Every time we drive out to Balice, Kraków’s airport, I can’t help but look skywards at Bielany monastery, high above the tree tops. On the last day of my recent visit, I finally achieved my ambition to see it up close. Well- the outing didn’t go quite to plan!
If you saw my Six word Saturday you’ll know that the day started damp and drizzly but, undeterred, my cousin Adam drove us out to the Las Wolski woods and deposited us there. My rainproof jacket was about to be tested again.
A long sweep of pebbly drive carried us upwards through dense greenery and opened out at a large car parking area. We had reached the zoo! At 10 in the morning nobody much was about- just one inquisitive red squirrel, who didn’t stop to chat. We debated what to do while the weather cleared, and the zoo seemed a reasonable option.
The sun was breaking through in patches by the time we left the zoo. A map gave us a rough direction, so into the dappled sunlight and shade we went, full of hope. It was really just a case of follow your nose. At crossroads I always defer to Michael’s choice because I never get it right! It was a lovely woodland wander, but the clues were scarce.
Finding a clearing with a woodcutter busy at work, I dug into the phrase book for the Polish word for monastery- klasztor! It didn’t sound quite right, but the woodcutter wasn’t phased by a grinning idiot in the woods. He waved his saw in an uphill direction, which seemed to make sense. It definitely would be at the top of a hill.
And so it was! The sun was radiant by now and the photo opportunity had me skipping forward, camera at the ready.
The temptation was too great. By now, you know that Michael had retreated to a safe distance. He didn’t want to incur the wrath of the monks! A sign by the door gave the opening times, and it seemed the last tour was at 11.30. It was now 11.45! If only we’d walked faster, or not spent so long with those giraffes.
Tentatively, I rang the bell, and waited. And waited. No sound from behind the doors. Should I ring again? Michael’s expression, from far away, down the path, suggested not, but what the heck! I had my idiot English grin at the ready. Still- nothing! They must be deep in prayer within? I had to content myself with taking what photos I could from the grassy courtyard.
But there was nothing else to do but make our way down to the road, and seek out a bus back to the centre. It was a glorious afternoon and we spent our final hours in Kraków by the river.
Arriving home at teatime, I explained our adventures to the family, to be greeted with hilarious laughter. It seems that the monastery is open to the public just one day in the year. And to men only! Next time perhaps I should do a little more research before my walk. But back in the UK, I found this link, on Wikipedia. Confused? Me too, but I hope you enjoyed the walk anyway.
I’ve been sharing Monday walks for a while now, and I love it! Can’t wait to see where you take me this week. You can post a link in the comments below or in the body of your post, whichever you like. And no, you don’t have to walk on a Monday! I will add your link to the bottom of my post next week so that everybody gets to see them all. Half the fun is sharing! Happy walking!
Here are last week’s walks :
Don’t miss Pauline’s scarecrow-
Or Yvette’s video-
And you just know you’ll get a lovely poem with Viv-