January 4- 7
Apparently, I was not in Poland for very long; It seemed much longer and I blame that on their Vodka. This was my first Eastern European country and I did not know what to expect at all. I got my first dose transferring from our Berlin train to sitting on an old, rickety train that we caught at a broken down train station in the middle of nowhere. That was actually the worse of this city. Wrocław is a beautiful college town with amazing colorful buildings and extraordinary churches. I never would have imagined this country to have been in war. Every single building looked new or restored. Well, I know for a fact that the Wrocław train station WAS just renovated this year:
It looked really out of place compared to the scenery I had seen all along the rail tracks but I was so relieved when I walked out of the train station and noticed it wasn’t as bad as what I pictured in my head. That’s another country I have yet to talk about. But back to Wrocław, there’s a game you can play where all throughout the city you have to find these hidden gnomes, and I found quite a few (one drunk, one with a shackle, one pushing a ball) but only managed to snag a photo of this guy just hanging out in front of the train station:
Apparently the reason behind why these gnomes are here is because when Poland was under the Communism rule, there was a protest movement against the establishment who showed their disobedience by painting odd graffiti gnomes all throughout the city. They painted these gnomes on the anti-government graffiti that was previously covered up by the militia; And now in historical remembrance, these bronze gnomes are scattered though Wrocław City Center like hide-n-seek.
Another interesting fact: Poles use pickles to chase their €1 ($1.30) vodka shots and many make their own at home
ANOTHER interesting fact: Tartare is a classic Polish dish. Don’t know what tartare is? Let me explain. It consists of:
-raw ground beef mixed with onion and spices and squashed into a patty
-a raw egg placed into an indent in the patty
-a buttered piece of bread to place this wonderful concoction on
I wish I got a good photo of this dish, but I needed some liquid courage and may have taken a few too many shots. All I can say is that my hands definitely smelled like raw meat and onion the next morning.
ANOTHER interesting fact: You can buy a meter of beer
We drank these 10 beers with two Italian guys, who were also visiting our friend Dawid and his Polish friend Dawid. Fair warning, if these beers are drunk fast enough, the last ones will be warm and flat. I learned that the hard way.
By the way, this is what I was paying for my shots and beer with:
(1 Złotych=$.30; So that 50 Złotych is only $15)
This reminds me of ANOTHER interesting fact: If the Polish note or coin ends in 2, 3, or 4 it’s a Złote and every other number, it’s called a Złotych. The Polish note is not only more appealing, it is so much cooler to call it a Złoty rather than a dollar. Or I just spent 23 years of my life with the same green dollars so anything new I catch myself saying, “wowww.”
I am starting to think that Wrocław has the best stories because interesting fact no. 6: The Prime Meridian goes right through the city!
It’s not the best quality photo, but I could not pass up showing this. And yes, I DID hop over the line a couple times and stand with one foot in the Western Hemisphere and one in the Eastern. I had the time of my life.
To wrap up our stay in Poland, Alex and I got extremely sick on our last day and could not even leave the hostel room other than to use the restroom and fill our water bottles; So we spent our last day curled up in bed and postponed our train to the next day. I completely blame our sickness on the excessive number of vodka shots, and maybe the raw beef, but I wouldn’t trade my experience in Wrocław for anything.
To our friend Dawid: Thank you so much for being our tour guide and showing us an unforgettable time. Alex and I miss you and we will be seeing you in Wrocław sooner than you think.