the sky and stars was when my dad took me outside on a cool, clear July night and showed me the Milky Way. I fell in love with the stars and spent many clear nights observing the stars, moon and planets. . So when I heard there would be a total eclipse of our star, I knew I had to see it. So I mad plans to head to Idaho to make sure. Idaho has some of the least cloudy skies in the country. I began my trip early Saturday morning from the Wilkes-Barre Scranton airport. airplane at airport

It was a nice flight, with a short layover in Detroit and I spent it like I always do, watching thee changing landscape pass beneath me and thinking about the folks who live there and how they live their lives. This trip was a bit more comfortable since the seat next to me was empty. Why couldn’t that happen on my trip to Australia.  Here is a link to some photographs I took from the plane. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/idaho-solar-eclipse-2017/nggallery/idaho-solar-eclipse-20017/Idaho-Day-One-Airplane-photos-August-19-2017-landscape from airplane

I landed in Salt Lake City around 10:00 am and I was soon in my rental SUV, a Highlander, heading north on the scenic highways of Utah. The traffic was very heavy until I reached Ogden. highway in Utah

I was hungry and stopped in the tiny town of Tremonton where is was surprised to see the large corn fields growing in the dry hot climate. The temperatures were near 90 and the grass along the interstate highway was parched.cornfields and mountains in Utah

I found a tiny restaurant, J. C.’s Country  Diner where I stopped  to have a very hearty and delicious breakfast and enjoyed some wonderful conversation with my waitress , some local folks and the owner.  My waitress convinced me to try the local corn and I did. It was awesome. small diner in Utah

I continued my journey, with surprisingly, light traffic through the mostly desolate countryside. I heard reports of traffic jams in Oregon but none so far on my journey. desolated building in Utah

I entered Idaho and continued through the “high desert” country wishing I had more time to explore but I had over three hours of driving to get to Twin Falls and I had a few stops planned on the way. highway sign  into Idaho

The first was in the small town of Hazelton Idaho. I first became aware of this town in elementary school when looking up my home town of Hazleton in an atlas.sign about Hazelton Idaho

I always wanted to visit and today I did stopping for some  fuel, coffee for me and gas for the car. buildings in Hazelton Idaho

I took a quick walk through the quiet town wondering if any of the folks ever thought about the other Hazleton. Some cool old buildings and this old truck  along the streets of this small town.old white truck Hazelton Idaho

I now drove through areas cultivated by irrigation from the Snake River and saw crops of corn, soy beans and I am not sure what this is, I think Swiss chard. crops being irrigated in Idaho

And of course potatoes. potato crops in Idaho

And there were some other interesting sights. Seeing this tin man reminded me I was not in Pennsylvania anymore .tin man sculpture Idaho

I drove to the tiny town of hunt to visit the location of a darker part of our Country’s history, the Minidoka Japanese Internment Camp. Internment building Minidako camp Idaho

As I walked past the guard tower I couldn’t help be reminded of my recent visit to Auschwitz and the horrors that occurred there. Fortunately our Nation is a Nation of laws and even though is was wrong to round up these United States citizens, they were not mistreated, and  our Government did try and provide them, pretty much everything  but what is most important, their freedom.  It was still far too high a price for these Americans to pay. guard tower Minidako Idaho

I will try and do another blog post on my visit here but two things occurred on my walk I would like to mention, first, I saw a hawk in the sky, and too a few photos. I checked the photos and discovered I had my close up setting on the camera. Disappointed I looked up and saw a sky filled with the majestic birds. A birder Facebook friend identified them as Swainson Hawks. hawk in flight

I was amazed at watching these birds soar through the sky, and as I walked along the replicate barbed wire fence I thought of the imprisoned Japanese Americans and somehow felt this was some of the departed saying they are now free. barbed wire fence

Then as I walked along the fence I noticed a dragonfly. It hovered around me and then alight on the barbed wire. Again an interesting sign, I will say more in my post on my visit but for now here is a link to some photographs I took on my walk. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/idaho-solar-eclipse-2017/nggallery/idaho-solar-eclipse-20017/Idaho-Day-One-Minidoka-August-19-2017dragonfly on barbed wire

I left the camp and it was not later than I planned almost 4:00 pm. I did not arrive at my hotel, a Quinta Lodge in Twin Falls until almost 5:00 pm and found my room was still not ready. I decided to talk a quick walk to the Snake River Canyon rim and was treated to a spectacular view of the river. Here is a link to some more photographs from my drive to Twin Falls. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/idaho-solar-eclipse-2017/nggallery/idaho-solar-eclipse-20017/Idaho-Day-One-Travel-to-twin-Falls-August-19-2017-Snake River Idaho

I  hadn’t known a lot about this area and soon learned much of the history at the visitor center. Bridge over Snake River

I was tired and hungry and finally checked into my room after 6:00. After unpacking, recharging my electronics and taking a quick hot shower, I drove over to a nice restaurant Elevation 486.Snake river idaho

Unfortunately, the restaurant was crowed and I couldn’t get a seat with a view but I still had a nice meal and then wandered along the canyon rim for a while before I drove back to my hotel.  I think I was sleeping in ten minutes. It was a long day but it was sure great to be back on the road. Glad you were able to come along. Here is a link to some more photographs taken after diner at the canyon rim. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/idaho-solar-eclipse-2017/nggallery/idaho-solar-eclipse-20017/Idaho-Day-One-evening-at-Snake-River-rim-August-19-2017Snake river

 

Adventure is worthwhile.”- Aristotle

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Poland Day Fifteen A Train Ride To Gdansk And Poland’s Baltic Coast.

It was another early start on Saturday morning.  No time for breakfast. We met our young guides Kasha and Karol  in the lobby of our hotel around 6:00 am We  then proceeded to the nearby  train station. Our train left Warsaw at 6:15 am. 

It was a three hour ride to the city but the train was modern and comfortable and I enjoyed watching the passing scenery under the April sunshine. .  Our train crossed over the bridge I walked to on my first morning in Warsaw and we were soon outside the city limits. 

The train traveled through mainly rural areas, farms,

and woodlands, occasionally passing a small town or industrial area. 

It was a pleasant ride and the countryside again reminded me of my home in Northeastern Pennsylvania. We began to pass larger  towns and commercial areas  and  I knew we were near Gdansk when we passed the magnificent Malbork castle, home of the famous Teutonic Knights. We wanted to stop here  but there was no time on our schedule this visit. Hopefully I will get back to visit it since it is one of the largest  castles in Europe. 

We arrived at the grand old train station in Gdansk under sunny skies but still cool temperatures. Here is a link to some more photographs taken from the train on the ride to Gdansk . http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Poland-Day-Fifteen-Gdansk-train-ride-April-22-2017- 

We set out on our walking tour of this 1000 year old city, once a member of the Hanseatic league and one of the richest cities in Europe. 

Unfortunately, like so many cities in Poland there was much destruction during the war but much of the city has been rebuilt. 

We walked the busy streets of the city and entered the old town through the Highland Gate that was built in  the 16th century. The gate is the beginning of the Royal  Way that takes one through the medieval city and ends at the Green Gate. Here is a link to some more photographs from our walk to the Highland Gate. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Poland-Day-Fifteen-Gdansk-Walk-to-city-gate-April-22-2017 

Once inside the gate,  you immediately were transported back in time and felt like you were walking in the city of the Middle Ages. 

The narrow streets were filled with many statutes and artifacts that were salvaged from the ruins of the destruction left by World War II. 

And there was  the splendor of the reconstructed Gold Gate that was the entrance to the main Avenue of the city,  Ulica Dluga. 

We leisurely strolled the old street taking in the many wonderful sights including the small shops along the way. 

It was now late morning and we decided to have breakfast.  We  found a charming little place,  the Cafe Bar Mon Balzac  where we enjoyed a wonderful breakfast. 

After breakfast we walked over to the impressive Church of St. Mary. This massive church is the largest medieval brick church in Europe. 

It’s construction was began in 1343 and took over 150 years to complete. 

We first made the long, and exhausting climb  up the 410 steps to  the tower,

and we were rewarded with spectacular views of the city below and the surrounding towns and Baltic Sea to the north. 

To the west were the shipyards which Lech Walesa and the solidarity movement made famous. We enjoyed the magnificent views in the strong northerly wind and then made the long climb down the 410 steps to continue our visit to the church. Here is a link to some  photographs  from the church and tower. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Poland-Day-Fifteen-Gdansk-St.-Mary’s-Church-part-two-April-22-2017-

The church was filled with may splendid paintings and artifacts which adorned the many altars. 

I enjoyed the medieval astronomical clock, it reminding me of the one I  visited in the cathedral in Lund, Sweden. Here are some more photographs of our visit to St. Mary’s church. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Poland-Day-Fifteen-Gdansk-St.-Mary’s-Church-

After leaving the church we continued our walk through the old town and past the town hall and the famous Fountain  of Neptune. 

We soon came to the Green Gate, which ended the Royal Route. We walked through the gate and onto the old streets and rive walk along the Motlawa River. Here is a link to some more photographs of our walk through old town Gdansk. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Poland-Day-Fifteen-Gdansk-old-town-April-22-2017-

 

Passing through the gate was like walking into another world. We gazed up the blue waters of the Motlawa River canal and the ships, buildings and Ferris wheel, which seems to be present in all river and port cities around the world these days. 

The large ships in the canal attest to Gdansk’s importance as a port and trading center, and to which it’s wealth over the centuries could be attributed. 

We walked along the river walk taking in the beautiful scenery and watching this crew team practice on the calm waters of the river. 

We also had time to visit one of the many amber shops in the city. Amber, fossilized tree resin is another source of the wealth of Poland’s Baltic coast over the centuries. My sister and niece enjoyed the many items for sale and even I, not  being  a big shopper, purchased a small insect encased in amber millions of years ago. 

We walked along the river and the many shops but had to leave this wonderful place and exited  the river walk area of the city through one of the many ancient  gates. 

We walked the  streets of the city, passing  quaint, well maintained housed, many adorned with symbols of their proximity to the sea. 

As we made our way back to the train station we passed a number of squares churches and monuments depicting the long history of the city. 

And like all cities there  were all kind of products for sale. I just photograph, I don’t judge. 

We passed another nice park before finally arriving at the train station, where we were going to take a train to another part of Poland I have not yet explored, the sea coast! Here is a link to some more photographs from our visit to the river. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Poland-Day-Fifteen-Gdansk-Motlawa-River-walk-April-22-2017

“You have sea, you have boat, you have oars, and then why on earth you are rotting in the port?” 

Mehmet Murat ildan

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Poland Day Fourteen. Our Walk Through Warsaw Continues.

After leaving St Ann’s church we continued  our tour  of Warsaw, now walking along the Royal Route and the many beautiful buildings, churches and monuments that are found there. 

We walked past this impressive statute of Adam Mickiewicz, a famous Polish poet, 

There were many statues along the streets which were crowded with tourists taking in the sights and local residents walking on to the many restaurants and shops in the Old and new Town just visited. 

We passed the  residence of the Polish President, 

and made our way to Pilsudski Square where many historic events have taken place over the centuries and where Pope John Paul II held a mass on his first visit to his native Poland after  becoming Pope. 

Near the square was  the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, guarded by two young soldiers. 

We next made a short visit to the beautiful grounds of the University of Warsaw, and some of it’s buildings.   Here is a link to some more photographs from our walk along the Royal Route. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Poland-Day-Fourteen-Warsaw-Royal-Route-walk-April-2017

Before leaving this area we visited the church of the Holy Cross. 

The Church is resting place of Frederic  Chopin’s heart.  It was removed from his body, which was buried in Paris, by his sister who brought it back to Poland. 

We spent some time here admiring the beautiful altars and relics. Here is a link to some more photographs from our visit to this famous church. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Poland-Day-Fourteen-Warsaw-Church-of-the-Holy-Cross-April-21-2017-

We had one more stop in this section of Warsaw, one of particular interest to my niece Kelly, the Frederic Chopin Museum. 

Kelly is a very accomplished pianist and she often played Chopin for my dad, her grandfather. He was so proud of this Polish composer. And even more so of his granddaughter Kelly when she played his compositions. 

We spent about an hour in the Museum learning much about the life of this talented man. Here is a link to some more photographs from our visit to the Museum. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Poland-Day-Fourteen-Warsaw-Chopin-Museum-April-21-2017

It was now getting late in the afternoon, but we had one more place to visit, And we arrived there after a short bus ride,  the beautiful buildings and gardens of Lazienki park.

The weather turned cooler when we arrived and the skies threatened rain so hurried through the tree lined paths of the park, quickly viewing the many statutes and monuments, such as this one of Chopin. He is very popular throughout Poland. 

We walked past the many stately buildings in the park, 

and encountered some local residents along the way such as the many peacocks that live here, 

and  a few of these beautiful ducks. 

We made our way to the Palace on the Water and the famous baths the park is named after.  Here is a link to some more photographs from our walk in the park. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Poland-Day-Fourteen-Warsaw-Lazienki-park-April-21-2017

It was now  late in the afternoon and starting to rain so we had to end are daylong tour of Warsaw. We took a cab back to the Old Town section of the city where we enjoyed a great dinner. I started with a  very flavorful sorrel soup, 

and local trout for my main course. 

It was already dark when we finished our meal and arrived back at our hotel. It was an exhausting but exciting day, having learned so much about the history, people and culture of Poland. I was soon asleep, since we had a 6:15 train to catch to Gdansk the next morning. 

 

 

 

“Put all your soul into it, play the way you feel!”
Frederic Chopin

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Poland Day Fourteen: A Walk through The Heart Of The City, The New And Old Town Warsaw

After breakfast at my hotel in Warsaw we met our tour guides for the next three days. A young Polish couple, Karol and his girlfriend Kasha. They are relatives of my niece Cassidy’s best friend and they offered to show us some of Warsaw and northern Poland. After our introductions, we began our tour of the city at the nearby  metro station and shopping center.Bus ride and New town walk -7

The shopping center or Złote Tarasy (Golden Terraces) is housed in an award winning modern building and, it and the nearby  buildings attest to the modernization of the city taking place. Bus ride and New town walk -2

After a brief tour of the area, we soon boarded a bus and headed to the New Town section of the city. The name is misleading in that  the New Town dates to the 15th century. Bus ride and New town walk -8

Our bus left us off near the Monument to the 1944  Warsaw Uprising. We would learn so much more about this heroic effort to rid the city of the Nazi invaders, the betrayal by the Russians, and the destructive retaliation of the Germans, later in our stay in Warsaw. Bus ride and New town walk -14

We walked the busy streets and made our way to our first visit to one of Warsaw’s  many historic churches, St. Jacek or St Hyacinth. St Hyacinth Church -1

The original church was constructed during the early 17th century but, as we learned, like so many other churches and historical buildings, it was destroyed by the Germans in World War II. Like many churches and buildings, it was rebuilt and now houses some of the relics, paintings and treasures that were salvaged from the ruins. Here is a link to some more photographs from our visit to this church. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Poland-Day-Fourteen-Warsaw-St-Hyacinth-Church-April-21-2017-

We walked the streets of the “New Town” visiting an old square and these odd looking bear statutes. Bus ride and New town walk -30

We continued our exploration of the square and then made our way to the banks of the Vistula River. Bus ride and New town walk -32Bus ride and New town walk -46

It was a cool April day but I imagined how nice the parks along the river would be on a sunny and warm Spring or Summer day. And  I thought how many people enjoyed these days over the centuries. Here is a link to some more photographs of our walk through the New Town. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Poland-Day-Fourteen-Warsaw-Bus-ride-and-walking-tour-New-Town-April-21-2017-

Our guides next took us into the Old City, separated from the Old City by the Barbican or city wall. There is little remaining form the original destroyed during the war. The wall was rebuilt from bricks from buildings destroyed in the war. Old Town -7

We walked past the colorful homes situated on the streets leading to the Old Town and stopped to enjoy the view.Old Town -3

We made our way to the Old Town Square, surrounded by houses and building reconstructed after the war. It, like the square in Krakow, and most old town squares in Europe,  was a center of activity for both residents of the city and tourists. Old Town -19

As in all cities there  are many restaurants and  gifts shops lining the streets of the square. Old Town -32

In the middle of the square is a statute of the mermaid of Warsaw. This statute replaced the original one that fell into disrepair. There is a legend that local fisherman rescued her from a merchant who captured her in the Vistula river and she now protects the city in gratitude  to the fishermen. Old Town -16

As we   continued through the narrow streets of the Old Town I enjoyed taking tin the many site and watching the interaction  of the local residents and tourists. Old Town -29

We next walked past the impressive Royal Castle, again a reconstruction of the original,  that was completely destroyed during the war. We didn’t have time to visit the castle, but I hope to return. Old Town -42

It was now lunch time and we had walked all morning so we stopped and had a nice lunch at one of our guides favorite restaurants. Old Town -49

After lunch we visited another church. St Ann’s. across from the Royal Castle. St Ann's Church -14

First we went up the observation deck in the bell tower to get  a nice view of the Old Town and the rest of Warsaw. St Ann's Church -6

We  then visited the interior of the  church and the many beautiful altars, artifacts, paintings and relics. Here is a link to some more photographs of  the church and the view from the bell tower. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Warsaw-St-Ann’s-church-St Ann's Church -33

After our visit to St Ann’s we continued our marathon walking tour  along the Royal Route. Here is a link to some more photographs from our walk in Old Town Warsaw.  http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Poland-Day-Fourteen-Warsaw-Old-Town-walk-April-21-2017Old Town -48

 

“Cultivation, old civilization, beauty, history! Surprising turnings of streets, shapes of venerable cottages, lovely aged eaves, unexpected and gossamer turrets, steeples, the gloss, the antiquity! Gardens. Whoever speaks of Paris has never seen Warsaw. […] Whoever yearns for an aristocratic sensibility, let him switch on the great light of Warsaw.” ― Cynthia Ozick

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Poland Day Thirteen: Krakow To Warsaw: Snow, Castles, Czestochowa And A Change Of Plans

The horrors of Auschwitz were still troubling my mind when I awoke on another cold and rainy morning in Krakow. Fortunately, we had another busy day ahead of us, and I knew the best thing to honor the victims was to live and enjoy life, but always remembering  the events that lead up to this holocaust. We must never forget. Auschwitz exhibits -46

So, after another   delicious breakfast  at our hotel,  my sister, my niece and I met our guide for the day , Maciek, a intelligent young man with a vast knowledge of Polish history.  We soon  were off to Warsaw, with a stop at  Czestochowa. We learned so much more about the city of Krakow as we drove it’s busy rush hours  streets. Poland Day Thirteen KraKow to Czestochowa -1

 As we left the city limits of Krakow and entered the countryside the clouds began to clear and we saw blue skies, and snow! Lot’s of snow.  We were told this is a very unusual occurrence for this part of Poland in late April. Poland Day Thirteen KraKow to Czestochowa -8

The snow made for a scenic ride through the rural Polish countryside, and again this part of Poland reminded me of the hills of my home in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Poland Day Thirteen KraKow to Czestochowa -43

However everything was not the same as we came upon these unique rock formations in one of the many local and national parks in the area. Poland Day Thirteen KraKow to Czestochowa -16

Our guide told about the history and culture of the area as we visited a number of the many 14th century castles, some in ruins, Poland Day Thirteen KraKow to Czestochowa -38

and others well maintained that are know at the “trail of the Eagle’s Nest”. These castles were built atop rock ledges along the border of Bohemia in the 1300’s. Poland Day Thirteen KraKow to Czestochowa -18

We stopped at a few of them, and drove by others as we made  our way to Czestochowa.  Poland Day Thirteen KraKow to Czestochowa part two -19

I enjoyed the ride through the rural back roads, passing parks, farmland and the occasional small town. Here is a link to some more photographs from our ride through the Polish countryside. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Poland-Day-Thirteen-Krakow-to-Czestochowa-April-20-2017-Poland Day Thirteen KraKow to Czestochowa -36

The unusual heavy snowfall was quite deep in some area drifting onto the road and giving us an idea  of what the Polish landscape would look like in the winter. Poland Day Thirteen KraKow to Czestochowa part two -13

We passed a few more castles as we made our way through the back roads of the countryside to Czestochowa.  Soon we were on the outskirts of the city and in sight of the steeples of Jasna Gora. .  Here is a link to some more photographs from our scenic ride to Czestochowa. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Poland-Day-Thirteen-Krakow-To-Czestochowa-part-two-April-20-2017-Poland Day Thirteen KraKow to Czestochowa part two -6

We parked at the monastery and I again entered the famous gates that withstood the Swedish assault attributed to the protection of the “Black Madonna”. Poland Day Thirteen Czestochowa -2

Our guide Maciek arranged a very esteemed tour guide for our visit to the monastery. The very affable Father Simon. Poland Day Thirteen Czestochowa -27

This lovable old monk, a Pauline priest, gave us a wonderful and emotional tour of the famous monastery, it’s museums, and most importantly the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestowchowa.Poland Day Thirteen Czestochowa -4

We first stopped at the museum where we saw the various robes that adorned the famous painting of the Black Madonna over the centuries.  Poland Day Thirteen Czestochowa -7

There were many important historical treasures here, too many to mention, including this cross made from the steel from the World trade center.Poland Day Thirteen Czestochowa -9

I had already visited this Shrine which played such an emotional role in my father’s life. He was dedicated to Her and told me that none of his children would be here since She saved his life during his service in World war II. More of my first visit a week earlier can be seen in my earlier blog post. Poland Day Thirteen Czestochowa -19

This time, however, Father Simon, during a mass, took us up to the painting and allowed us to photograph the sacred image up close. It was the first visit for my sister Linda and niece Kelly and they, like me, had a very emotional experience as they knelt in the presence of the icon so loved by my their father and grandfather. Afterward my sister and I agreed, Father Simon was sent to us by dad. Poland Day Thirteen Czestochowa -17

We next proceeded  to the The Cathedral Basilica of the Holy Family, the beautiful church where I attended mass on Easter morning. Poland Day Thirteen Czestochowa -38

Father Simon explained so much history, about Poland, the Shrine and the monastery,  with many colorful stories, in such a short time. Poland Day Thirteen Czestochowa -22

We next visited the Treasury of the Blessed Virgin Mary   where we saw so many wonderful votive offerings  donated to the monastery over the centuries. Poland Day Thirteen Czestochowa -43

Father Simon, who spent many years in the United States, including a few years at a parish in Shenandoah,  not far from my home in Northeastern Pennsylvania, gave us many insights of his travels and world view. He had to rush off for another tour but we thoroughly enjoyed our time with this delightful old monk. Here is a link to some more photographs from our visit to the monastery. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Poland-Day-Thirteen-Czestochowa-April-20-2017-Poland Day Thirteen Czestochowa -33

After ending our tour and leaving the monastery, we had originally planned to spend the rest of day in the town  Czestochowa and then board a train to Krakow at 6:30 p.m. However,  because of the cold weather, we inquired of our guided if he could drive us to  Warsaw.  He placed a call to the tour agency to see if he could drive the approximately 140 mile trip while we had lunch at U Braci  a nearby pizza place. Poland Day Thirteen Czestochowa -42

We were happy to learn that Maciek would be able to drive us to Warsaw and we were soon on the major highway to Poland’s capitol city. The highway was much like our interstate highways here in the United States. Poland Day Thirteen Czestochowa to Warsaw -15

We chatted about Polish history and culture as well as world affairs and life in general, as we drove through the Polish countryside.Poland Day Thirteen Czestochowa to Warsaw -16

The country landscapes changed to a more suburban one as we neared Warsaw.Poland Day Thirteen Czestochowa to Warsaw -13

We passed many of the same sights we would see in the suburbs of any large United States city. Poland Day Thirteen Czestochowa to Warsaw -12

We saw the skyline of downtown Warsaw and it wasn’t long until we were at our hotel, the Warsaw Hilton. We said farewell to our great guide and we were soon checked in our rooms. Here is a link to some more photographs from our drive to Warsaw. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Poland-Day-Thirteen-Czestochowa-to-Krakow-April-20-2017-Poland Day Thirteen Czestochowa to Warsaw -18

It was late in the afternoon, but we wanted to have a look around so we were soon walking the busy streets of Warsaw. Poland Day Thirteen Warsaw evening -8

The area around the hotel was just like any large city, with crowds of people walking the streets congested with automobiles, buses and taxis. Poland Day Thirteen Warsaw evening -7

Dominating the skyline near the hotel was the “Russian wedding cake” also know as the Palace of Culture and Science. We would learn much more about this gift from Russia and constructed in the 1950’s. Poland Day Thirteen Warsaw evening -1

it was late and we were hungry so we found a local restaurant and had a nice dinner of, of course, mushroom soup, andrailroad hike -1

pierogi. Both were very good. railroad hike -2

We made our way back to the hotel and i was soon asleep after another long day in Poland. I was looking forward to  the morning and some more exploration of Poland’s capitol. Here is a link to some more photographs from our evening walk. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Poland-Day-Thirteen-Warsaw-evening-walk-April-29-2017-Poland Day Thirteen Warsaw evening -18

 

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Saint Augustine

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Poland Day Eleven: Krakow. Chopin And Pierogi, Some Relaxation After A Long And Reflective Day

It was late  afternoon when we returned to out hotel after our long walking tour of Krakow and  emotional visit to the Schindler Factory museum. The rain and cold weather had taken a toll on us and we were tired but we had little time to rest. We had early dinner reservations  at the famous Wierzynek  restaurant  located near the Main Square.Poland Day Eleven Krakow Wierzynek -2

This was not only going to be a meal but a history lesson as well. The restaurant hosted the wedding feast of King Casmir the Great’s granddaughter in 1364. Yes, 1364. That was a long time ago. Poland Day Eleven Krakow Wierzynek -4

As I  entered the restaurant I was immediately impressed by the lavish furnishings.Poland Day Eleven Krakow Wierzynek -1

The list of guests includes many kings, heads of state and famous folks throughout the centuries, including all of these famous folks. Krakow -1

Just kidding, I am sure Cleopatra did not eat here, but this famous painting is a modern version of this older painting in one of the many dinning rooms. The founder of this marvelous place was the same person who funded the restoration of St Mary’s church in the 14th century, as I  mentioned in an earlier blog post.Poland Day Eleven Krakow Wierzynek -8

Our meal was delicious. Of course, we sampled the pierogi, and I had the fish soup and halibut both of  which  were prepared to perfection. Poland Day Eleven Krakow Wierzynek -16

We could not stay long and enjoy the ambiance of the restaurant since we had reservation for a Chopin Concert that started at 7 p.m. a few block away at the Chopin Gallery on Sławkowska Street. Here is a link to some more photographs taken at the restaurant. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Poland-Day-Eleven-Krakow-Wierzynek-Restaurant-April-18-2017-Poland Day Eleven Krakow Wierzynek -5

We quickly walked through the evening crowds of people in the Main Square and made our way to Slawkowska and the old building, once the home of the Royal huntsman, that housed the Chopin Gallery. Chopin -1

We arrived just in time to enjoy a glass of wine before  the young talented  woman, Anna Boczar  began her performance. She has won numerous international piano competitions.   She performed a number of Chopins’s works for our small audience . Chopin -2

I enjoy listening to classical music but have to admit I am by no means knowledgeable about this type of music. I enjoyed the performance as best I could but my niece Kelly, also a classical pianist, appreciated it far more than I could. Chopin -6

It was a pleasant hour where listening to the soothing music of the piano let my mind reflect on my wonderful trip to Poland and also the horrors we learned at the Schindler factory earlier in the day. Here is a link to some more photos from the Chopin Gallery concert. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Poland-Day-Eleven-Krakow-Chopin-Concert-April-18-2017-Chopin -3

We left the performance and began our walk back to our hotel through the now much quieter streets of old town Krakow. Poland Day Eleven Krakow Chopin Concert and walk home -21

It was not my first time walking beneath the towers of St. Mary’s at night but it still  was  an awe inspiring sight.Poland Day Eleven Krakow Chopin Concert and walk home -7

I was surprised, and pleased to find that the Church of St. Wojceich  open. Built in the 11th century it is one of the oldest churches in Poland and we got to have a look at it’s ancient interior.Poland Day Eleven Krakow Chopin Concert and walk home -10

 We then made our way through the cobblestone streets of Krakow. Poland Day Eleven Krakow Chopin Concert and walk home -23

We soon were near  the towers of Wawel Castle and back to our hotel. It was a long day and I soon fell into a sound sleep while   reflecting on the many things I  experienced on another wonderful day in Poland.  Here is a link to some more photographs from our walk back to the hotel. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Poland-day-Eleven-Krakow-evening-walk-April-18-2017-

“Bach is an astronomer, discovering the most marvellous stars. Beethoven challenges the universe. I only try to express the soul and the heart of man.”
Frédéric Chopin

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Poland Day Ten: Back To Exploring Krakow, And It’s Churches, History And Food

It was a 10 minute taxi ride  from the train station to  the beautiful  Sheraton Hotel in Krakow, which is  located near Wawel Castle just outside of old town. I arrived  around one p.m.  After checking in the hotel and settling in my room I  immediately sent my cloths for some much needed   laundering. Krakow-1

 I looked out my window at the scenic Vistula River and noticed the sun had broke through the clouds. I decided to take a walk and join the many residents of Krakow, who were on holiday, and walk along the river in the April sunshine. Poland Day Ten Krakow Vistula River -5

A lot of folks and families were feeding the swans and ducks living on the river. It was a pleasant afternoon for a walk. Here are some more photographs from my short stroll along the Vistula.http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Poland-Day-Ten-Krakow-Vistula-River-hike.- Poland Day Ten Krakow Vistula River -3

I received a message from my sister and niece and learned they would be arriving around 3 p.m. so I decided to again walk the ancient streets of old town Krakow for a couple of hours. Poland Day Ten Krakow afternoon walk churches -2

I walked past the impressive walls of Wawel Castle and crossed the planty into the now familiar streets of the old time and it’s many old buildings. Poland Day Ten Krakow afternoon walk churches -5

I walked to  the “Royal Route” taken by coronation processions, parades and other important state celebrations since the middle ages. It  followed historic Grodzka Street which I soon entered and I again came to the impressive  churches of St. Andrew’sPoland Day Ten Krakow St. Andrew's -17

and St Peter’s And Paul’s.Poland Day Ten Krakow St. Peter's and Paul's -32

This time I found St Andrew’s to be open  and entered this church that dates back to the 11th century. Poland Day Ten Krakow St. Andrew's -3

The old stones walls sheltered families from sure death during a Mongol attack in 1241 when  churches served a dual purpose as a house of worship and a fortress. Poland Day Ten Krakow St. Francis -3

A nun allowed me to enter the altar and take photographs of the many icons, relics and holy images that have adorned the walls of this church for  centuries. . Here is a link to some more photographs of the  St. Andrew’s Church. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Krakow-churches-St-Andrew-Poland Day Ten Krakow St. Andrew's -12

I left the peace and quiet of this church and walked a few yards to  it’s neighbor, the splendid church built in the Baroque style, Saints Peter and Paul. St Peter's and Pauls's Church Krakow -1

I entered this majestic church,  the construction of which began in the 16th century, and again was awed by it’s beauty. St Peter's and Pauls's Church Krakow -18

I  visited it’s many side chapels and again the numerous religious icons, paintings and sculptures.  Here is a link to some more photos of this splendid church  and it’s interior. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Saints-Peter-and-Paul-Krakow-St Peter's and Pauls's Church Krakow -20

I continued my walk on  busy Grodska street and joined the many tourists, residents and others enjoying the  April sunshine.Poland Day Ten Krakow afternoon walk churches -9

I made my way to another church, the impressive Church of Saint Francis. Again I left the bright April sunshine and entered the dim light of this beautiful church. It’s construction was started in the 13th century although there were many alterations over the years. Poland Day Ten Krakow St. Francis -22

The altar was both impressive and beautiful. Poland Day Ten Krakow St. Francis -4

And there were many side chapels, again adorned with many precious and beautiful religious sculptures, paintings, and icons. I could spend hours in the old churches exploring and just taking in their beauty.  Here is a link to some more photographs of St Francis church. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Poland-day-Ten-Krakow-St.-Francis-April-17-2017Poland Day Ten Krakow St. Francis -9

It was now near 3 p.m so I decided to return to the hotel to meet my sister and niece taking a different route outside of the old town. I crossed the wooded trails of the planty and onto the busy streets of down town Krakow. Poland Day Ten Krakow afternoon walk churches -20

 I walked through the traffic of the businesses districts just outside the tree lined boundary  of old town and returned to my hotel. Here is a link to some more photographs from my afternoon walk. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Poland-Day-Ten-Krakow-afternoon-walk-churches-April-17-2017-Poland Day Ten Krakow afternoon walk churches -21

I was excited to see my sister Linda and niece Kelly  in Poland and after they got settled in, and we had   a cup of coffee or two, all three of us were off again exploring the streets of Krakow. Poland Day Ten Krakow evening walk -1

I served  as a somewhat limited guide, taking them to what I thought were some of the cities highlights, and, of course the first was nearby Wawel Castle.Poland Day Ten Krakow evening walk -7

We visited the dragon  below the castle and climbed the stairs to the castle grounds and the many overlooks of the Vistula River.Poland Day Ten Krakow evening walk -4

We walked through the grounds of the castle. and then made our way  back down  and to  the “Royal Route” or Grodska Street taking in the many famous churches and buildings which I have come to know and love. Poland Day Ten Krakow evening walk -10

We slowly walked the busy street filled with tourists and local residents shopping or having dinner at one of the many outdoor cafes. We walked onto the Main Market Square. and my sister and niece  enjoyed this remarkable place for the first time. Poland Day Ten Krakow evening walk -16

We quickly peeked in a few churches, knowing it was getting late and we had planned a walking tour of the city for the next day. So we continued on the “Royal Route” now walking past the two towers of St. Mary’s and onto Florianska Street and it’s many shops and cafes. Poland Day Ten Krakow evening walk -14

We stopped in and checked  out a piano bar, since my niece is a talented pianist. Poland Day Ten Krakow evening walk -22

We walked up to the Florian gate where we were entertained by a woman with a most beautiful voice singing in to the passing crowds. Poland Day Ten Krakow evening walk -31

It was now getting late and we were hungry so we found a nearby restaurant Pod Ziota Pipa where we had dinner. The found took some time to prepare but it was very good when it arrived. Of, course we tried the pierogi  and I  had a very good fish dish as my main course. IMG_8941

We left the restaurant in the April twilight and made our way back through the emptying streets of old town Krakow. It was a long day for all of us  and we looked forward to getting some sleep, and seeing more of this truly wonderful city in the morning. Here is a link to some more photographs of our evening walk. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Poland-Day-Ten-Krakow-evening-walk-April-17-2017-

Poland Day Ten Krakow evening walk -36

“But that’s the wonderful thing about foreign travel, suddenly you are five years old again. You can’t read anything, you have only the most basic sense of how things work, you can’t even reliably cross the street without endangering your life. Your whole existence becomes a series of interesting guesses.”
Bill Bryan

 

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Poland Day Ten: Back On The Road, Or Train, Again. Czestochowa to Krakow

I awoke on another rainy and cool morning in Czestohowa. Poland was experiencing one of it’s coldest April’s in years during my visit. I quickly dressed and headed outside since I wanted to get one last walk in before my train ride back to Krakow. Poland Day Ten Czestochowa morning walk -2

I again walked down the central avenue paying closer attention to the many stores, businesses and restaurants along the way.  I love just roaming aimlessly through the streets of a foreign city observing how folks live by seeing the products they consume and how they advertise them Here is a link to some more photos http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Poland-Day-Ten-Czestochowa-morning-walk-mPoland Day Ten Czestochowa morning walk misc-2isc-April-17-2017 .

It was a holiday here in Poland so the streets were quiet. I made my way through the heart of downtown and into the more less developed residential and abandoned commercial areas of the city.Poland Day Ten Czestochowa morning walk -19

I wanted to visit the Jewish memorial located near the Warta river. Almost every Polish city, town and village has a memorial, reminding us of the horrors that occurred with the German NAZI occupation during World War II.  Poland Day Ten Czestochowa morning walk -27

I spent a few moments reflecting at the memorial, again wondering, as I did so often on the trip, how and why could we allow this to happen. Poland Day Ten Czestochowa morning walk -26

I was now near the Warta River and walked a trail along it’s banks  back to the main avenue. Poland Day Ten Czestochowa morning walk -29

I noticed that they have a few of the same problems we have to deal with here in the United States, graffiti, Poland Day Ten Czestochowa morning walk -31

and the invasive and ugly plant, Japanese knotweed. These obnoxious weeds  have  taken over many areas in Pennsylvania  and destroys the native wild plants anPoland Day Ten Czestochowa morning walk -32d flowers. 

I walked back along the route I had walked many times the last two  days, this time finding the oldest church in Czestochowa, St. Zygmunt’s open so I was able to stop in and visit the beautiful interior. Pope John Paul visited this church on his first visit to Poland as Pope in 1979. Poland Day Ten Czestochowa morning walk -36

I walked back to the hotel, enjoying, one last time the mainly empty streets of downtown Czestohowa.  I encountered this jolly monk near the Monastery and although we did not share the same language we shared greeting on the rainy morning. He was more than happy to allow me to take his photograph. Here is a link to some more photographs  from my morning hike.  http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Poland-Day-Ten-Czestochowa-morning-walk-Monday-April-17-2017-

I returned to the hotel, showered, finished packing and enjoyed another hearty breakfast before taking a taxi to the train station. I arrived early and  made sure I was in the right place. While waiting for the train I had a pleasant conversation with a retired gentleman from Czestochowa and a young student from France. We talked about, life, politics and travel while we waited for the train. Poland Day Ten train to Krakow -1

The train arrived exactly on time and I found my assigned seat very comfortable. I also learned there were bathrooms!  I settled in for the two hour ride back to Krakow and enjoyed the passing countryside. Poland Day Ten train to Krakow -5

At first we traveled through farms lands with an occasional small town located  at a train station, Our train went directly to Krakow so we didn’t stop. Poland Day Ten train to Krakow -8

As we neared the city the landscapes changed as we rode through more commercial areas of the suburbs.Poland Day Ten train to Krakow -20

We arrived at the train station in Krakow and as I made my way outside it was, of course raining again.  I soon found a cab and was on my way to the Sheraton hotel. Here is a link to some more photographs from my train ride to Krakow. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Poland-day-Ten-Train-to-Krakow-Monday-April-17-2017

Poland Day Ten train to Krakow -27

“Walkers are ‘practitioners of the city,’ for the city is made to be walked. A city is a language, a repository of possibilities, and walking is the act of speaking that language, of selecting from those possibilities. Just as language limits what can be said, architecture limits where one can walk, but the walker invents other ways to go.”
Rebecca Solnit

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