In total contrast to my last, extremely urban walk in the city of Łódź, I’m taking you out into the Polish countryside today. I’m going right back to where my Polish story began, in the village of Zawady, around 60kms south of the big city. It’s a different world! Dad was born in this village, more than 88 years ago.
As you can imagine, changes have taken place, but not too many. The original farmstead is still there, but much of the land has been divided up between the family. The photo above is the view I woke up to from my bedroom, on my first day back in the village. Early morning mist burnt off to a beautiful day, and it was time to feed the week old ducklings.
I had been staying in the suburbs of Kraków, so the difference was considerable. The daughter of a farmer, with memories of driving the tractor with her Dad, Zygmunt, when she was young, my cousin Jadwiga loves her garden. But growing vegetables and keeping hens has to come second to her day job, and more especially to her dearly loved grandchildren. They are seldom far away, as daughter Ania lives in a self build bungalow within the grounds. Meet Kinga and Nadia, with mum, Ania, and Babcia, Jadzia.
For those of you who might have wondered, ‘what is Poland like?’ let’s slide the gate open, and we’ll step outside and see. Poland is a big country and land is cheap. It’s not uncommon to see ‘land for sale’ signs in the woods that surround most villages.
The houses vary considerably, some still old farmhouses, others in a far more modern style. I peep over the fence at the pond which once belonged to Aunt Lusia. Now her daughter Graźyna and husband Marek have built a home there, among the cherry trees.
You don’t have to walk far before you’re at the end of the village, and the woods beyond. I retrace my steps, on the other side of the road this time, passing by cousin Marysia’s beautifully modern home, and a sign that cautions of the ‘good’ dog that bites!
A crossroads points to Ławy, 1.3kms away, and I am tempted to follow it out into open countryside. But first I need to complete the circuit, back to the main road through the village. These decorated crosses are found on many corners, scattered throughout Poland. Number 16F is Ania and Hubert’s house, and the garden design business she runs from home.
As the sun droops in the sky and the children play out on their bikes, I cast one more look at the cherries, and then head off down the lane.
Don’t worry! I do return, but I wanted to show you the ‘whole’ of Zawady. It’s not very big! I hope you enjoyed meeting the place, and my family.
I’ve decided to link this post to My personal A-Z of Poland, which has been sadly neglected in recent times. Much of what appears there is relevant and will provide good background, for anyone who’s interested. Time to put the kettle on now, for this week’s shares.
Many thanks to all of you who make Mondays a bit special for me. Your support and encouragement sees me through the week. If you have a walk to share and you haven’t joined me yet… well, what’s stopping you? Details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page. Just click on the logo above. You’ll be made more than welcome.
Let’s start the ball rolling with Laura, in Costa Brava’s wild spaces this week :
Pauline treats us to a glimpse of an Eye, through floral abundance :
A Walk through sunny Southbank, Brisbane
Hop off your bike and take a walk in equally sunny California!
My weekly ramble- John Nicholas Trail
Yvette has her own unique and stylish way of doing things :
Jubilant Walk with Jo (Nature Day 1)
And you know that Drake does too! Welcome to Kayserberg :
Geoff spent his April engrossed in a challenge. King’s Cross? Well, he might be!
X is for Crosses#atozchallenge
I don’t often think of hill climbing and Jude in the same sentence, but… she did it!
Thanks a lot for your company, and for your friendship. I know that this was a very low key walk, but I wanted to share a little more than just a pair of boots. In the coming weeks I hope to give you a flavour of Poland, seen through my eyes. Take good care, and enjoy your walking!
I almost forgot my good friends over at Monday Escapes. Maybe something for the Bank Holiday weekend?
Thank you very much. It’s a reminder of happy times. 🙂
Jo, these shots are lovely. And to think this is where you and your people are from…your roots! I’m very moved by this, and thank you for sharing your story!
It’s a strange story, Elisa, and in many ways not easy to share honestly. I’m treat with such warmth when I’m there, and yet the gulf is there because of the language. Thanks for your lovely company 🙂
I understand, it must have been a little frustrating. I think I’ve told you that I’m half Polish. My grandparents would occasionally speak Polish around us when we were little, usually when they were preparing a meal. It was almost shocking to here the strange words come out of their mouths. Of course now I wish I had asked them to teach me a few Polish phrases, but you know how that goes! Five year old children aren’t very forward thinking. Good memories, though!
I’m learning to love the sound of the language and identify a few words, but understanding is a long way away. Meeting up with Meg in Lodz was a Godsend. She knew just how it felt. Hugs, sweetheart! All set for Summer?
What fun to meet up with Meg! And yes, I am always ready for summer, Jo. A little relaxing is in order for me this year! Take good care.
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