Tuesday 18th April – Tuesday 25th April – Biala Podlaska, Poland and surrounding villages
Tuesday was our last day with Piotr as he was leaving Wednesday for around ten days. Piotr drives a coach and is currently taking a group of Russian tourists throughout Europe.
We headed off for some more sightseeing.
Below are some of the many places in the local area that we visited over the next week or so. There has been little time to write notes for each day as each day is packed with so much. Will try to provide information on some of the sites visited below.
Shrine of the Podlaskie Uniates in Kostomloty: a Church with a valuable and beautiful iconostasis and relics of the blessed Uniate Marty’s from Pratulin. The parish in Kostomloty (south of Terespol, close to the River Bug) was founded in 1631.
St Anne’s Basilica – Koden: a truly beautiful church with a lot of history and really worth a visit. Its setting is on acres of beautiful manicured lawns and gardens with small chapels scattered throughout.
The Lublin Open Air Village Museum was established in 1970. Set in 60 acres of picturesque land it is one of the largest open air museums in Poland. The area is composed of several parts reflecting geographical units of Lublin region. The museum preserves the historic images of villages, manors and provincial towns with their regional characteristic features of buildings and settlement layouts.
Lublin Old Town: – again another beautiful old town which was levelled to the ground during World War II and reconstructed to its original glory. Whilst Warsaw Old Town was very special, Lublin Old Town has been our favourite to date.
We were in awe as we walked down each street. They have plaques on almost all the buildings with each telling a story about what happened there during the war. We have always been interested in history but nothing can describe how awful it would have been for my parents and their families during those horrible years. My father never spoke about those times and now I certainly can understand why.
Roskosz – Biala Podlaska – a Government initiative involving educational activities including a bakery, wood making, masonry, weaving, sewing and metal work.
Set in what was a beautiful old farm dating back to the 17th century. The site now has a hotel, restaurant and function centre, the funds from which support the Roskosz initiative.
The main objective of The Roskosz initiative was the search for causes of low physical activity among children and young people and overcoming the tendency of excessive use of screen media and the Internet. Groups of young people 14-18 years age come here and are encouraged to not only learn to enjoy sporting activities outside but also to learn skills from yesteryear.
The area to the east of here is very close to the border with Belarus.
We saw so much of the beautiful countryside. Farms are everywhere as the soil is so rich. We can understand why throughout history, Poland has been fought for and taken over by so many countries.
Progress with my Polish Passport is proceeding. Wheels turn very slowly here.
My Polish Citizenship has been confirmed in writing now but to proceed to being granted a Passport I need to register my birth certificate and marriage certificate again as two other government departments have not accepted what has already been submitted to get my citizenship.
So it has been time consuming trips once again doing the rounds of the government offices, official NAATI translators and Notary Offices.
It would have been impossible to get this far without my family here helping me. They have been so patient and we thank them very much.
Hope by the end of this week to have these documents registered and a Polish ID card which should allow both of us unlimited time in the Schengen Area. Time will tell.
Our lack of speaking Polish would have been a real barrier.