Poland Trip: Final Thoughts

 

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We’ve been back for a little while now, time to put down my final thoughts on Poland.

We have visited other formerly Communist countries: Estonia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia. But Poland felt the most thoroughly European. There were still signs of the past, but a coat of paint or a building veneer hid much of it. But Poland seemed like it had been Western for a long time.

We were impressed with the Poles. They were helpful and friendly. And thin! We were amazed that almost all the Poles we saw were a healthy weight. And it reminded us how much of a problem obesity is in the US.  We saw couples having wedding pictures taken everywhere. That symbolized hope and optimism.

Poland acknowledged its history, that its major cities had been 1/4 to 1/3 Jewish until World War II. The monuments and memorials were in very public places throughout Warsaw and Krakow. And Auschwitz and Birkenau are chilling and life-altering places to visit. Having just been at the concentration camps, it made the current situation in Gaza strikingly clear: when you are dealing with an enemy unwilling to recognize your right to exist, you have to take those threats deadly seriously. Having also been to Dachau, I think we may be done with concentration camp visits though.

It was a pleasure visiting a European country that wasn’t outrageously expensive. Our most expensive dinner was $70. Our SIM cards cost $5 each. Poland is very affordable.

I think we are now done with bringing a separate GPS. This was our 2nd trip that we used Waze on my phone as our navigator, and it worked perfectly. Where we travel light clothes-wise, taking just a weekender suitcase, my backpack weighs too much. So I’m looking at all the equipment I haul around to lighten the load.

I hope you enjoyed traveling along with us. We don’t have a next big trip planned at this point. Our upcoming move will take much of our attention (and money) in the near future. We have committed to a 30th anniversary trip in December 2015 to Cuba. But there will be trips before that!

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2 responses to “Poland Trip: Final Thoughts

  • brownsheep

    Thank you for taking us along with you. Seeing the concentration camps through your eyes brought the horror of the history of World War II to life for me and my daughter. For those of us who do not travel to these places, you gave us a gift. I love your comment about the weddings. The “Count of Monte Cristo” ends with these words: “Until the day when God shall deign to reveal the future to man, all human wisdom is summed up in these two words,-Wait and hope.” ― Alexandre Dumas Optimism. Hope. They are essential to building a better world. Again, you and Ellen have my thanks for allowing us to tag along on your trip. Godspeed you on your move and your next adventures whatever they may be,

  • Reba Heyman

    Good summation. I enjoy traveling with you especially to places I haven’t been!

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