Katherine’s Logbook #1: A Lubelskie Weekend

Title: A Lubelskie Weekend

Abstract: It’s finally spring in Lublin! I visited some local sights this weekend to learn more about Lublelskie Province.

TRAVEL NEWS

Local Time: 8:47PM          

Time Zone: Central European Time        

Location (Latitude, Longitude): 51° 15′ 0″ N / 22° 34′ 0″ E

How far did I travel this week?

My goal this weekend was to get to Kazimierz Dolny, a medieval town on the Vistula River about 30 miles from Lublin. It’s supposed to be one of the most beautiful places in Poland. Sadly, I only made it to Nałęczów because my camera stopped working. Nałęczów is a town about half-way to Kazimierz. It’s famous for its special water. I also visited the state museum of Majdanek, the site of a former Nazi concentration camp. I visited the camp in January, but I wanted my husband to see it.

How did I get around this week?

I used a minibus to get to Nałęczów and Lublin’s local bus system to get around town.      

What was the most interesting place I visited this week?

Majdanek is interesting, but it was really difficult the first time I visited. I went with my Fulbright group, and we had a guided tour. I cried a lot, and there were some things I couldn’t look at. But it is very important to Lublin’s history, and anyone who visits Lublin should spend at least half a day there.

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Most tourists visit Auschwitz-Birkenau when they come to Poland, but unlike Auschwitz, Majdanek looks almost exactly as it did during the war. It’s also worth seeing because it’s right on the edge of Lublin. There are houses and apartment buildings right next to it. I actually thought about renting an apartment in the neighborhood, because they are cheap. I’m glad I didn’t, though. During the war, people didn’t live as close to the camp as they do now, but they did live pretty close. It’s something worth thinking about.

Caption: Majdanek

Title: View from the monument

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Title: Edge of Majdanek

Caption: You can see that a lot of people live right next to the museum

Other travel news:

On Saturday, I decided I felt like getting out of town. My husband was busy writing, so he decided to stay home. I walked to the bus station, and got the bus. The ride to Nałęczów took about twenty minutes. It was a pretty drive, through hills and past little farms. Lots of people were out getting their fields ready for planting.

When I got to Nałęczów, I walked around for a bit, then went to take a picture of the spa and the old manor house that is on the hot spring. Just as I got my camera out to take my first picture, it died. Then it started raining. Sometimes these things happen when you are traveling. I decided to buy a piece of cake to make me feel better.

NATURE NEWS

Weather Tally:

Sunny: 4

Cloudy: 1

Partly cloudy: 2

Rainy:

Snowy: NONE. This makes me so happy.

Windy:      

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Title: Green Leaves

Caption: Finally!

What is the air temperature right now?

It was almost seventy degrees today! I held my classes outside in the university courtyard.

How was the weather this week?

Like I said, it was absolutely gorgeous! The leaves are coming out, and flowers have started blooming.

What animals did I see this week?

I’ve seen some new birds. All winter all I saw were crows and pigeons. These birds are as big as crows, but black and white with a long tail. I’ll try to take a picture for you.

What was the coolest thing I saw in nature this week?

I met my neighbor’s dog. It was the first dog I’ve met in Poland who liked me. Polish dogs either try to bite me or ignore me.

Other Nature News:

Next week there will be ponies! I’ve wanted to visit Poland’s national parks for a long time. There’s a park in northeast Poland where you can see some of the last European bison. It takes too long to get there, though, for me to visit it on the weekend. Luckily, there’s a park about an hour away with wild miniature ponies. The Kentucky Derby is this weekend in the United States, so I thought ponies would be appropriate.

OUR NEWS

What languages are spoken here?

Polish. I did find a Spanish conversation club at my university, though. I’m thinking about going on Thursday.

What type of money is used here?

When you get Polish money out of an ATM, you only get fifty zloty bills and hundreds. That makes it interesting when all you want to buy is a bottle of water. Usually, the people in the store refuse to sell it to you (but I guess that makes sense). Something else you might want to know about Polish money, is that it features famous Polish kings from long ago. King Kazimierz (one of the kings who made Krakow so great) is on the fifty.

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What was the best meal this week? My husband and I ordered pizza last Sunday. Yes, you can order pizza in Poland. It has been a very good motivator for me to learn Polish. We like to order corn, pepper and pepperoni pizza. You should try canned corn on your pizza sometimes soon. It’s delicious!

What did I read this week? My landlord gave me a Polish novel. It’s a mystery novel, as far as I can tell. When I read it, I feel like I’m in kindergarten again. I’m about five pages in and have no clue what is happening.

Other news from this week: When the weather is nice, some young people in Lublin like to dress up, head to the old town, play music or do tricks and try to earn money. One girl approached us when we were having coffee outside, and told us she needed money so she could buy a guitar and earn money. We thought she was pretty funny, so we gave her a few zloty.

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