Thursday, June 28, 2012

Lublin Circle Tour -- Day 2

We were off again around 8 AM. The weather was still a bit cloudy and windy. Our destination was Chelm. (Pronounce it like helmet without the et.) However, my tour guide asked if I would like to take a bit of side trip to explore a manor house. So down the road we went.

Here's where we arrived.

We went to the secretary office and were given permission to look around. It is a beautiful house.

Here are some views.

The above photo shows how the cube shape play an important part in the architecture of this house.
Arriving in Chelm we went first to the Cathedral complex. This church is dedicated to the Birth of the Virgin Mary. Every window in the church is an interpretation of the Virgin.

Our next activity was the underground tour of the chalk tunnels. I found it challenging to walk in the tunnels. The floor was rough rocks and sometimes stairs that were not well lighted. We were also in a tour with a large group of school children, so that made it both fun and challenging! No photos of the tour.

On the way back to the car we took a look at the Church of the Apostles.

We then took a drive to Wlodowa. Our goal was to make sure we got to the ethnographic museum before it closed at three.

Wlodowa has a very somber history. At the beginning of WWII, 7000 Jewish people lived here. At the end of the war, 143 had survived.

The ethnographic museum is housed in the area that was once the synagogue complex.  The altar from the synagogue has been reconstructed and is now housed in what was formerly the Jewish school building.

The circular area encased by the white railings is to symbolize where the Torah would have been read. This area is surrounded with Jewish artifacts -- everything from Kuddish cups to a beautifully embroidered scarf for covering the Sabbath bread. The only museum in Europe that I think rivals this is the museum associated with the synagogue in Budapest. More people should get here to become cognizant of the story of Wlodawa and to see the treasures that survived.

The original synagogue building now houses a viewer for seeing steroscopic pictures of people and scenes of Wlodawa from before WW II.

Other areas of the buildings house exhibits of Polish culture.

One thing new to me were the old items associated with living along a river, such as the fish traps shown above. To date I've primarily seen old things from agricultural areas.

Leaving the museum area I noticed this lovely viewpoint.

We went next to Cathedral complex. A funeral was in progress so our visit was short.

While there I took this photo of a bee in a rose.

 I explained to my guide that the kids at camp often are afraid of bugs and insects, and they will be impressed that Pani got close enough to take a photo of the bee in the flower.

 We drove then to the banks of the River Bug. While walking towards the river, my guide noticed the caterpillar.

Above I am on the border post for Poland, and because it is the eastern border of Poland, it's also the border of the whole EU.

The river itself is very beautiful.

The recent rains from this week as well as the heavy rains of May have this river flowing quickly and a bit at a flood stage.

Following our visit we went a bit outside the town to a karczma for a great luncheon.

On our way back to Lublin we stopped by a lake area.

The vista certainly looks like northern Minnesota; I enjoyed seeing something like this in Poland.

This photo of the boat seems to symbolize how remote this place feels. Felt good to be here and feel the sun and wind on my face.

Back in Lublin my guide said, "We have one more stop." We went by the Catholic University of Lublin. In Polish the acronym is KUL. We looked at the John Paul church there. It is yet different from anything else I've seen, but no photos because Mass was in progress, and in fact it sounded like the sermon/homily was underway. We walked through the adjoining monastery grounds. I liked this view.

I had a great two days seeing places about which I never dreamed. This all started because I wanted to go to Zamosc and found the train wouldn't work very well. If anyone finds this blog entry and wants to tour around the Lublin area, please feel free to contact me via a blog comment. I'll be glad to recommend the guide that I had. He knew his history,  the architecture, and speaks and writes English very well.

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