Many years before I used to think Poland was part of USSR and it’s one of those countries that’s frozen three fourth of the year. It was around 7 years before that I was offered a short assignment in Poland, that’s when I really bothered to look at the map to find about the country. Well, the assignment fizzled out and so did Poland.
Until 2015. Poland happened to me, again! While I was working in the UK, I got deputed on an assignment to Poland for short while, giving me some opportunity to travel there a couple of times.
Poland was a classic example of perception vs reality. I had my share of apprehensions (all stupid ones) to visit this country, but in hindsight I can say, I really won’t mind spending remaining years of my life there.
Fazed by the communist era, Poland is also a war torn country. Having a rich cultural heritage and being politically powerful, it went through a gory loss of life and wealth in the World War II. However the most notable aspect about this nation is the way it has rebuilt itself to be one of the most booming economies of Europe.
Poland has produced some great minds like Madame Curie, Nicholaus Copernicus who gave the world inventions we are using today.
Poland is steeped in history. Its capital city Warsaw which was completely destroyed in WWII bombings has rebuilt most of its historic sites in the same fashion as they existed. The old town looks new, however the Poles have retained its charm and aura with beautiful cobbled streets lined with restos and pubs. Other cities of Poland like Krakow, Poznan, Wroclaw are cultural centres which have preserved most of its historical sites.
Nature hasn’t been unjust to Poles. The country which can typically go sub zero temperatures in winters, has an envious coastline and blessed with some amazing seaside towns on Baltic sea-coast like Gdansk, Sopot, Gydnia. These are Europe’s party destinations.
Poland has the famous Tatra Mountains which forms a border between Slovakia and Poland. If you have good number of days with you while visiting Poland, a drive to Zakopane, a small town which is at the foothills of Tatra mountains.
Best time to visit Poland would be summers or autumn. If winters is not your cup of tea then you may want to avoid the months from December to February. I was in Poland in March (pleasant and cold), then in May-June (very yummy weather)
Food is a sheer delight in Poland. If you are a meat lover, its paradise. ‘Pierogi’ the meat dumplings, ‘Zapiekanka’ kind of polish pizza were the highlights of my foodgasm along with many rice and curry dishes.
While one can feel the language barrier many times, essentially the Polish speak English, if not perfect, its very decent to converse to seek any help or directions. Taxi services are abundant, you may want to check the fares printed before boarding one. The currency is Zloty.
READY TO EXPLORE?
Poland is definitely a hidden gem. Its also a large country, so plan well which cities or areas you would want to visit.
Browse through this blog to check out some interesting write-ups and candid pictures from my various trips across Poland.
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