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Posted by
2048 posts

We spent 16 days in Poland and loved every minute. One of our favorites trips. We want to go again, but next time we would rent a car and drive to some of the smaller cities. We used trains last trip.

Posted by
1947 posts

Terrific video with some great new places for me to research before my trip.... whenever it may happen. Thanks!

Posted by
4 posts

Thanks so much for posting this. In April of 2018, prior to a week in Prague for a Road Scholar adventure, enjoyed several days in Krakow with a full day in Auschwitz. It is a wonderful, fun city and easy for a senior woman to get around safely. Learned so much from Andrew Durman and one of his associates, thanks to RS's high praise. It was beautiful and these overhead/drone shots provide an amazing view of so many sights I would like to see a second time and several other cities on my future list.

Posted by
2214 posts

Thanks Dave, beautiful drone cinematography! It gives a fantastic grand tour of Poland, without the need to change hotels each time lol :). Wisła is a particular favourite of mine, a real hidden gem, perfect for a relaxing summer getaway.

I would also highly recommend this drone video on Poland (no city labels though), equally beautifully, but also gives a peak at local life and perfectly captures the spirit of the Polish people: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCelkqmkxMs&t

Posted by
2597 posts

Great video, Carlos. Thanks for sharing. I like that's it has people. not just places!

One upped again! 🙂

Posted by
2597 posts

Becca--

Welcome to the Forum! Thanks for sharing your experience in Krakow. I found it to be a pretty great place, too. Other than a day trip from there to Zakopane, it's the only place I've been in Poland. I had a trip to Gdansk and Warsaw planned for September, but I don't think any European country is going to want us dirty Americans bringing Coronavirus back into their country for a while. Delta helped me out today, changing the arrival time on my return flight to the US by 5 hours, so I can cancel my "non-refundable" ticket and get a refund.

Posted by
2597 posts

CW--

I'm going to expand from 11 nights to 24 nights for my reboot, and I think I'm going to do something like...

Warsaw (7-8N)
Bialowieza (3N)
Bialystok (3N)
Olsztyn (3N)
Malbork* (2N)
Gdansk (5-6N)

...incorporating some of the suggestions from your thread about adding smaller places.

*I liked Carlos' suggestion (somewhere) of 2 nights in Malbork (instead of a day trip from Gdansk) to allow for an early start at the castle while still seeing the "glowing red" bricks at sunset.

Posted by
2597 posts

Barbara--

I found your trip reports helpful and interesting (and I have them bookmarked!). Thanks for sharing them.

Posted by
1947 posts

Hey Dave, that's great news about your flight. Though I do feel sad about our little group dinner in Warsaw.

I'm still waiting and wondering. Well, not really wondering... to your point that it's unlikely Poland will be ready for us to visit. So really only wondering if I'll get a refund or voucher.

Your new itinerary looks terrific! I'm so glad to see you're expanding it. I've got work to do on mine, including the Marlbork overnight idea.

Posted by
6543 posts

Three nights in Bialystok seems like a lot unless you have specific historical or ancestral reasons for being there (ok, you’ve got bialys, and Father Popielusko, and the founding of Esperanto, and the declaration of the Polish Soviet Republic from the Dzerszhinsky balcony) but still 3 nights seems like a lot.

Thanks to you and Carlos for sharing the great videos.

Posted by
4 posts

Dave,
Thanks for the welcome. The Polish people were the real highlight of my trip. My BIL has made many work trips to Wrocław in the last several years and is is high on my list, along with Gdańsk. Hopefully they will allow us in before I'm too old to do it on my own. Glad to hear about your Delta ticket. I was very relieved with my Delta refund in March when they finally cancelled my flight for first RSE trip which had already been canceled.

Carlos,
Thanks for your Poland video. Enjoy seeing all this drone footage. Also gave me another look at the Kościuszko Mound in both your and Dave's videos. My late in-laws, German heritage, lived in Kościuzko County, Indiana where the county seat is named Warsaw so I had to check it out on my visit.

Posted by
2597 posts

CW--

I was very much looking forward to dinner with you, V, and her travel companion (husband, I think!), too.

I will say that I am finding so much to see in Poland. I would love to do a 90-day Schengen limit trip through Poland, but it's not practical at this point in my life. I'm looking at some day doing a western Poland trip (Wrocław, Jelenia Góra/Karkonosze National Park, Wisła +/- Dresden and Görlitz) and a southern trip (Kraków, Zakopane, the Bieszczady, Zamość, Lublin -- would like to work in Kielce, too).

I am really, really, really missing Fred -- I liked it when he would point out things of historical significance that I should go see.

Posted by
2214 posts

Hi Dave, I'm really liking your redux version of your Poland itinerary. It certainly gives you the flexibility to do a deep dive in some of the larger cities and explore some extra day trip options.

I'm also glad you added 3 nights for Olsztyn, you won't be disappointed. From Olsztyn you can make a rather interesting daytrip to the Grunwald Battlefield. The Battle of Grunwald (1410 AD) was the largest battle in medieval Europe, it pitted the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania versus the German Teutonic Knights during the Northern Crusades. The battle plays a big role in Polish national identity even today.

The atmosphere of the battlefield is really something, even though for the most part it is an open field (intentionally preserved) with a few memorials, I felt the underlying atmosphere was palpable. Adjacent to the battlefield, there is a small museum with artifacts, as well as some ruins of the original 15th century chapel commemorating the battle. As this is a bit off the beaten-path for international tourists, when I was there in 2015, all the signs were in Polish, but the shop by the entrance to the battlefield had informational brochures in English and German.

Edit to add: perhaps I am channeling a bit of my inner Fred lol!

Posted by
2597 posts

Kim--

Thanks for your comment and pointing out the Father Popieluszko memorial/statue in Bialystok. I didn't realize there was one there. I will definitely look it up! As for the number of nights, I'm outdoorsy. The nearby Knyszyń forest has some interesting looking trails for biking/hiking.

Posted by
2597 posts

Carlos,

As I read your post, I was thinking, "Thanks, Fred!" At your recommendation on Judy B's thread, I have started reading God's Playground. My first thought on reading your recommendation? There is no way I'm reading a two-volume history of Poland. The more I've read, though, the more I feel like I need a good understanding of Polish history to contextualize the other things I read.

Edit: Oh, yeah... Grunwald added to the itinerary!

Posted by
1196 posts

Thanks for the videos and information, Dave and Carlos. We also had a trip planned for Poland in September. We're hoping to take the same trip in September 2021. After watching these videos and reading these posts we may have to make a few changes to our itinerary. Since air fare might be higher it would make sense to add a few days to our trip, right?? :)

Posted by
2214 posts

Happy to help :)

Now if you want a real adventure in history (à la Atlas Obscura), try to make a stop at the ruins of Finckenstein Palace, located halfway between Olsztyn and Malbork. Schloss Finckenstein (as it was known back then) was Napoleon Bonaparte's home during his 1807 central European campaigns. Also the historic Treaty of Finckenstein between France and Persia was signed there too. I visited in 2015 and had the whole ruins to myself to explore, not a single other tourist was there. Though you have to go to the grocery store across the street to ask them to let you in.

Interestingly, in the 1930s, Finckenstein was the filming location of the Oscar nominated Hollywood film Conquest, staring Greata Garbo, about Napoleon's romantic relationship with Marie Walewska. Unfortunately, the Soviets torched Finckenstein on their '45 march to Berlin, now the grand old ruins sit empty and overgrown, lost to history, save for the occasional adventurous traveler or two...

Posted by
1962 posts

Dave and CW - I'm sad that our meeting for dinner seems unlikely. I'm still holding tickets and waiting to see what Lufthansa does.

Posted by
109 posts

This is what you can do in the Białystok/Podlasie region: https://podroze.gazeta.pl/podroze/7,114158,26047363,podlaskie-na-wakacje-poznajcie-najbardziej-klimatyczne-miasto.html#s=BoxOpMT

I tried posting it through Google Translate for convenience but GT deleted several photos from instagram so I leave it in Polish.
The places featured are:
-Supraśl and Knyszyn Forest
-Tykocin
-Narew National Park
-Kruszyniany and the Land of Open Shutters
-Rajgród
-Studzieniczne Lake

And short videos from Podlasie:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6f-iilIT6o0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSqhzXbzNkQ

Posted by
2597 posts

Wow, AW. Thanks for the resources and the list of sites. My guide book (the Rough Guide Poland) mentioned Supraśl and the Knyszyńska Forest, but you have given me much more to explore. The reconstructed castle at Tykocin is of interest to me due to the original castle holding Zygmunt II August’s body for over a year before his burial in Wawel Cathedral and due to Janusz Radziwiłł’s death there. The wood churches and mosque also look pretty intriguing. Those videos are gorgeous.

One again, many thanks. I welcome any more recommendations/thoughts you have — whether on the Podlasie Region or other areas.

Posted by
109 posts

Tykocin is a very nice day trip from Białystok, or you can stay there - the reconstructed castle is also a hotel.

Here are some other suggestions what you can see:

A nice day trip is a loop Białystok>Supraśl>Krynki>Kruszyniany (Lipka Tatars heritage-mosque, village, cuisine)> south to Road 65 and back to Białystok.

The highlight of the Podlasie region are the old wooden rural architecture and wooden Orthodox churches, and they are all over the place in the area between Białowieża and Białystok! No matter which road you take you are bound to see some. The ones that easy to see driving from Hajnówka towards Białystok (or vice versa) are in Łosinka, Narew, Trześcianka and Puchły

https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerkiew_%C5%9Bw._Aposto%C5%82a_Jakuba_w_%C5%81osince
https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerkiew_%C5%9Bw._Micha%C5%82a_Archanio%C5%82a_w_Trze%C5%9Bciance
https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerkiew_Opieki_Matki_Bo%C5%BCej_w_Puch%C5%82ach
https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerkiew_Podwy%C5%BCszenia_Krzy%C5%BCa_Pa%C5%84skiego_w_Narwi

On the way from Warsaw to Białowieża do not miss Drohiczyn and Holy Mountain Grabarka with thousands of crosses - both very picturesque and magical places. Then you can stop by the old wooden churches in Milejczyce, Werstok, Dubicze Cerkiewne, Stary Kornin, Orla
https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerkiew_%C5%9Bw._Barbary_w_Milejczycach
https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerkiew_Podwy%C5%BCszenia_Krzy%C5%BCa_Pa%C5%84skiego_w_Werstoku
https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerkiew_Opieki_Matki_Bo%C5%BCej_w_Dubiczach_Cerkiewnych
https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerkiew_%C5%9Bw._Micha%C5%82a_Archanio%C5%82a_w_Starym_Korninie
https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerkiew_%C5%9Bw._Micha%C5%82a_Archanio%C5%82a_w_Orli

There are also beautiful wooden churches in Bielsk Podlaski
https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerkiew_Narodzenia_Naj%C5%9Bwi%C4%99tszej_Maryi_Panny_w_Bielsku_Podlaskim
https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerkiew_%C5%9Bw._Micha%C5%82a_Archanio%C5%82a_w_Bielsku_Podlaskim

Practically all links are only in Polish, a clear indication that these places are truly off the beaten track:)

Posted by
2821 posts

Thanks to Dave for starting this thread and to everyone who has contributed thus far. I am happily bookmarking for future reference!

Posted by
2597 posts

AW--

Thanks for going above and beyond to provide additional information. I really appreciate the all the information you have provided (and the links!). I'm going to take a closer look at the day trip loop you suggested. Also... I had heard of a hill with crosses in Lithuania, but I did not realize there was one in Poland, too. Thanks for suggesting that... it will be cool to see.

Valerie--

Perhaps our trails will cross again some day! I'm pulling for things to come together for you so you can make your trip.

Posted by
336 posts

Nice thread on a country that I so much enjoyed and where my expectations were surpassed by a lot.
We did Zakopane in the south for 3 nights. Wanted to enjoyed the mountains there and were charmed by the Morskie Oko lake and surroundings
Krakow as jumped in my absolute favorite cities. Such a beauty, still not overwhelmed by mass tourism. We stayed 3 nights as well.
We went to the salt mine prior to arriving, a must, and to Auschwitz when leaving, an absolute must...
But we also fell in love with Wroclaw. What an Unesco beauty the city center is so pretty.
We were pleasantly surprised by the food, pricing of course as so much lower than the western europe countries.
People were just great. We loved every single minute of that part of our trip.
I was sad to not be able to fit Gdansk and it's surroundings in that trip.

Posted by
17 posts

Dave,

I am a history buff and when traveling it is a big part of where I go and what I see. Attached are two links, for off the beaten path, places to visit in Northeast Poland: Hochwald, Steinort Manor, and Wolf's Lair. A car is necessary to visit these sights.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kWJJFC8j8nU

https://www.thefirstnews.com/article/silent-witness-the-incredible-tale-of-a-60s-supermodel-a-german-aristocrat-a-plot-to-kill-hitler-and-a-crumbling-300-year-old-palace-4338

I thought you and CW Social might find them interesting in putting together your travel itineraries to Poland.

Posted by
5984 posts

I thought I had posted this earlier, but there is a series on PBS (CREATE, locally) called Flavor of Poland that includes a visit to cities and regions with an emphasis on food and cooking. It might be of interest because it shows some of the cities mentioned.

Posted by
2597 posts

Traveller99... Thanks for the info and links. Wolf's Lair was on my list, but not Hochwald or Steinort Manor. It would be kind of cool to eat in the Huntsman Mansion that was air-lifted to Gałkowo, too.

stan... Thanks for the Flavor of Poland. I watched the Podlaskie and the Warmian-Masurian episodes. I'll keep watching...

Posted by
912 posts

I have been to Poland twice and will hopefully be going back summer 2021. That video was beautiful, thank-you.

Posted by
31295 posts

Dave,

Great video! Thanks for posting.

I've been to Poland once and it's a country I'd definitely like to return to. The people I met were wonderful.

Posted by
1250 posts

Our first trip to Europe, other than England, was Poland back in 2004. We spent nine nights in Warsaw and seven in Krakow, with a few daytrips out from each. It was the most amazing travel experience we've ever had, even after all these years.

Posted by
12360 posts

@ Dave....If you get to Schloss Finckenstein, it was the site where Napoleon met for the second time Marie Walewska, where there was a reception and ball for Napoleon. Good that you're going to Olsztyn, you might see if the Protestant church building still exists when the town was known as Allenstein.

In 2005 we three (the Mrs, the MLI, and I) were en route from Poznan having had to transfer there from Berlin to Torun, got into conversation with these young Polish women in French (the common language among us) who told us they were going to the terminus...Olsztyn, which I have to admit did not ring a bell until she said immediately, Allenstein.