24 Aug 2016

Exploring Poland, Part 1: Warmia, Mazuria and Białystok Region

Hey there! How are things, dear internet? 
My summer vacation is (sadly) over. What is left, is just brush off the journey dust from my shoes, look at pictures and remember the smells and tastes of fascinating neighboring country - Poland. This post is the first one of the series which I quickly called "Exploring Poland", where I'll try to explain what is so amazing about this (enormously) big country!


1. The Great Mazurian Lakes


We lived on the shores of lake Kisajno and there I saw the most incredible sunrise of my life!.. There's lots of birds (especially cranes) if you like to watch them. You can also sail in a yacht or just enjoy peace and quiet near the water. 



2. Ryn Castle


Ryn is one of those charming little towns that you remember long after the journey. Here stands the magnificent castle from Middle Ages that is now turned into a hotel, but you can still walk around and admire this beautiful building. 


3. Boeyn Castle


Well, this object is very strange and, according to our guide book, grim. Built in the middle of XIX century, these fortifications look pretty ghastly and haunted, although nothing horrific happened here. If you into this militaristic-horror-exploring stuff, this is a must visit point for you. 


4. Wolfschanze


One of the Hitler's headquarters, where the famous (yet unsuccessful) assassination attempt on Hitler in 1944 took place. Now it's just a forest full of huge blocks of concrete and iron bars, since Nazi soldiers blew everything up while retreating. Still, the scale of the former buildings is immense! In former Hitler's bunker (No. 13) now live rare species of bats!


5. Olsztyn Castle


Olsztyn is the largest town in this region and has this wonderful Gothic castle which now houses the Museum of Warmia and Mazuria. Here was also the workplace of the famous Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus and on the wall of the cloister is a diagram of an equinox that might have been drawn by the scientist himself! 


6. Old Town of Olsztyn


In this charming city it's worth to walk around the old town: from the High Gate, to the bridge with the statue of John of Nepomuk. People there are really relaxed and you can find some nice places to eat your meal (we tried "Karczma Jana")!



7. Battlefield of Grunwald



This place is important to Lithuanians as much as Poles: on this field of Grunwald, joined army defeated Teutonic knights in 1410. Walking around gave me goosebumps - 606 years ago the Hell broke loose here... These huge pillars are on the top of a hill and all around is really beautiful scenery (although the aroma of nearby farmstead penetrates every fiber of your clothes...).


8. Spot the Storks


This region is famous for the vast population of storks. I thought that here in Lithuania we see lots of these birds, but compared to Poland, it's nothing. Each village and town has at least one nest of these birds. In some cases, we saw nests pretty much on every electricity pole.


9. Ride Through the Tree Alleys 


These tree alleys are one of the most beautiful things in Poland! The trees frame almost every road on both sides and in hot days you can enjoy cool shade. It's a bit scary at first to ride through these alleys, because Polish roads (compared to Lithuanian) are quite narrow and tend to do sharp turns, but once you get used to it, driving a car becomes a real pleasure and feast for your eyes!


10. Enjoy the Nature


Warmia, Mazuria and Białystok Region is full of beautiful spots where you just can stop and take a break. As I mentioned before, there's lots of birds, meadows are filled with cows that peacefully nibble the grass, hills and fields run straight to horizon... If you like to draw, there's lots of picturesque views here!


In my next post I will highlight the things you can/must see in Pomerania region, so stay put!


Photos © Vincas Razma and Asta Skujytė-Razmienė

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