Poland is many things to many people. Some have experienced Poland for themselves and others have only heard of the horrors yet neglect to hear of the growth and prosperity. So, as you plan your next vacation spot think about this: Poland is a land of 2,000 lakes, 251 castles, where underground cities are made of salt and where Nicolaus Copernicus re-imagined the universe. It is a country dabbled with 15 UNESCO World Heritage sites and where Polish authors command more respect than anywhere else in Europe.
Poland, is a place where Madam Curie was named the first female Nobel Prize winner (not once but twice) and a country where 87% of the population is Catholic with 13 national holidays when even getting a hot cup of coffee can be a challenge.
Michael Moran, who wrote the book A Country in the Moon, describes Poles as having a “rhapsodic temperament, lovers of charm and hospitality, brave and reckless in life, imaginative, great observers (hence the staring), and advocates of freedom.” “Poles are lovers of horses and horsemen, they are patriots who treasure honor and fidelity, they are romantic, and have sincerity of intention and a burning emotion for achievement.”
Poland, a place of cities lost and cities gained, of primeval forests and stunning palatial gardens, of grisly murders and secrets buried. Where cemeteries tell a story of faith and heroism and where tombstones stand proud above the loss of life yet the beauty of the stones portray a story of love, life and triumph that is offered up by the world-renowned sculptors who gallantly have carved out their story.
Warsaw inspires an exploration of a deeper heart. An impossible leap of imagination is required to deal with the scale of death and destruction and the statement of faith that these people have. The shortest walk around Warsaw becomes a lesson in the history of destruction and rebirth.
Warsaw is a city that has witnessed inconceivable acts of courage, heroic resistance and formidable reconstruction. No city in Europe suffered so much and no city demands the wanderer an intense look into human behavior. Poles through all the devastation became passionate entrepreneurs, rising from the destruction of WWII, sold anything they had left to anything they could make and the spirit of the entrepreneur was born.
Step outside and take a chance on visiting Poland. Connect with those you meet along your path, even through the embarrassment of language or mis-understandings. Take advantage of what Poland has to offer and teach you during your stay. It is all within your reach, either by foot, car, bus, tram, train or plane, Poland is waiting for you to discover it.
Poland is within your grasp to learn and cultivate relationships that will go beyond anything you have experienced in the past. Put down the hammer of judgement, seek to find the answer to your burning questions, of which I am sure there will be many. Open your mind and your hearts to a people that are eager to learn, to hear, to experience your life.
My journey to Poland has brought about many life lessons, I hope that yours will be the same.
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