"Sharrie's Poland Life-force" Top 5 Page for this destination Poland by Sharrie
Poland Travel Guide: 17,263 reviews and 45,844 photos
Sometimes, ignorance is bliss...
Communist - that brings forth fear 2 decades ago more than today.
It deters many "ill-informed" travelers from traveling to these countries.
But, wait... I just said ignorance is bliss! i.e. knowing absolutely nothing.
You see, I hardly know about Poland b4 & even after my visit. I'm not someone who'd do a thorough study of a place before my trip, esp. with regards to its history & politics.
Reason: I'd like to form my own opinions & experiences of a place.
For most time, not knowing brings forth more happiness than inconveniences.
Not knowing also mean you don't really know what you'd have missed! But that's ok, I think.
We all have a destiny & that in itself would guarantee we see what we need to see, meet who we need to meet & learn what we need to learn!
Ok, let's get back to the concept of communism.
Poland was once a communist country.
Personally, I am so accustomed to the American concept of democracy, even though I'm hardly from a democratic country (though it's evolving to be one, but everything takes time, that I'm beginning to learn the hard way!) that communism is a very foreign concept to me.
Foreign doesn't necessary mean bad. Just apprehensive (very naturally).
However, there's saving grace.
I had been to the 2 largest communist countries b4 this journey: China & Russia.
China is so familiar that I've no problem venturing into most parts. The fact I speak its language & is familiar with its culture helps tremendously.
Russia is the other extreme. I can't even get a glass of water unless I'm accompanied by a guide. BUT, I survived the trip & enjoyed the trip. That's most important!
Poland to me (that's probably my saving grace as well) was more a European country than a communist country. Sure, it's no longer one now! That needed to be clarified. But sometimes, lingering thoughts interfere with one's perception. It's like excess baggage from past relationships still interfering with current way of living.
So, in essence, not knowing what exactly had happened in the world in the past can be a boon, a great one, esp. if you want to travel "carefree"!
Imagine if I keep thinking what Japan did to the Chinese in WWII; what Germany did, what happened in Cambodia, etc, etc... life will never transcend past horror!!!
Ok, ok, back to Poland.
Poland was perceived to be an Eastern Europe country to me. Eastern as in geographically. No connotation, no judgemental value. In fact, I hardly know that much about this part of the continent until the Poles told me they don't like to be considered Eastern Europe but more Central Europe.
Central Europe? I don't even know there is a Central Europe! Until now.
West & East, that's all I know.
As in the world, the West & the East! Is there a Center in the world? ;-)
&My opinion of Poland?
I don't speak its language. So, that hampers quite a bit of understanding as I could hardly interact with most people except the young ones & the VTers. Yes, luckily the young ones can understand English quite a bit.
Essentially, Poland = E-Diogo. Synonymous to me.
No, not him but his pages which brought me here.
Crazy? Mad? May be.
But had it not been his images & perspective of this "far & away" land; one where I don't know a single word of Polish except for Flaki (my favorite Polish dish), Barszcz & Pierogi, yep, all names of food... & peron (well, not Eva Peron) but platform!
It was quite a remarkable experience trying to navigate a total foreign country on my own.
Traveling from Warsaw to Krakow on the local train then the coach to Zakopane & finally hiking on foot all the way to Morskie Oko.
Yes, indeed, sometimes I do amaze at myself & the blessings of life.
But what's even more amazing on this trip is the discovery that trees in Poland are exuding such a life-force that made a very magical & lasting impression on me.
I remembered visually looking at Robert's pages & found a draw in them. But I didn't know what contributed that... just that perhaps he has some of the best pictures on VT.
Now, I finally realised it's all those trees & the life force! Even trees which are still bare of any leaves, their barks are pitched black & well conditioned, their stems are strong & full of life!
Looking at that made me realise this is a country full of hopes & life!
May the force be with you always!
Facts about Poland
Area: 312,685 sq km.
Population: 38,62 m.
National Holiday: Independence Day, 11 November 1918.
GDP Per Capita: US$17,400.
Currency: Zloty (PLN).
Country Code: 48.
Yellow Pages: YellowPages.pl
Newspaper: The Warsaw Voice
CIA World Factbook: Year 2009
Online Travel Guide: WorldTravelGuide.Net
Online Destination Guide: LonelyPlanet.com
Map: Lonely Planet Map
There are plenty of grill meats & fish from this Zakopane Polish restaurant. On that very afternoon, I tried the Pork... more travel advice
Bigos is one of the most typical Polish dishes. Mostly served as a side dish but can be a main course too. Made from... more travel advice
Sharrie's Related Pages
Poland Travel Guide
Member Travel Pages
- "Paul's Poland Page"
- "Between East and West .... in central Europe"
- "Sharrie's Poland Life-force"
- "Republic of Poland"
- "Countless reasons to Fall in Love...."
- "Poland - I wouldn't like to live somewhere else"
- "Why don't you come to Poland?"
- See All...
- Things to Do in Poland
- Hotels in Poland
- Transportation in Poland
- Nightlife in Poland
- Restaurants in Poland
- Shopping in Poland
- Warnings and Dangers in Poland
- See All...
Badges & Stats in Poland
- 29 Reviews
- 30 Photos
- 5 Forum posts
- 0 Cities
- See All Stats
- See All Badges (25)
Have you been to Poland?Share Your Travels
Latest Activity in Poland
Top 10 Pages
- Top 5 Page for this destination Antarctica Intro, 182 reviews, 185 photos
- Vienna Intro, 141 reviews, 189 photos, 5 travelogues
- Turkey Intro, 107 reviews, 142 photos, 5 travelogues
- Tokyo-to Intro, 90 reviews, 131 photos, 5 travelogues
- Paris Intro, 109 reviews, 109 photos
- Saint Petersburg Intro, 90 reviews, 91 photos
- Stockholm Intro, 89 reviews, 90 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Cambodia Intro, 82 reviews, 83 photos
- Santorini Island Intro, 79 reviews, 79 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Manhattan Beach Intro, 61 reviews, 97 photos, 5 travelogues
Top Poland hotels
- Krakow Hotels
- 4456 Reviews - 10366 Photos
- Warsaw Hotels
- 2979 Reviews - 7180 Photos
- Gdansk Hotels
- 1181 Reviews - 3558 Photos
- Wroclaw Hotels
- 813 Reviews - 2158 Photos
- Zakopane Hotels
- 356 Reviews - 850 Photos
- Katowice Hotels
- 214 Reviews - 491 Photos
- Szczecin Hotels
- 304 Reviews - 1138 Photos
- Lublin Hotels
- 185 Reviews - 450 Photos
- Bialystok Hotels
- 67 Reviews - 188 Photos
- Poznan Hotels
- 344 Reviews - 921 Photos
- Bydgoszcz Hotels
- 55 Reviews - 131 Photos
- Sopot Hotels
- 144 Reviews - 388 Photos
- Torun Hotels
- 251 Reviews - 496 Photos
- Czestochowa Hotels
- 113 Reviews - 279 Photos
- Lodz Hotels
- 142 Reviews - 463 Photos