Zbiornik Wawrzkowizna

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Life is pretty busy for my Polish family, so when I was bundled into the car for a swift outing, between shifts of work, I didn’t know quite what to expect. Staying in rural Zawady, I seldom did.  Language so often seemed to get the better of me.

With interest I gazed out of the window as we passed through our local town, Bełchatów, and soon after that turned down a path signed Zbiornik Wawrzkowizna.  I know!  Not the easiest place name you ever saw.  Dad insists that Polish is simple.  You just spell out each letter, slowly. Mystified, I followed, as we left the car in woodland parking.  A complex of buildings sat off to one side, and a gate led to a small animal farm and stables.

My cousin, Jadwiga, smilingly explained that she sometimes comes here to ride, and pointed out her favourite horse.  It was dimly lit in the stables, so I can’t show him to you.  Soon though we were out in bright sunlight, beside a swiftly flowing canal and heading towards a vast expanse of water.

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Nestled in amongst the trees were a series of tall, green Toblerone-shaped chalets, several of them occupied.  A few youngsters lounged on the steps, idling the day away.  It felt a little like ‘Center Parcs’ and I realised that it was, in fact, a sports and recreation centre.  In Summer there would be an admission charge, but in low season it was free to wander, and we did.

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It was wonderfully peaceful, with just the odd angler, casting a line.  Fishing competitions are held here sometimes, and in high season there are kayaks and pedaloes for hire.  A small child, well-wrapped up despite the warm temperatures, was digging in the sand on the man made beach. Her Dad hovered indulgently nearby.  Looking out across the lake at a certain point it becomes impossible not to see what everyone takes for granted around here.  Smoke rising from the chimneys of the power station that brought employment to this area. A blot on the landscape.

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It’s rather sad, isn’t it?  But no-one seems to mind.  Jadzia had happy memories of distant summers, spent splashing around in those waters.  And we had no time to linger.  Her husband was off to work- at the power station, of course.

90 comments

    1. Hi Nicole 🙂 Back in the spam, hon 😦 Whatever is going on at WP?
      I’ve seen some beautiful places. More still to come 🙂 Hope you’ve had a good weekend.

  1. More beauty, here, in the countryside, although I’m distracted (in a good way) by the language. How on earth did master typing the Polish words on your keyboard!

  2. It reminds me of a beautiful place called Morro Bay near where we lived in California, right by the sea, a beautiful little fishing town, but just along the coast stood a power station, complete with those same chimneys. And the same there too, providing most of the employment for the area. Lovely to visit such a beautiful place with happy memories for your family Jo❤ xx

    1. We have one right here on our doorstep in the UK, Sherri. A necessary evil? I’m not sure. But the Polish family love the place and Jadzia shared many happy memories of it. (as much as I could understand with my limited Polish 🙂 🙂 ) Big hugs, sweetheart! Good to have you here.

  3. A peaceful park for a nice walk and a reminder of what probably brought people to this place in the first place and helped create the park? It is always such a toss-up, nature and economy. I know what I choose, but I don’t have a family to feed…

    1. They do seem to try to alleviate the grimness of the plant. I’ve been much closer than this. They run guided tours of the open mine. I found it very strange but it’s a way of life, Liesbet. Thanks for reading. 🙂

  4. You know, this made me wonder what Jo really stands for. For all I know it’s short for Jobiornikowiznik.😀 I kid, I kid. It looks good when it’s peaceful, seriously. But the high season events sound really interesting to witness it all.

    1. I’m a low season person, Rommel, but I like a bit of sun. Tricky! 🙂 My maiden name was Szustakiewicz so you’d think I’d have a head start on pronunciation, wouldn’t you?

  5. What an idyllic spot, Jo; it’s too bad about the smokestacks, but as you say, I guess people get used to these things and become oblivious to them. Your time in Poland, other than the language struggles, sounds like it’s somewhat fairy-tale-like.🙂

  6. Oh, those Polish names. I feel such a sense of accomplishment when I can get them to roll of my tongue. This place reminds me of the small village in Wielkopolska where I once chaparoned a group of Polish teenagers at a summer camp. Lazy days of summer indeed.

  7. I don’t think the plumes from the power station detract from the scene – although maybe at closer quarters it would. But, and I think we might have had this conversation before, I think industrial landscapes can be beautiful – especially if employment depends on them. I’m thinking of Consett, for example, and the devastation when the steelworks closed.

    1. I do know what you mean, Anabel, and if you remember my ‘moody’ walk on the Seal Sands a few weeks ago, I don’t mind industrial sometimes. Power stations and their potential fallout do give me the creeps though.

  8. Another beautiful rural post, it does my farming heart good to wander through hear with you and your family Jo and when you said your cousin Jadwiga, rides around here it made it perfect for me I would love to join her on a ride. I do not mind the power station as without it life would be so different and far more difficult, no work and no power. Hope you are having a peaceful weekend.

  9. I looked through these pictures wondering why I can’t get photos as good as this, then read back thought the post😀 Great photos, Jo. I tried to say “Zbiornik Wawrzkowizna” out loud by slowly spelling out each letter and I think I got it right😉 The Power station may be a blot on the landscape, but it’s the life-blood of the town (like the sugar mill is in our town)😀

  10. Locals really know how to share their home towns. What good fortune you are almost a ‘local’, with so many family members to lead you in the best direction. And, maybe they have a power plant, but it doesn’t look like they are a tangle of polluting freeways – everything is a balancing act, right?

    1. Yes, I guess you’re right, Susan.🙂 We have a power station quite near us at home, and they give me the creeps, but I suppose there are worse things..

  11. Jo I suppose it is a double edge. The power station provides a living for people even if it is unsightly. The countryside is gorgeous. I love your Dad’s idea of how Polish is easy.🙂

  12. What a nice place to ride, lucky Jadwiga, would you ride if you had the opportunity Jo? Am I seeing the remains of a rope bridge, I’m on mobile so can’t be sure ?

    1. It’s a climbing area/ropewalk for the youngsters among the trees, Gilly. Not my finest ever shot 🙂 I’m a bit uncertain around horses, and of course they are well aware of that.

      1. I’d love to be able to feel confident but I think you have to learn while you’re young. When I was in my early thirties I was thrown and that blew any confidence I was gaining!

  13. Yes, it is disturbing, and I know it first hand as I live right in front of one of these. Maybe that can explain interesting patterns of my windows. Beautiful landscape in your photos, Jo.

  14. Beautifully constructed, with the sting in the tail. And beautifully photographed too, even the last one. Weighing up environment and employment is never easy. I love all that water.

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