Poland, Useful Travel Guides

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Vanilla Apartments, Krakow, Poland

The beginning of September in Krakow proved to be a truly special time. Weather wise with the unceasing blue sky and lovely sunshine every day from early morning hours and the temperature between 24 and 27 C degrees, we could not fault it.
Rynek with new fountain and St Mary's Church, Krakow
 Destination wise – well, we knew Krakow already from our previous visits – so we knew it would not disappoint and it was such a pleasure to see the city getting more and more beautiful with the restoration work going on in the Old Town, the new Underground Museum below the Sukiennice and the refreshing fountain in the Main Market Square.
Finally accommodation wise – spot on!
It was the first time that we had booked a holiday apartment from the ‘ApartmentsApart’ website and it certainly won’t be the last.
Our Vanilla apartment located in the very heart of the Old Town, on the Royal Route proved an ideal little place for staying in Krakow. It ticked all the boxes, a great setting off point being only a nice fifteen minutes stroll away from the Railway Station. Situated on the first floor with several other tasty named apartments (Cinnamon, Ginger etc) just off the Grodzka Street, it was equally close to the busy Rynek Main Square with all its attractions on one side and on the other it was a short walk to to the stunning Wawel Castle and Wisla river with all its pleasure craft.
Lounge Area, Vanilla Apartment
Huge  fridge/freezer, washing machine, iron and board for the style slaves (we weren't) – everything was there.
Kitchen, Vanilla Apartment
Main Bedroom, Vanilla Apartment
Within three minutes walk was the ‘ApartmentsApart’ office with courteous staff speaking fluent English and willingly going an extra mile (or should we rather say a kilometre) to help at ANY time.
The combination of Krakow & ApartmentsApart was a brilliant experience.
We will be back!

Cecile and Peter

To see all our photographs of Krakow please visit our website Imagine Poland

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Imagine Poland, The Solidarity Monument to Fallen Shipyard Workers, Gdansk

Photographing the Solidarity Monument to Fallen Shipyard Workers was one of our major projects while visiting Gdansk. Our apartment was in the centre of Gdansk and only a twenty minute walk from the monument.

The monument which was unveiled December 16th 1980 honours the people who died when the shipyard workers strike in 1970 was suppressed by the government. Its location is next to gate 2 of the Gdansk Shipyards.

Solidarity Monument to Fallen Shipyard Workers 
Plaques in front of the Monument
In front of the monument  are five plaques, each in a different language, the one in English reads

Memorial of the Fallen Shipyard Workers 1970 A token of the everlasting remembrance of the slaughter victims. A warning to rulers that no social conflict in our country can be resolved by force a sign of hope for fellow-citizens that evil need not prevail.

Father Jerzy Popieluszco
Around the perimeter can be found further memorials and plaques  amongst them one dedicated to Father Jerzy Popieluszco, Roman Catholic Priest, a champion of the banned trade union Solidarity, kidnapped and murdered 1984 and beautified in 2010. 

All our photographs of  The Solidarity Monument to Shipyard workers can be viewed at 

www.imaginepoland.com in the Exhibitions menu

Useful links about Solidarity and Gdansk

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Imagine Poland now on Facebook

At last we have a Facebook page, had to read the instructions several times but finally managed to produce it.
We hope it will keep everyone up to date with Imagine Poland plans and progress plus travel news related to Poland.

Please have a look and 'Like' to keep up to date.

'Facebook' Imagine Poland

On our main website have also added three more informative pages, 'Travel Info', 'Image Sales' and 'Travel Guides'


Tatra Mountains, Poland

Peter and Cecile, Imagine Poland

Friday, 1 July 2011

Imagine Poland, 'The Frozen Motlawa River' Gdansk

The unusually cold winter this year provided us with an amazing view of the entirely frozen Motlawa River. Running through the heart of the Gdansk, the Motlawa river is bursting with life during the summer months, yet even in the early March it still managed to draw our attention as we strolled on its banks. 

On the Old Motlawa, the all white water trams, the massive ship Soldek – now part of the maritime museum and the smaller colourful boats, they were all there but very still this time, frozen.

The local marina on the New Motlawa bank was somewhat reduced. As if the luxurious yachts that were all summer grounded there, have now emigrated to the warmer countries with the wandering birds. The empty rows filled with thick shiny ice reflected the different moods of the sky above. 

Between the marina and the Old Town - full of character lies the Granary Island – reminiscence of Gdansk’s busy trading city of the Hanza Union past. The Old Granaries, partially ruined during the Second World War are not haunting any more. These ruins seems to be a part of the City now though one don’t know for how long they will stay like this.
What proved to be a thrilling attraction to both polish and international tourists wandering on the river bank was watching the old fashioned style of fishing.

On the frozen Motlawa River there were not only clumsy walking ducks and seagulls. Since early morning hours in the middle of the river there were also present a variety of fishermen – of different ages, in different outfits, with different skills and techniques yet all with one aim – to get the fish out from beneath the ice that they were sitting on. They were all looking very cold yet determined to fool their victims with some tasty bait and draw it forth in triumph out of the carefully dug hole in the ice.

It was scary to see these men gathered in little community or as the individuals walking and sitting on the ice covering very deep and oh! – so very cold water! For some of them it might have been a necessity, for majority it looked like a bit of an extreme hobby. Both must have been pushed into it by recollecting the winter fireplace stories by grandfathers: ‘of the old good times, when the winters were proper cold winters and they would catch such a  huge fish while hole fishing on the ice.’
Inspiring, foolish maybe, certainly risky in the strong March sun – these scenes caught in pictures will stay in our memory. 

Hopefully in yours as well!

Usefull links

Gdansk, Wikipedia information
Polish Cuisine

To view all our photographs see our exhibition at  www.imaginepoland.com

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Gdansk, Recent Visit

Recently visited Gdansk, knew it was cold but I was still surprised to find the Motlawa River frozen over, it was quite a spectacle. There were lots of photo opportunities and were busy working on the results from the trip.
Hope to post them to our website Imagine Poland  in the near future.
View from Szafarnia
Usefull Links

Things to Do in Gdansk

Photographs of Gdansk

Friday, 11 March 2011

Imagine Poland, Wroclaw, The Panorama Raclawicka

What an amazing attraction depicting an epic part of Polish history and only a few minutes walk from the centre of Wroclaw. Its location in a small park area next to the River Odra was easy to find.
Wroclaw, The Panorama Raclawicka
The only example of its sort ‘The Panorama of the Battle of Raclawicka’ – the gigantic painting – 114m long and 15m high. It is a unique painting created in such a way that the picture mixes up with the real objects. The composition of the Panorama has such a valour that the spectators cannot distinguish at first glance where the painting ends and the decoration starts. 
Wroclaw, The Panorama Raclawicka
This was the aim of its creators – the famous polish painters Jan Styka and Wojciech Kossak who using special artistic techniques alongside the particular lighting, managed to take the viewers into a different world – the battlefield of Raclawicka – the legendary General Tadeusz Kosciuszko’s victory over Russians forces in 1794. The painting was created in the hundreth anniversary of the event - in 1894 to warm the hearts of Poles being still under the Partition. Nowadays still it can be quite rightly described as a polish national pilgrimage centre. It was originally presented in Lwow but after the II World War and the loss of this polish city to the USSR, it was Wroclaw who inherited the painting and struggled with the communists in order to restore it to its former glory and make it public yet again.
Wroclaw, The Panorama Raclawicka
At present, as originally The Panorama of Raclawicka is being displayed in a specially designed rotunda. There are always hordes of visitors there and school groups just like it was many years ago in Lwow. The difference is now multilingual presentation headsets are available at no extra charge for foreign tourists. There are presentations every thirty minutes  or so. On our visit the cost was 20zl per adult.
Its another must visit place on your Wroclaw sightseeing map and can be found in the Park Slowackiego by Purkyniego Street.

For more information on the Panorama Raclawicka please visit www.panoramaraclawicka.pl

For more information on Wroclaw visit www.polandtrips.co.uk/historic-wroclaw

Monday, 28 February 2011

Wroclaw, Cafes and Restaurants

One thing certainly not lacking in Wroclaw is a variety of places to eat, the style of cafe's
and restaurants is certainly diverse, from back street cafe's to plush city square restaurants
all with their own character and style with equally appetizing dishes.
Krawozyk Restaurant, Wroclaw
Chatka Przy Jatkach
While in Wroclaw we had many traditional Polish dishes, Bigos (Hunters Stew), 
Pierogi (Stuffed Dumplings),Zurek Soup (Rye Soup with Sausage and Egg) and lets 
not forget one of my favourites, Potatoe Pancakes also various delicious Polish Sausages, 
just mouth watering thinking about them. 
All dishes at the places we visited were well presented and amicably served, 
also well priced . 
Chatka was one place of note, lots of character, very traditional with smiling happy waitresses 
and quick service, also a vast array of dishes and on the plus side a menu in English.

Zurek, soup in bread
Several places we visited specialised in sweets, one in particular Cukiernia in the 
Market Square had such a choice of mouth watering cakes and sweets you just knew 
any thoughts of a slimming diet were futile, the ones we had were superb. Don't just take 
my word for it, get on the next flight go there, try them, dissapointed you will not be.

Cukiernia, Superb Sweets and Confectionery
For a delicious pizza Novocaina in the Market Square is the place to go and if its not to 
busy and you can manage the spiral staircase one of the best tables is on the first floor 
with a view of the Market square, the food we had was terrific and the view superb.

Look at that sweet , how could you resist it, we did'nt

Our dining experiences in Wroclaw were fantastic, great food and service with helpful  friendly advice. 
Don't hold back, enjoy.

For an in detail explanation of Polish cuisine have a look at Poland Culinary website, 
this will tell you everything you need to know.

Useful Links 

Monday, 17 January 2011

Imagine Poland, Wroclaw, City Life and People

One of the most interesting of our galleries to photograph is City Life and its People, such a range of characters all with their own purpose, travelling to work, on holiday, street entertainers, shoppers or just strolling through the streets and squares.

City Life in Wroclaw is vibrant at all levels. The students bring joy, love and enthusiasm to everyday life and it’s the students that fill the streets of Wroclaw. The busy traffic free Swidnicka and Olawska streets are packed with crowds of real and window shoppers, tourists and businessmen dashing for the next meeting. As to the public transport the omnipresent in Wroclaw are certainly the blue tramways – made famous in the old polish songs.

Wroclaw, Blue Tram
Apart from the usual traffic there are also many cyclists.

Wroclaw, Rynek Cyclist
The City has an abundance of theatres and cultural and artistic institutions but as if it was not enough it’s renowned for its music festivals and the outdoor events.

Wrocklaw, Tumski Bridge
You can have a laugh at the humour of parody of the communist 1st May Day Parade. On the other hand there is a beautiful and proud celebration of Poland’s recently introduced national Flag Day.

Wroclaw, Flag Day

There is always something happening in the City of Wroclaw – the Meeting Place.

See more of our City Life and People photographs at www.imaginepoland.com

Wroclaw Useful Information

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Imagine Poland, The Churches of Wroclaw

The number of churches in Wroclaw possibly  exceeds the average need but it’s just one example of  the diversity of the city. The churches vary enormously in their architectural styles, remarkable features, sizes and location as some of them are on the main land and some on the isles.
The Cathedral of St John the Baptist on Ostrow Tumski, Wroclaw

Although the majority are of Roman Catholic Faith, you will find them all neighbouring one another with the Orthodox and Protestants churches and also a Synagogue. Certainly Wroclaw’s churches are worth visiting for seeing both the beautifully decorated interiors, fascinating history and also climbing or in some cases being taken by a lift to the top of the towers to admire the stunning views of the town.
View from the Cathedral of St John the Baptist on Ostrow Tumski, Wroclaw

For the latter ones – particularly advisable are St Elizabeth’s Church in the immediate vicinity to the Rynek, and on the other side of the Market Square – 
St Mary Magdalene Church, Wroclaw
the St Mary Magdalene Church with its curious ‘The Witches’ Bridge’ spread among the 2 twin towers of the church, and finally the grand Saint John the Baptist Cathedral.
Church of St Mary on the Sands, Wroclaw

A completely unique ambiance will embrace you while crossing the river to Ostrow Tumski – the historical cradle of Wroclaw, that later became a royal and religious sanctuary. Originally an island – Ostrow Tumski still conserves this special feeling and is home to five amazing churches including the most important above mentioned cathedral and the Archbishop’s Palace – a museum at present – with stunning gardens.
Ornate Water Spouts on the Cathedral of St John the Baptist on Ostrow Tumski, Wroclaw

It’s only here that at night you can still stroll on the cobbled lanes among beautifully cut greenery in the light of original gas lamps.

View all our photographs of the churches of Wroclaw at www.imaginepoland.com

Useful Links

Historic Wroclaw, Poland Trips

Wroclaw Map ( Wroclaw Life )