Thursday, June 28, 2012

Lublin Circle Tour -- Day 1

The guide I had engaged met me at the hotel around 8 AM and we departed on a tour of the nearby areas. Our first stop was near Radecznica to see the shrine to St. Anthony. This is has two parts. One is a small chapel near a tiny pond.

 This is a place where one may obtain water believed to have healing powers. It has not yet healed itself, for it shows a bullet hole yet from World War II.

I waited until worshipers left the chapel and then took this photo.
 Then we walked across the road and started to climb a covered wooded stair case. My guide said, "I've never counted the stairs." We are about 75% of the way up and he told me he was at 84. I guessed we would make 100, and it turned out to be 102.

We arrived at a beautiful church.

Then we walked to the back of the church and took a steep road down. At the bottom I found this facade:

This shows St. Anthony administering aid to soldiers. All the area in which I traveled both this day and next are sites of huge battles between the Nazi army and the Soviet forces.

We drove a short distance to the small village area of Mokrelipie. Our destination was a bee farm. We arrived to join a tour composed of special need students. I went brain dead here, couldn't dig my camera out of my tote bag for some reason -- so I have only words to share. I was a good person to join this group for I'm the parent of a special need daughter. The owner explained how the bees gather pollen and turn into honey and other products we can use. He showed us the different kind of bees -- queen, worker, and drone -- by picture. (Later he took me to a hive and for the first time ever I saw a queen bee.)

Next he took us through his museum area. He has gathered farm tools and educational artifacts, such as the desks from the school he attended as a elementary student. It was fun to look at the tools and guess what they might be. For the first time, I saw the tools one needs to work with flax to turn it into linen. They are very much the same as the tools used for working with wool and turning it into yarn.

Then we sat down and sampled many different kinds of honey. I bought a small bottle of lipowy (linden flower) miod (honey). The owner's wife gave me a little bear sculpted from bee wax in exchange for writing in the guest book.

And a favorite memory of this place is when one of the young men took my hand to give a kiss in the style of a gallant Polish man.

Our next destination was Szezebrzeszyn. There is a famous Polish tongue-twister that incorporates the name of this town, but I found there is more there than just a reference to beetle. We walked through the museum and also visited an Orthodox church.

Here I am with the famous beetle.

Our next destination was the Roztocze National Park. We went to the museum and had a tour of the about the animals that live in the park as well as its geological history.

Nearby in the Chapel on the Water. We were experiencing a cold,windy day and I felt empathy for the bridal couple who were having their photos taken. All the guys had on jackets, but she was out there in that weather in bare arms. Here is a photo from the distance, one I took from the restaurant we had obiad.

Our next destination was the Krasnobrod area.

 One thing I saw here is a collection of the ____ carried during the Harvest Festival. I left the blank because I don't have a good word for these in either English or Polish.

Here are two others.

Each is made by a nearby village and then all join together for the festival.

We also walked through a wooded area that includes sculptures made for the Stations of the Cross.

Again villages come together. Each sculpture includes the name of patron village responsible for the bringing flowers and doing upkeep on the particular station.

Then we journeyed on to Zamosc. My desire to get there is what started all the wonderful adventures of these two days. Zamosc is designed in an Italian style and so looks different in several ways from other Polish cities.

First there are arcades.

I really appreciated the shelter these provide for we were faced with cold, windy weather most of the day.

Here's other pictures from the rynek area.

Above is the town hall, still in use after about 400 years since its construction.

Below are houses from the rynek area, different styles indicating the inhabitants.

Armenian families

Merchant families

We went to the church -- the time was now close to 6 PM in the evening and the light was not good for photos. All I can share is the view of the ceiling, but that's enough to show that it is built in a very different style than most Polish churches.

We also walked past the synogogue.

We had in mind a tour of the city wall fortifications, but found a problem with that so elected to spend a whole 1.5 zloty to access the city wall terrace. The views from here were great.

We admired the cannons.

Then we went down into the building below and walked through the display of military uniforms.

Our last stop was a cafe in the rynek where we had dessert and coffee before starting the trip back to Lublin. The day took from 8 in the morning until 8:30 in the evening. I was tired and happy! Checked my e-mail and then went just a short distance down the street to get a sandwich at McDonald's! Then to sleep in anticipation of another circle tour about Lublin.

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