The tourist shops in Krakow had reminded us that Polish pottery is a specialty. When we learned that our hotel in Lesna was just 20 miles from Boleslawiec (where the pottery is created) we once again changed our plans for the day and drove north instead. Along with difficult parking we have also had a theme of slow driving. Twenty miles takes an hour. Around Krakow two miles takes fifteen minutes. It is all good! We love the sights and we love the drives. Back in the countryside we love the autumn colors, the fields and the villages.
Here in Poland there are a lot of run down buildings in the villages. It seems a bit worse than in Czechia. Germany and Austria are so well kept – even the wood piles are neat and tidy. We did notice that the former East Germany was a big more “gray” than other areas we have seen. Not the color gray, just the overall feeling. Thirty-two years after the collapse of the Soviet Union there is still recovery to be done. However – everything is clean! Even the rundown farms are neat and clean.
I am not exaggerating when I sat that ever since we crossed the German-Czech border last week I have not had a single person that I passed share a greeting. Not even fellow hotel guests. I watch to meet their eye so that I can say good morning or hello but it never happens. I have had a couple head nods so I can smile… but I have passed lots of people. I think that this is another recovery – these poor societies went through WWII and then the liberation by the Soviets which of course became anything but liberation. Our citizens who think they want socialism (and worse) need to study history a little more closely and search for truth much more diligently.
Anyway – it was fun to wake up in our castle! It turns out that our bathroom windows look out onto a lake and a forest. Of course castles are built on hills! I still didn’t turn on the light! There is a part of the castle in which they give tours, so we just explored the hotel section and the outside. I took so many photos – sorry if you have to look at them. It was super cool! (Zamek Czocha built 1241-1247.)
We only visited two of the many pottery shops. We purchased a few items but we just don’t have space to get everything we (I) wanted. I’ve seen the high prices for Polish pottery when it comes to Costco so I know the regular prices are through the roof – here they were very reasonable. Each factory has its own patterns. At the second factory I looked at vases and there was one pattern that stood out to me. We then spent quite awhile looking at so many pieces – Mark held up a platter that he liked and so did I. We found a serving bowl to match and when we checked out I realized they both matched the vase… so I guess I found my favorite from that store. (I forgot to take photos.) They will be our perfect souvenirs! Next time I will need to bring an empty suitcase!!
Photos – the view from our room and bathroom and if you stick your head out the bathroom window you will see that man’s head, lots of Castle Czocha, more of the beautiful drive through Poland and Czechia and some really good food in Boleslawiec (I am pretty sure that is exactly how pierogis are meant to taste!)