1 The diversity
This is sort of a platitude. Every country offers variety. Every country has different aspects. But for every country it deserves to be said. And Poland really does have everything. Anything you want. Desert? Check. Mountains? Check. Old buildings? Check. History? Check. Take your pick and wait for Poland to deliver.
2 The mountains
I have seen mountains that are higher, more staggering, and more majestic. Only mountains more beatiful than ours I don’t believe in.– Stanisław Zieliński, Polish poet
3 and the mountain shelters
Open all the time, day and night, always with a hot fireplace and a warm cup of tea waiting inside. You are walking in the night and finally you see the lights. Is it a hotel? No. It’s your home.
4 The Baltic Sea
I cannot imagine a better wake-up.
The land of the lakes. The land of wildlife and sailing. Of little tents surrounding an even smaller campfire. Land of starry nights and sunny days. Of absolute freedom.
6 Our traditions
A cold, gloomy day in December. The 24th day of December. Around 6pm. Outside it’s already pitch-black dark but the houses are bathed with light. Families gather around the table to break bread, give their best wishes, and finally enjoy the food prepared weeks in advance. And on each and every Polish table there is one empty plate. And one empty chair. For whom? For you. Yes, for you, dear perfect stranger. If you find yourself on that day out in the Polish cold night, just ring the bell. We will take you in.
7 The food
8 Golden Polish autumns…
9 and its frosty winters
Just remember to take a warm, cozy jacket. And a pair of skis.
10 Big, touristic cities…
11 and villages forgotten by the world
12 The Architecture
13 The parties
We might not be the most club-like animals in the world. Sometimes we enjoy the company of our friends more than deafeningly loud music. But we know how to have fun. And how to drink, of course.
14 Jurek Owsiak
One man. What can one man change in our perception of an entire country? Well, it depends how much energy are you able to store inside one human being. With Jurek it’s still debatable whether he is exactly 100% human. Please let me introduce you to the creator of Woodstock Festival and The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity. The biggest music festival and the largest charity organisation in Central Europe. There is not a hospital in Poland, that doesn’t use equipment with this little heart. And I think no one is able to calculate how many lives this equipment has saved.
And Woodstock? This is just out of this world. Completely for free, for everybody. For the young, and for the old. For 4 days the heart of Poland moves to Kostrzyn. And it is happening right now!
15 Polish trains
My old math teacher used to say: 50% of the success of every trip relies is the train. There is no better way for travelling in a group. I don’t even remember how many times we sat right on the floor with guitars, with beers, with cards or whatever we had at that time. In all Polish trains students get 51% discount. And that makes travelling cheaper than staying at home. It almost forces you to go out there and see the country.
16 The Imperfection
Prepare yourself. It’s not Germany. It’s not Western Europe with a rule for everything. Not everything here will be perfect. Sometimes it will even be absurd. But it will always be colourful, vibrant. And fascinating.