Years ago Volkswagon used to air commercials for their VW Beetle saying that they would float in water. One journalist tested that, sure in his thought that it was false advertising. But as it turned out…the orginal Beetle did indeed float. Of course you couldn’t DRIVE it in the water, but that’s beside the point. Bydgoszcz DOES have “cars” that drive on the water and we took advantage of a few beautiful days to do a test drive. Continue reading
Yep, It’s finally happened. I had to move to Poland for my dream to come true…but I finally live in a town with an IKEA! Yes, I dream small, but it’s something.
When David first came here in January he told me that an IKEA was being built and that it would open sometime during the summer. But it wasn’t until we were taking a quick tour of nearby Toruń, one of the oldest towns in Poland and the birthplace of astronomer Nicholaus Copernicus (a fun fact for you), that the dream became a reality. We went to the middle of town – Square Rynek Nowomiejsk – and that is where I saw this. A big banner advertising the opening of the IKEA in Bydgoszcz. Continue reading
Drew Andrew came to visit us almost two weeks ago. (I have to try and call him Andrew now though since he is grown up and a college graduate.) But it’s probably not going to happen…sorry Drew!) He graduated from college this year and it was his present to himself to visit us in Bydgoszcz for a few days on his trip that took him through Reykjavik Iceland, Warsaw, a short train trip to Berlin and Gdansk. It was great to have a visitor….and someone to speak English to besides my husband. Drew Andrew is an avid soccer player and fan and as luck would have it Zawisza Bydgoszcz, the 2014 Polish National champions, were playing a home game. Continue reading
Let’s learn about grocery shopping in a foreign country. If you can’t read the labels and don’t want to stand in the aisles all day with your Google Translate App trying to figure out what the heck you’re buying…You look at the pictures. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and this is true when you can’t read the language. It could be the difference between you taking home a can of tuna or a can of picked herring. Continue reading
There are lots of ways to get around when you live in the city. Walking is the most obvious (and what we do ALOT!). But when you don’t feel like walking or you walked to the mall, and all around the mall and now you’re tired and your feet hurt and you don’t want to carry the two bags of groceries slung over your shoulder for that 30 minute walk home, there are other options. Like taking a tram ( I like to call them trolleys, because they remind me of the trolleys in the movie Meet Me in St. Louis) Clang, clang, clang went the trolley…. Ding, ding, ding went the bell… (sorry, got carried away there for a minute).
Ok…say that three times fast! Warsaw was the first Polish city I saw…and that was by air when I was coming in for a landing at the airport. Looks like a typical big city. In May when I came to surprise my husband for his 60th birthday, I only got a view from the train…riding from the airport on a train and then taking a train out of the city. On the way home because our flight left so early in the morning (6:30a.m.) and because it’s an almost 4 hour train ride from Bydgoszcz, David drove us to Warsaw and we spent the night. But we got in a little bit of sightseeing as our hotel was about a 20 minute walk from the Old Towne in Warsaw. It was a few months ago (which is why you’ll see people wearing coats), but I’d like to go back sometime and explore some more. Continue reading
No, this post is not about the non-profit organization where you can donate hair. It’s about bridges. Bridges with locks….”love locks” to be precise. I’m sure many of you have seem or heard about bridges like these. There was one in Paris – the Pont des Arts –
which is reported to have over 700,000 locks on it— padlocks engraved with a couple’s initials. However, all the locks on this Paris bridge were removed in June 2015. Or for everyone back home –have you seen this footbridge that crosses over The Hague in Norfolk….it only has about 350 locks according to a Virginian-Pilot newspaper article almost a year ago. Obviously people in Norfolk don’t buy into the “Virginia is for Lovers” as well as those people visiting or living in Paris, the “City of Love”. Continue reading
I’ve never seen so many cobblestones in my life. The streets, the sidewalks, they’re everywhere.
For all the beautiful architectural buildings in Bydgoszcz, there are also an equal number of buildings that need repair or are undergoing renovation. Just walking down the street you’ll see new buildings or buildings that are being remodelled right next to buildings that have missing or broken windows, crumbling brick or covered in scaffolding. From what we’ve been told, what we see in Bydgoszcz today is a huge turn around from 5-10 years ago. In the U.S. we marvel at buildings that might be 100 years old try to preserve them as is for future generations to look at. Here in Poland a 100 year old building could be like new construction! They are preserving their history by renovating and repurposing. Take into consideration that the buildings here could be serveral hundreds of years old. And here’s a fun little history fact for you (ok David this may really be for you) – Poland has been invaded or fought for freedom 43 times between 1600-1945….just maybe just a little war-torn the years.
The same holds true for places to shop. There are several beautiful shopping malls that are all within walking distance of our flat. Continue reading
There are lots of museums in Bydgoszcz. And lots of history. But perhaps the most unusual is the Museum of Soap and History of Dirt. The museum is the only one of its kind in Europe and is located in Old Town. From the outside it looks like a charming little shop….but inside is a whole world of soap and dirt. A few Saturdays ago, David and I made the rounds of a few of the museums in town. We tried to go to the Museum of Soap and Dirt. It is listed as one of the “things to do”, but they didn’t have an English speaking tour guide on duty, so we scheduled a tour for the following day. So on Sunday after church we headed over to see what we could learn about Soap and Dirt. It was a nice little surprise to find out that we had our own private tour – probably because we were the only ones that didn’t speak Polish. Continue reading