"Sharrie's Poland Life-force" Top 5 Page for this destination Poland by Sharrie

Poland Travel Guide: 17,620 reviews and 47,600 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!

Now Poland.
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
Capital: Warsaw.
Area: 312,685 sq km.
Population: 38,62 m.
Language: Polish.
National Holiday: Independence Day, 11 November 1918.
GDP Per Capita: US$17,400.
Currency: Zloty (PLN).

Web Resources
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

  • Last visit to Poland: May 2004
  • Intro Updated Dec 18, 2009
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Reviews (29)

Comments (18)

  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo
    May 30, 2009 at 9:17 AM

    I don't know about that mumbo jumbo in the intro but when you talk food, you've found your calling!Nothing makes a good capitalist better than an ex-communist. It's too bad it doesn't work the other way than US would be heading in the right direction. ;)

  • Pawtuxet's Profile Photo
    Apr 29, 2008 at 5:17 PM

    Looks like you had a great time in Poland. Hope you'll get back to discover more of that wonderful country.

  • jaguda77's Profile Photo
    Jan 7, 2008 at 12:46 PM

    I trurly enjoyed reading you, It's very true about the trees although you must have mentioned it before i've noticed :) how about an recipe for Flaki? greetings from Poland (central ;)) Agata

  • Jan 8, 2007 at 3:56 PM

    how bout yu put TiPs on poland so that i can finish my homework

  • MITNIC's Profile Photo
    Nov 16, 2006 at 10:27 AM

    Very very good! Good Luck to you. We are waiting to see you. Flaki is the same with Greek Patsa... Dont you thing so?

  • Ben-UK's Profile Photo
    Nov 27, 2005 at 2:01 AM

    Excellent personal views and photos of my favourite country -- and you did very well to have two portions of flaki!

  • Toja's Profile Photo
    Nov 24, 2005 at 8:11 AM

    thank you for the warm words about my country :-)

  • magor65's Profile Photo
    Jan 12, 2005 at 1:58 AM

    Beautiful page. So personal, and at the same time very true and universal.

  • hunwagner's Profile Photo
    Jan 11, 2005 at 12:31 AM

    Hopefully Poland won't be the last Eastern/Central European city you ever visit. I am sure you would also be impressed by some of the others, for example negaraku, Honggaria dgn ibu kota yg cukup indah: Budapest! ;-)

  • Jul 25, 2004 at 12:31 PM

    Amazing to see that you found such beautiful things, to those who don't know we wouldn't expect it from Poland.

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