Friday – 28 April , Checiny, Poland
Sadly we left family and friends in Biala Podlaska. We were sent on our way with a bag of Polish goodies including home made Polish sausage and honey from Uncle Mirek (he currently has a couple of hundred bee hives on his farm), Pierogi (Polish dumplings) fresh farm eggs and lots of other delicious items – too many to mention.
Thank you Barbara once again for spoiling us. We will be back in a couple of weeks to pick up my Polish PESEL or ID card. This is now the last step before I can apply for my passport. It truly has been an unbelievable exercise.
We left Biala Podlaska on a wet, cold overcast day. It is hard to believe we have had so many days where the temperature has not reached double figures. There have been a couple of days during our stay where we have had sun, wind, ice and snow all in the one day. We sadly look at our summer clothes in Ziggy and wonder if we will ever get to wear them.
With our internet problems well and truly sorted out, we are really enjoying being able to do research for our trip. We have our internet dongle now so the only challenge will be to get a SIM card in each country we visit as in our haste to leave the UK we missed out on getting the “3 Multi Country Sim Card” which would have covered us for around 20 countries. We can only re-iterate to everyone embarking on a trip like ours – make sure you get a dongle and Sim Card BEFORE you leave the UK.
We stocked up on fresh supplies and of course the mandatory wine for me and beer for Rob at Lidl and drove on to a town called Checiny. We struck an unbelievable amount of new roadworks and moved at a snails pace for nearly an hour. Finally we arrived around 6pm. What a find.
Checiny has provided a fantastic area just below the entrance to the Royal Castle. Whilst our area is shared by cars and buses as well, we have views from our windows of the castle up on the hill and the green valley below. Tomorrow we are looking forward to exploring further. After a well deserved beer for the driver and a cold white wine for the passenger and a sumptuous dinner of Pierogi and other Polish goodies we hit the hay.
Saturday – 29 April – Checiny, Poland
We headed up the hill to explore the Royal Castle. First real exercise we have had for a couple of weeks. The castle was constructed in 13th and 14th century. Re-construction of the castle was done in 2013-2015. It only costs around $4.00 AUD entry fee. It is a tourist attraction now but is really worth visiting. During the day they have displays of Polish folk dancing and knights jousting – spent an hour or so exploring and then headed down to the village.
It is the May long weekend here so many people have a five day holiday here – bit like Easter back home. The village square is a buzz of activity so we are expecting today is the start of lots of festivities. We bought some fresh bread rolls and headed back to Ziggy to make some lunch and rest and read before we hit the village later in the afternoon.
There is a new restaurant right on the boundary of the parking area called Poziom Smaku – it looks really interesting. They put out deck chairs in the sunshine and provided a singer/guitarist (I forgot to mention today we had a little sunshine). The restaurant guests sat basking in the sunshine while being entertained – some fell asleep in the deck chairs.
Later we ventured down to the village square which was now was set up with a stage and seating. People were dressed in traditional Polish folk costumes. We watched several displays of folk dancing, Knights jousting again, canon and Muscat fire, followed by a visit from the official party and then modern music. Time to head back up the hill now. We hear canon fire from the castle as we head up the hill – think that might be the finale for the night.
We met up with the restaurant owner Marcin as he was closing the restaurant for the night. Though Polish, his second home is Scotland, having worked and lived there for 6 years. He spoke excellent English and after a very short but interesting conversation, Marcin invited us to join him for breakfast on Sunday morning.
Sunday 30th April Checiny, Poland
Woke up this morning to beautiful blue skies so put on hiking shoes and headed for a long walk up the mountain before breakfast.
Spotted a deer crossing the track only a few metres from us. First one we had seen so we were pretty excited. We headed back down to meet with Marcin for breakfast.
What a wonderful person- just one of the many wonderful Polish people we have met over the last few weeks. His restaurant provides only fresh local produce and everything is made freshly from scratch starting with the local fresh eggs, Polish sausages, herbs grown on the his land right beside where Ziggy is parked, apple and pear juice, home made jams etc etc etc. You can buy home made everything. The menu is extensive and everything no more than around 16zl – just over $5.00 for the best food ever.
During breakfast Marcin said he would show us some places to visit in the local area. We thought he meant on a map but no he took us out in his car and showed us the places we should visit during the day. It was going to be one of his busiest days of the year (May day public holiday) yet he took the time to show us around. A must do for all visitors to Poland – come to Checiny and stay here and have a meal or two with Marcin – Marcin’s restaurant is www.poziomsmaku.pl
Marcin is a real entrepreneur as apart from the restaurant he also has a business that makes fantastic plates for restaurants out of slate and oak – that business is www.kookserve.com and he exports them worldwide.
We packed up Ziggy and headed to the University of Geological Science. We tried the front door – locked but within seconds we were greeted by the security guard who told us to come back another day as the Uni was closed. Marcin told us the view was to die for so we headed up a very steep hill at the rear of the Uni to the top and wow- he was right. We walked along the ridge line and the view was spectacular.
Two other places highly recommended to visit whilst here are the Vivid Historical Town and the Regional centre for Science and technology. Both places were excellent and totally packed because of the May Day holiday weekend.
After a wonderful day touring and sightseeing we headed toward Auschwitz.