Thursday, 22 March 2012

Kashuby - why not?

I’ve already described the idea of our last Saturday trip. We simply headed off wherever we want to go. No specific goal, no special idea. And we finally ended up in Wieżyca – the hill.

Then we’ve decided that being so close to Szymbark it would have been a total waste of time and energy if we skipped CEPR.

CEPR is a special place. A special place for many people. For Kashubs, of course, as that’s a cultural Kashubian centre – traditions, history, culture – you can get information about all of these there. For Poles – as we share history to some extent. For ex-patriots from Siberia – as there’s a special place devoted entirely to them and each year in September they have a meeting there. For tourists – as in one place they can find out about so many things. So, as you can see, that’s a great place for many. (Or a place for none, as some might see it as a commercial bubble. But I think it's fine and I'm going to stick to my opinion).

Anything specific? – one might ask. Yes, of course, I’m soo willing to give you the specifics right now. So, in detail, what can be found in CEPR in Szymbark, Kashuby, Poland?

First thing is the longest plank in the world (Guiness World Record) for which CEPR became famous. That’s a really, really long table. The whole wedding party can sit at one table! And it’s that place where you can find out about the colours characteristics to Kashubs and where they come from and their kind of interesting alphabet.

Next get acquainted with the dark side of history and that is everything connected with Soviet Union and Siberia. Shocking, devastating, brutal, there are no words that can describe the horrors of those times. You can see the train and the wagons in which people were transported there. Many pictures, photos, poems, real-life stories… All (or at least most of them) translated into English.

Then there are replicas of Kashubian houses from Canada and from Turkey.

There is a replica of a bunker of a Secret Army Organisation “Gryf Pomorski” (you’re actually walking under the ground (freakishly cold down there), have to bend and everything in order to see a really small space in which soldiers had to stay for long).

There’s also a house that’s standing on its roof (or chimney, really). You can get in there. That’s actually kinda funny especially when your brain is trying to adjust but can’t! That’s much better than having a lot of drinks and there’s no chance for not remembering what was happening with you or others. That’s amusing to see people who can’t stand upright, can’t walk and keep laughing all the time. And there’s a glass full of water standing on the table on the first floor (or should I say ground floor? Although I have to climb the stairs to get there… Yup, that IS confusing!) showing that it is actually flat! No matter what your brain’s trying to tell you. And then you walk outside and experience the same before your brain switches back to the normal state.

Then there’s also a small chapel, all wooden. Saint Raphael’s, if I remember correctly. Next to the church there’s a sculpture dedicated to all that died fighting for freedom in a shape of a heart (not the “I love you” kind of heart, but a real human heart) with a bullet in the middle of it. In the chapel, you can find “souvenirs” from all part of Poland. All Polish history in one small room. The first monarchs, the three capital cities, Silesia, Pomerania, bits of land from all the places where Polish soldiers were fighting during the world wars, concentration camps, bunkers, the East Wall… Well, there’s so much in that one small place that it’s difficult to mention everything. The guide was much better at it that I am, trust me. He described all the bits and pieces to us.

There’s also a brewery there. Yup, they have their own, tiny brewery in which they produce six different kinds of beer, all according to some old and traditional recipes. You can drink beer there or you can buy some bottled beer for later. No problem with that.

There’s also one more thing that I haven’t expected. Another Guiness World Record item. The biggest… (forte)piano in the world. It’s black and shiny and each leg of it has a golden picture of one of Polish (or maybe not only Polish? Can’t remember exactly) composers signed with a name. And it’s playable. I mean if somebody can do it, they can play that instrument. The keyboard is of regular size. And hence the piano is sooo big and the keys are classical, what’s left on the side? Well, frankly speaking, that’s not only a piano. As nobody of regular size would have been able to play it otherwise, it’s simply to wide. The left part of the keyboard is actually the piano part. The right part is the organs. Two people can play at once on two different instruments. Great, huh?

Remember that in my last post I wrote that we were visiting the places that in my opinion weren’t suitable for a three-year-old? How true that was we found out in CEPR. I can’t imagine such a young kid being interested in anything that we saw there. Well, maybe the house that’s upside-down. Maybe the two playgrounds that are on the site. But the rest? Sorry, no. Wait, wait! There’s one more thing that could be interesting, just depends on the child for how long. It’s the animals, the deers that are there. For me, that’s it. And we saw many kids there crying, being sooo bored… Not cool at all.

The entrance fee for the site is 15 PLN. Children under the age of six have are free to enter. There is a place on the site where you can grab something to eat and to drink.

It’s a great place for older kids and for adults. It’s a place where you can broaden your knowledge. I am really amazed at the pure idea of creating a place like this. And the guides there are really passionate about what they’re doing. You could simply feel that, even see that. That was fantastic.

 Inside the wagon

 The Kashubian flag

 The bunker

 The house that's upside-down
 Us inside the house
 That's what the furniture looked like in the house, nailed to the ceiling... Or floor... Or whatever ;)
 The scariest part - to let go!
 Inside the chapel
 he heart-shaped monument with the bullet
  TDhe giant piano (see the regular-sized ones standing under it? and the woman standing right next to it?)
 The brewery - Kashubian beer meter
 The alphabet
 Kashubian plank - length in metres
 The loooongest table I've ever sat at
 Need a place to hide your valuables?

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