Saturday, May 27, 2006

Basia - Post from Poland - 05/27/2006

Have a few minutes @ the BP station In Elk.  We have been invited by ADA 's  "younger man" Stefann (yes yet another Steve). He is c. Steve Alban's age!

We are so lucky, because, it is light 'til c. 9pm. With the Pope in Poland it is very exciting.  The very first interviews after the first day of the Pope's visit was an interview w/ the former ambassador from Israel to Poland.  What's wonderful is the effort to bring forgiveness and understanding 'tween the wide variety of religions that are represented @ this papal gathering=road to peace.

That's what's great about Poland today- the Poles have finally been liberated to be their hospitable, friendly, partying selves w/ a strong sense of aesthetics and order-there is no litter so far as we've observed!  Various forms of yellow and orange=JOY -are now the predominant colors everywhere.

Wild life sighted ''tween the 3 of us: many storks, a deer, a fox,heron-like birds,a frog, a worm , magpies. hawks-one @ the Malbork castle where Ada and Steve walked up over 200 steps tower-looking out one of the windows S. saw a hawk  and w/  worry in her eyes she stared back-the reason 4 red eggs on  ledge  w/ a few twigs to the side which Ada claims were their blanket.

Back to Grudziadz-where I used the computer @ the director's of the main library's office-after that she took us on a wonderful tour of the medeival city which included the  cavalty museum  of memoriabilia  sent by the cavalry officers.  The curator produced 2 original photos sent by papi.  I was disappointed 'cuz  there was practically nothing from 32-33 the years papi was @ the cavalry school.  We did at the end go to the baracks where Papi lived.  Ada was able to complete his file w/ the regiment that he was in.  It was an elite one with many polyglots like Papi.

In the Grudziadz old town there was on the banks of the Wistula a multi-storied collection/storage building that on the street above was the top story.  This town was such a treat that I would recommend highly  visiting it-time allowing.  We ate  lunch @ the chameleon restaurant-I had pierogi w/ cabbage and mushrooms-steve had gypsy goulash wrapped in a potatoe pancake.  We  stay @ a student's dorm and ate a typical polish breakfat w/ cold cuts etc -mentioning that 4 former Kraks tour members-brought back so many memories of "kursy, obozy i festiwale"

In the evening we went to Mcdonalds w/a Mcdrive.  Rasberry shakes but the ice  cream machine was being cleaned.  The fries were like potatoe wedges.

Next day drove to Malbork ( castle started in the 13th century by german Teutonic knights-supposedly largest in Europe)which ADA and Steve toured>  I waited sleeping on the grass-lots of school kids tours saying dobranoc to me.  Both A&S most liked the ancient toilets and the hawk sighting and incredible view from a top the tower.  A MUST SEE in Poland.

Then we drove to super crowded Gdansk-birthplace of Solidarity and the begining of the leberation of Poland-the first bloodless revolution in the world that changed much of the western hemisphere.  Had an amazing luch (Pierogi-meat and my FAVOTITE: meringue tort w/ whipped cream and fresh strawberrries.  Our gracious hosts Bessie and Wojtek-she is my cousin -our grand mothers were sisters-hers the one who is famous for saying that she is glad that the warr 2 broke out , becuase then she wouldn't have to pay back her gambling debts-I think my unconventiol approach to life may be from her.  There Bessie had various unknown photos fro her family album-the best a wedding family group photo where ada and her 2 sisters were bride's maids-ada 17 yrs od -wearing dresses that they had sewn themselves w/ my grand ma-who is partially responsible for my love of attire.  We have these photos and will be able to make copies for those interested so please declare yourselves.  We a;lso caught up on decades of family gossip-who was crazy............who w/ whom and why and who eloped etc

After lunch she took us on a tour of the old city in Gdansk-saw the church that burned.  Exhausted we spent the night in a hotel owned by a hunter-had a tv so saw alot of the Pope and various interviews like w/ the pres. of Poland who is an identical twin!

Next morning and after another banquet like breakfast started the 9 hr drive to where we are now.  Seeing lots of vehicles from Lithuania and some from Russia.  In the enormous polish trucks in the front windshield there is the driver's first name.

ADA says that everyday is a phenomanal day!  Steve says to Jas and family that U qwould love it here.

It's crossed Ada's mind that she should move here.  In the car we were talking c.starting a milwaukee Catholic home chain-poland has very little for the elderly-Maaaaka

Driver from boyfriend just arrived to pick us up-gotta go love to all basia

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