Jo’s Monday walk : Bełchatów

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I may have misled some of you, but I’m staying in Central Poland for this week’s walk.  I expanded on a little of the family saga last week in Zawady, the village where Dad was born.  Today we’re taking a stroll around Bełchatów, the county town, some 7kms and a bus ride away.

B is for Bełchatów covers much of the town’s history, so we can simply concentrate on how the place looks today. (Bew-ha-toof is very roughly how it’s pronounced)  The Tourist Information office is small but friendly, and perfectly placed for our start, on Ul. T. Kościuszki.  Ignoring the map in my hand, I’m drawn to a passage beside the TI, with a glimpse of green space beyond.  I follow it and find myself in rather a nice park.

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I cross the bridge over the lake and notice a canal leading off through the park.  The imposing building in my opening shot proves to be Muzeum Regionalne, a late Baroque listed manor.  I wonder about its contents, but my curiosity about the water is greater.  I follow it, out beyond the park. On the map it’s shown as Rakówka, and Olszewski Park.

I wander a little way to see where it leads but, when it seems I’m getting too far from the centre, I double back through the houses.  A street corner church thankfully looks familiar, and I’m back at the junction of 9 Maja and Kościuszki.

I look at the signs on shops for clues as to what I might buy there, hoping to purchase a few small gifts for the family.  My niece Ania and husband Hubert are shopping at the new shopping gallery and Tesco’s, but this has little appeal for me.  I prefer the more traditional shops, but they can be a little mystifying.  I’ve come full circle now and am back at the museum.

Opposite the TI stands Kościół Narodzenia, the church where Ania and Hubert were married.  I remember it as being very beautiful inside.

Beside the church, a new addition, Park Narutowicza, provides entertainment with it’s ever changing fountains.  And a little street art, too.

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From being a beautiful balmy day, the sky has begun to darken, exactly as the forecast had indicated.  I look for shelter, just in case, and am drawn to a sign, ‘Giganty Mocy’.  Not at all sure what I’ll find, in I go.  The gallery space is a revelation.

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The rain is spotting when I come out again.  A nearby florist provides the first of my presents, and I pause to read the synagogue sign. I backtrack a little way to a small indoor shopping centre, where chocolates and brandy are easily purchased.

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The sky gets blacker and the rain starts to bounce.  People scurry for cover.  Nothing for it but to seek shelter until Ania and Hubert have finished their shopping expedition.  ‘Degustacja’ meets my requirements perfectly.  There’s cake, of course!

Bełchatów has become a big town, with numerous housing estates, largely due to the proximity of the power station.  My walk today centres on the older part of town, and nearby there’s also a huge outdoor market.  I think it’s fairly typical of many Polish towns.

This website will give you a few facts about the area, including my recently featured Zbiornik Wawrzkowniza.  I have one more small town to show you before heading south to Kraków.  I hope you’ve enjoyed the series and can come along with me.  Meantime, coffee, I think.  Don’t you?

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Many thanks to all my contributors this week, and to my readers too.  As always, there are some great walks featured below.  If you’d like to join me, details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page.  Just click on the logo.

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I remember Peebles covered in snow and freezing! Lovely to see it through Smidge’s eyes :

The Tweed Valley and Neidpath Castle, Peebles

Jackie goes into a little history of an art form :

Tattooed

Roll up!  Roll up!  Get your tickets here!

T is for Theatreland#atozchallenge

Becky reminds me just how beautiful the Algarve can be in Springtime :

A quick stroll near Olhao da Restauracao

While Jude is having such a fine time in Cornwall!  Almost makes you want to move :

Walking around Trencrom

I am in awe of this lady!  Tish, doing ‘qi gong’, surrounded by dappled lushness.  Wouldn’t you want to be there?

The power of green and dappled sunlight this morning on the Linden Walk

From nature to architecture, with Jaspa :

The remarkable houses of Bello and Reborati, Montevideo, Uruguay

Do be careful Drake’s green-eyed monster doesn’t get you!

Airborne walk

And please help Esther up the hill, should you see her struggling :

Misty Morning Walk

Pauline gives us lots of reasons to visit Brisbane, and even goes interactive!

Final few hours in Brisbane

I knew about Dumbo in NYC, but I had no idea about this wonderful walk :

Brooklyn Bridge Park

I’m rounding off with a blog that’s new to me, but a place I’ve long wanted to visit.  Great photos, too :

Wye Valley: Symonds Yat Circular

That’s it for another week.  The weather here has turned dreary, but that’s Bank Holidays for you.  I have much catching up to do.  See you soon, and happy walking!

124 comments

  1. Missed this one, but arrived just in time before your next Monday walk! last night I tried commenting on a few blogs and my comment just disappeared! In the spam folder I guess. Just hope someone, somewhere fishes me out. I enjoy reading about Poland through your eyes, you make it seem so peaceful and clean. The old town is always the nicest part of a town or city I think, unless it is a slum. I am counting on you to cheer for Murray tomorrow! Reluctant or not! And as a treat I will take you for a nice gentle stroll through a Cotswold garden in the June sunshine (not this year – though we have had the most lovely week of sunshine here). https://smallbluegreenflowers.wordpress.com/2016/06/04/garden-portrait-bourton-house/

    1. No good having sunshine when you have visitors, Jude. They’ll come back! 🙂 🙂 But then, it’ll be easier keeping them entertained in the sun.
      Did you see the Piotrkow post? Now that really does have a lovely old side.
      I was impressed with Murray v Stan and I would love him to stop Novak getting the French. Mean, aren’t I? It’s been the most miserable weather there too. Crying for Rafa- bit like me 🙂 Saddo! Ok, I’ll steel myself to come along and look at your sunshine.

  2. Hi Jo! It’s Laia from Colibrist (now Dream Travel Girl). Sorry for not coming for so long, I’ll try to be more present in the future🙂
    I’m happy to see that you’re still running Jo’s Monday walks, they’re great!
    I’ve enjoyed this walk with you (even if I cannot pronounce the name of the place), since I’ve never been to Poland. A lush green park and an interesting art gallery, plus some street art… nice!🙂
    Looking forward to Krakow, heard a lot about it!
    Have a nice weekend!

    1. Hello Laia 🙂 Lovely to hear from you. People come and go, but it’s lovely to have an old friend pop up again. Glad you enjoyed your visit. Feel free to join in any time. 🙂

      1. Thanks so much Jo!😀
        Yes, I’d love to join you again on Monday walks. I have one I’d like to share, and now that I read yours I feel like going out walking again🙂

    1. I love maps, Rosemay, but I’m not at all good at reading them 😦 Much easier to follow my nose then work out from the map where I’ve ended up. 🙂

  3. I love the mystery behind unrecognizable (and unpronounceable) signs and store fronts. Everything is an adventure that way, just like walking around without using a map.🙂

  4. I love the mysteries that hide behind unrecognizable (and unpronounceable) signs and store fronts. Everything is an adventure that way. Just like walking around without using a map!🙂

  5. I haven’t read blogs for months and so delighted to begin here with yours:) What a beautiful stroll I’ve had looking through your photographs. Maybe some day I will get there in person, but for now, this was so lovely an experience. xx

    1. Hi Smidge 🙂 I was equally delighted to find you in my Reader, as I tend to only pop in now and then. Your blog was looking great. Big hugs to you, hon. Lovely to have even the briefest of catch ups. 🙂

  6. Poland is just charming; I wish I had more time to explore when I was there. the JPII statue reminds me of the one in Wadowice and the floor fountain reminds me of Nice. thanks for the walk, Jo! lovely as always! 🙂

  7. Bełchatów is especially lovely in what I’m thinking must be a late spring in Poland. The fresh green palate does paint a lovely picture around the town and canal area! And more rain means more flowers, right? Also, I was intrigued by the mural, and thought it made a nice contrast with the rest of the town. Beautiful photos, too, Jo.🙂

    1. Hi Elisa 🙂 Lovely to see you here! It was much warmer there than the UK is currently. I’m freezing my butt off here. Where’s the Algarve when I need it? 🙂 It’s a nice looking town. Thanks, darlin’

      1. Hellooooo, it was nice to relax on your blog for a while. Cold where you are, hot as blazes here. Sounds like Poland is the happy medium! xo🙂

  8. Oh how I miss walking with you Jo! One day, I’ll be able to post all those photos again…but not yet. So, meanwhile, I get to enjoy yours as always and I know I can tag along any time, night or day, straggler that I am😉 The one of the canal looks so much like a place hubby and I like to go walking in the Somerset Levels – when it isn’t flooded that is! And I always love your street art pics. Thanks for taking me along lovely lady🙂

    1. Hello sweetheart! 🙂 I thought about you this morning when I briefly passed through FB and was going to look to see if you had a new post. More important things to do, for you. Hope family/health issues are ok, Sherri. Hugs, darlin’. Always lovely to have you along 🙂

      1. You’re so sweet Jo, thanks for checking in on me. I’m hanging on by the skin of my teeth with all social media at the moment. Not sure how I’ll manage to get this book finished, might have to take a complete unplugged break soon. Maybe not…let’s see. And always things to deal with behind blog…thanks for thinking of me, you’re a star and you bring smiles to my day. Big squeeze coming your way…hope you feel it! 🙂❤ xx

      2. Yay…like it when hugs zoom🙂 Thanks Jo…I’ll do my best. Have a super weekend, I’ll be back next week, straggling as usual. But squeezing in one more hug in the meantime…🙂 xx

  9. They are all so beautiful photographs dear Johanna and always fascinate me. And also you take me too into these places… Loved them so much. Thank you, love, nia

  10. Poland through your eyes is such a lovely place to walk. I loved the soft spring green of those beautiful trees and the street art is very interesting. Always a pleasure walking with you Jo

    1. Hi Pauline 🙂 I’m just composing a last few words on the Zawady family and reminiscing a little this morning. It’s grey and grim here but I need to stir myself soon for t’ai chi. Thanks for being such lovely company. 🙂

  11. Jo the fountains remind me of the once’s in Nice. Have you seen them? On warm days kids and adults for that matter running about as they randomly spurt away. Always a pleasure to walk with you Jo and I shall have some coffee gladly.

    1. I don’t know Nice at all, Sue, but it’s ‘nice’ to have your company. 🙂 🙂 These fountains are a fairly recent acquisition. When we first saw them, a couple of Summers ago, it was melting hot and I was very tempted to strip off. 🙂

  12. What a delightfully eclectic mix of sights on this walk Jo! The canal shot with the lone bench is my favourite. And the fountains. But I love the street art and the quirky contents of the gallery as much. Thanks for the tour🙂

  13. Amazing captures of this beautiful place Jo. Wow! I love that street art as well. Thanks for this lovely tour darling.😀 ♥

      1. Morning darling. No complaints thanks and how are you? Cold here but luckily not too much wind. Just a chilly breeze, but it’s winter, so it’s expected.😆

        Let those fingers do the walking then and have a gorgeous day darling. ♥

  14. Love your Polish posts, Jo. The country looks quite gentle and relaxed. I enjoyed the walk by the water, and the coffee looks very welcoming. I would have loved to be able to drool over the cake, though. The pretty fountains remind me of the ones in Mandela Square in Johannesburg. Love that bike….it must belong to the local tailor or haberdasher.🙂

    1. It does seem like more of a place to stroll than to scurry, Ad. 🙂 I guess everyone’s at work when I’m about. Do you know, I even resisted cake? I can’t have been myself that day. 🙂

  15. The walk beside the canal is lovely, all parks should have water to my mind. And the fountain is great fun , I wish we had one in Exeter. Hope your weekend has been good, I’m in Hampshire with my G-babies, both totally bonkers, and adorable.
    Are you going to Cornwall to see Jude in September?

    1. Hi Gilly 🙂 I’ve been catching up on emails this evening. We had one lovely day and 2 duff ones, which is about normal for a Bank Hol, isn’t it? 🙂 Dad’s away on the National, with family, and James not home till the weekend so fairly peaceful.
      Jude is in Edinburgh for a couple of days (OH conference) so I’m going to hop the train up for the day. It’s not as far as Cornwall, but I’d love to come down that way, given the opportunity. We still haven’t made a plan, have we? 🙂

  16. Thanks for another lovely walk through a Polish village, Jo. Maybe I should reconsider pursuing that low-paying Polish job. It looks very idyllic. I love the canal, that church, the street art and of course the cake! Wish I could try a bite or two!🙂

    1. The pay may be low, Cathy, but things are much cheaper. 🙂 And you’d love the markets! Oops- there goes all your wages! Perhaps not 🙂 Good weekend?

      1. Sadly, I already told the school owner I wouldn’t be pursuing it further. I’d want to travel while in Europe and the salary was so low I would barely be able to go anywhere. It would have been fun though! Our Memorial Day weekend is winding down today. Yours?🙂

      2. It’s only a Bank Hol here and when the weather is poor it’s just an excuse to shop or go to the pub. We didn’t venture out till after 2. I was ironing, catching up on here and waiting for the tennis to start, but it never did. Even worse in Paris than here! Just had a walk by the river in Durham to get out for a bit. Am now stuffed from eating too much! The girls were here Friday night so we were finishing off leftovers. Ruby wedding celebration on Saturday night so it’s been a good weekend. Dad is jaunting off on the coach through Germany with family so I’m free for a day or two. 🙂

      3. I’m sorry about your tennis, Jo. I know how disappointing that is. I bet you enjoyed getting out for your walk. It always feels good to walk after a big meal. So you enjoyed the wedding? I’m glad. By the way, I meant to thank you for offering to lend me an ear by email. I haven’t forgotten and may do so soon, when I have some time. 🙂 Enjoy your free time. xxx

      4. With Rafa out of the contest it doesn’t matter too much, Cathy. It was just something to keep an eye on. I am a reluctant Murray supporter at the moment. 🙂 Mick was best man at the wedding 40 years ago! We were both there, but separately. It feels like another life 🙂

    1. You are very welcome, Tish 🙂 Been waiting all day long for the sun to shine and now I’ve wandered my weary way home, here it is! Bank Holidays! 🙂

      1. I’ve been labouring in the garden – potting on seedlings, and then labouring in the allotment planting out beans. It’s good to do something peaceful like go walking with you!

  17. I was struck by just how spotlessly clean everything looks. Nice little ”walkies” , but like Andrew, the name Tesco came as a bit of a jolt!
    When I was a teen I worked part time at a Tesco Home ‘n Wear in Chester. 🙂

    1. A lot of it is modern apartment blocks, like those in my first park shot. Several family members live in flats. The old side is more interesting and I love the market. Yes- very familiar territory now.

  18. Captivating images!
    Through your latest posts I started to know and love Poland.
    Looks like a very friendly country where nature is still part of the towns.
    Thanks for these much interesting pics!

  19. Really enjoyed today’s walk, Jo – as I’ve never been to Poland, I really enjoy learning more about it! And thank you for linking to my Brooklyn Bridge Park post. Hope you have a great week!

    1. That would be a bitter blow, Andrew! 😦 The new Domki Gallery is the pride and joy, but I struggle to understand it, especially as Tesco prices are exorbitant! I looked at a frock for one of the little girls. Almost dropped it with shock!

      1. That is odd don’t you think. I went to a shopping mall in Moscow (that is a secret by the way) and I was shocked at the prices but it probably explained why it was empty!

  20. This city looks very nice and friendly, there is a wish to walk further and explore all the paths! Wish you a lovely week in Poland! Looking forward to seeing Krakow!

  21. It all looks very clean and unreal! And despite your helpful pronunciation guide, I still kept reading it as Bell Cha Toe. Looks nice though. Love the overcast grey photos and the museum is so elegant.

    1. You know I like clean and unreal! 🙂 🙂 Can’t be doing with clutter (except my own, of course). Must go inside that museum… one day. Happy Bank Hol, Kate! I presume it is one in Gib?

      1. I don’t like my clutter. So I have no idea why I have loads😦 Thank you, yes it is. We follow Brit bank hols and have a few others too🙂 Hope you have a nice day too. No plans here, just enjoy the quietness. It’s a bit like a Sunday, most shops are closed, no cross border workers so the population is just those who live here. Nice.

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