Friday, 25 May 2012

Weekend is coming! Sooo close!

We had a wonderful weekend last week and it's supposed to be a wonderful weekend this week. Can't wait for it to come! I'm still at work, 7 more hours to go. Then a loooong drive home, picking my kiddo up on the way and then... enjoying myself and a beatiful weather for the whole weekend!

Weather forecast people have been telling us for a week now that storm with heavy rainfall and even hail is coming, but we stiil haven't seen any! It's not like I'm disappointed or anything. Far from that! I'm honestly happy as it's been sunny and warm all week! And last weekend was totally summer-like! I even got sunburnt... Yup, "lucky me", having really pale skin and being prone to suffering from all kinds of sunburns. But still, we went to the beach, rested a lot-a lot, had two bbqs (Polish stile, of course), spent the whole weekend out! It was really wonderful! I will post some pictures from last weekend some day in the nearest future.

And I planted pumpkins! Our radishes are already grown, not fully yet, but we can already eat them and they're delicious! I'm so excited about the upcoming weekend. I know, probably everybody is. But we're going to Leba next week! And to Poznan (for the long weekend - Corpus Christi weekend) in two weeks! Soo excited, so many places to see, to experience! And Poznan comes with sooo many good, happy, beloved memories!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Turn back time, please!

There aren’t that many places that make you feel like you’ve gone back in time. Sure, you can see old objects from some really distant époque in a museum, but you usually see it through the glass or from a distance. It’s true that you can feel like you’ve gone back in time when you’re in a theatre or in a cinema, but still, you’re at the same time aware that it’s just a play or a movie and you’re sitting still watching it all the time. Of course, you can feel like many years ago when you’re walking the old towns of some cities. Yet at the same time, you hear cars passing by (if not right next to you, then in a near distance), you see modern cafes and renewed building with eg. PVC windows all around you.

Yet we have managed to find a place where I really felt like time has stopped at some point. It was a heritage park. The Museum – The Teodora and Izydor Gulgowski Kashubian Ethnographical Park in WdzydzeKiszewskie (Muzeum – Kaszubski Park Etnograficzny im. Teodory i Izydora Gulgowskich we Wdzydzach Kiszewskich). It is situated about an hour away from Kniewo.

The first thing you see from the road is a windmill. And trees. That’s it. You just drive by the fence until you reach the parking place. Situated in a woody area, under the trees, which really works in its favour especially on hot summer (or spring, in our case) days. We bought our tickets (12 PLN normal), got the map, saw the carpet/kilim exhibition and… and then we went back in time.

The place is really huge. We spent over three hours there. Walking all the time. We were honestly exhausted. It was hot and sunny (when we got back home, we ate dinner and went straight to the lake. Well, not all of us into the lake, some of us decided to stay on “the beach” – huge word ;)). And we haven't even seen the whole place. We skipped one part, a rather small one, but I can’t be sure of that. After all, I haven’t seen that.

The first thing we saw on the inside (as well as from the outside) was the windmill. Wooow – was what was leaving my son’s mouth most often when looking at it. And then we got into the mill. We visited three floors of it. It was great fun for us, not to mention the little one. We could touch most of the stuff, which definitely was a bonus. Oh, and our son found a steering wheel – he was totally lost for us. Look, mummy, I’m driving the windmill! I still don’t know what that wheel was in fact doing, but he was thrilled and that was enough for me at that point.

It could take hours if I wanted to describe every single thing that we saw there, so I’ll just describe a few of them. The few that we enjoyed the most. Or I enjoyed the most, as not everybody has to agree with me, right? So here it goes.

The school. Definitely a must to see! In fact, a must is to take part in the lesson! A guy, dressed appropriately to the époque the school was from, was sitting at the desk. That was nothing new to us, as in every house or building was a person dressed accordingly to the standards of the époque that building was from. The school, well, kind of like a school. A (really loud!) bell outside (yup, you could ring the bell and some of us did that), desks and blackboards inside. Nothing special, one might say. It got quite crowded inside. People were coming in and sitting at the desks. And then suddenly the teacher started talking. He was describing what teaching looked like back then. He was disciplining us just like teachers were disciplining students back then. Yup, hitting a person honestly took place. Then he started singing to us the Kashubian Alphabet. The long version. Pretty well, I might add. And it’s not that easy. I still can remember learning to sing that at primary school. It was so many years ago and yet it stuck in me. Pretty impressive considering the fact that it’s not common to hear it. When the teacher started singing, our son at once stopped running around and started listening. He enjoyed it as well.

When we left the school, we went to the pottery making place. Now, a bit of an explanation. In some houses in the Museum you get the opportunity to try something new, to learn how certain things were made back in the past, to try and make them yourself. It is really cheap and gives so much fun! So in one of the houses our son was making “clay pictures”, in other house we were making paper flowers. In some other house, or rather its garden,  there were old-fashioned toys that we could try out for ourselves. That’s the place where we spent some time laughing our asses off. All of us had so much fun, not only our child.

We got to another windmill, but this one was closed (to our son’s disappointment). So, on the way out, we simply had to go to the first one again. There is also a 15th century church there. Pretty well restored. And a landed gentry house with sooo beautiful cupboards! I really wanted to take some of them home with me. Pity that I couldn’t…

The place is really big and well managed. You can see that it’s still developing. And you can learn a lot while being in there and have a great day at the same time! Those three hours that we spent there definitely wasn’t enough but we all got tired. Especially our kiddo. So we decided that it was enough. But definitely it is a place worth seeing in the Kashuby region. And maybe one day we'll get back there for one of the festivities that take place there.

The windmill and the wheel

 The school

 The church

 Have I mentioned that the Museum is situated by the lake? ;)
 The old-fashioned toys area!

 The paper-flower making


Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Lost in the middle of nowhere

Last time I described our trip to Kashubian Miniature Park in Strysza Buda and mentioned that I’d describe what we visited next.

At first, we were only planning to visit Strysza Buda. Just that. As I already wrote, on the way there we were already looking for other interesting places to see. And we found two such places. However, we also went further than to Strysza Buda. Why? Here it goes…

In Strysza Buda you feel like in the middle of nowhere. The place is rather flat, no hills around. No valleys either. Fields all around. Not even that many forests as on the way there. Only a few houses around. That’s it. I honestly felt like In the middle of nowhere. And when I fund out that only 12 km from that nowhere is one of the Sanctuaries In Kaszuby, I decided that we have to go there. And so we did.

In Sianowo there’s a Holy Mary Sanctuary. A really old building. Reminded me of Hel (single “l”) somehow, don’t really know why. A really old church. Rather small one. And an altar with that painting, with that figure of Holy Mary. Above the entrance there’s a painting showing the first appearance of Holy Mary of Sianowo. And the outside of the church… Graves from the nineteenth century. But you can see that somebody is taking very good care of them. The bells that my child fell in love with.

And something I really enjoyed… Behind the church, behind the altar, there’s a huge square. An outside altar. A way of the cross. A place where pilgrims have their mess when they meet in Sianowo. I didn’t feel like walking all the way to that altar. My boys did go there, though. I decided to stay put and enjoy that idyllic view. The view that was so peaceful, so quiet, so magical. So green, so idyllic. So out of this world. This „fast-forward” world. Everything In there seemed sooo… standing put, just like I felt there. When I think of it, I can still feel what I felt exactly, what it reminded me of. Just that. I didn’t need anything else.

When my boys got back to me, we went back to the car and got back on the road to Kniewo. We still wanted to stop at those two places that we saw on the way up there. So we started looking for the first one of them. And the first one was, again, in the middle of nowhere ;) Well, kinda kiddin’, but not totally. If you look pretty closely, most of the things in Kashuby seem to be in the middle of nowhere. Kniewo feels the same. At least for me. It’s probably because of the many lakes, forests and fields. You know, they’re somehow creating a barrier separating you from the world, from other people. That’s why I love it. You’re not alone but you feel like it. And you’re definitely not lonely!

Anyway, this time the object that we were looking for was supposed to be set in the middle of nowhere. Well, in the middle of fields to be exact. The church of St. Joseph is actually situated in the middle of fields so that no member of the flock feels priviledged compared to others that the church is so close to them. Everybody had to walk a distance to get there. Besides, it looked pretty nice. All
made of brick. Situated on a little hill. Overlooking the neighbourhood. Looks very proud.

Finally, we made one more stop on the way. As we were passing by the Gate of Kashuby, we simply had to stop there to take  closer look! First, it's easy to miss if you're looking for a real gate. I mean a brick object with two pillars and a ceiling. No such thing! Kashuby is a magical region, so their gate also has to be magical. Logical, right? Yup. Kashuby is also famous for... That's right, lakes! The Gate of Kashuby is created by lakes! Two lakes being connected by a culvert under the road.

At least that's what it looks like nowadays. Previously, it was one lake. Radunskie Lake. (Now one of them is called Upper Radunskie Lake and the other Lower Radunskie Lake). The road was in a totally different place. There was a piece on the road on which it was heading down opening the view of the lake. Like a gate. That's where the name comes from. But now the view there is also totally different due to forests that totally hide the lake. That's probably why the name was taken by that narrow pass on the road. But wasn't my story about the magical gate better? I think it was ;)

Now a few pictures. And next time we're going to travel in time!

The Sanctuary in Sianowo

 The altar outside

 St Joseph's Church in Wygoda Łączyńska

The Gate to Kashuby

 See the year? It's 1868.