Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tarnow Adventure -- Part 2

Tarnow bills itself as the warmest city in Poland. Poland was having a heat wave so I left as soon as possible after breakfast for a bit of a walk around during the cooler morning hours.

Above is my first breakfast the hotel. I was the only person in the dining room. The hostess asked me if I wanted something hot from the kitchen and I told her I was fine with a regular Polish breakfast. However, I'm not used to having such an elegant table on which to eat breakfast -- but that doesn't mean I'm complaining about any other place. It's just that this hotel really works on elegance as you may know from reading my blog post labeled Tarnow -- Part 1.

I started to walk up the street towards the rynek.

I saw beautiful buildings such as this.

And this.

Then I got to the rynek, built in a renaissance style.

The Town Hall is in the center.

It is a beautiful building today, and it was fun to see post cards and photos around town showing it in its place 100 years ago too.

Here is a photo that show some the detail on the top of the building.

The Town Hall is surrounded on all four sides by wonderful buildings.

In one location the style is somewhat like Zamosz because of the arcade.

Others are very colorful.

Here is some details from the buildings in the rynek.

The wonderful thing was that I was seeing all this beauty without having to deal with immense crowds likes they have in Krakow.

I walked a bit away from the rynek to the Jewish Square.

When the Nazis took control of Tarnow the synagogue was burned. What didn't burn was broken. Now the city has taken pieces of stone columns and put them back together in a structure called a bimah, a representation of the place in which the Torah was read. Within this square now, commemorative activities are held remembered the Jewish residents of Tarnow as well as Jewish cultural activities.

By now it was around 10:00 and the sidewalk cafes were beginning to open so I stopped for a cappuccino. I noticed that in these early morning hours other customers were going inside to pay, so I did that. The waitress told me a cappuccino was 7 PLN. I gave her 10, and she made me change from 9! I just laughed inside my head and told her thank you in Polish!

I wandered over the cathedral area. There is a statute of Pope John Paul.
The In Your Pocket guide for Tarnow says this is the first statue of him erected in Poland after his election as Pope.

Mass was just ending so I entered the cathedral through the nearby side door.

Here is a segment of the detail on the door.

There were many people remaining in the church for prayer and meditation, and I tried to take only photos that would not disturb anyone.

Here is the ceiling in a side chapel. This view also shows that the walls are very plain. This is an unusual feature for a Polish church, probably connected to the fact that this church comes from a very different architectural time than most Polish churches. That doesn't mean there is not beauty. Look at this.

Above is another side altar.

 Here is a view of part of the main aisle of the church taken from the side.

My primary reason for coming to Tarnow was to visit the ethnographic museum and that's what I did next, but I'll write more about that in a separate entry.

While walking there I was amused to find in a store window that one can buy almost anything with a Euro 2012 logo.

After visiting the museum. I continued on down the street to a shopping center. By this time something to eat seemed like a good idea and the air conditioning in the shopping center seemed like a good idea too!!

Every time I see something like this I am reminded of the Twin Cities bus driver who told me he couldn't take his aged parents to visit their native Poland "because there is no food in Poland." And I ate every bit except for the pita bread, not because it wasn't good, but because I was certainly full and satisfied. From here I returned to the hotel.

The camera battery was complaining it wanted to be charged and it seemed like a good idea to stay out of the heat. The behavior of people here reminded of me of Mexico, for example. It is definitely wise to walk on the shady side of the street and one can see people zig-zag from one side of the street to the other as the size and shape of buildings changes the shady areas.

Well, this adventure report is getting long enough. Stayed tuned for other Tarnow activities in future posts.

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