Jim, Judy and I flew to Frankfurt, where we rented a car to drive to Berlin to stay with Gisela and Wolfgang. We spent three days in Berlin, visiting with Gisela and Wolfgang’s family, going for a boatride on the canal near their house, visiting with Gisela’s 87-year old father (who survived several years in a Russian POW camp in World War II), having dinner on the Wannsee, and drinking wine on their balcony in the beautiful Berlin summer weather.
We drove to Poland in two cars, Gisela driving their car and we, our rented car. We had been given information at the rental agency in Frankfurt that there are only nine gas stations in all of Poland that sell unleaded gas, which this car requires.
We spent quite a bit of time crossing the border—lots of red tape. But there was a restaurant right there so when we were still there at lunchtime, we ate a lunch of good mashed potatoes, wurst and cabbage salad. Finally we could go through the border so we drove to Boleslawiec, a town that makes popular earthenware, which Judy especially liked, although none was available to buy.
The next morning we drove to Legnica, which we thought a very nice town, and then went on to Bolkaw to see the Do Zamku Castle. Later in the day we drove to Swidnica, where we had dinner and spent the night. We bought some Napoleon brandy, which we drank after dinner sitting on the porch of Gisela and Wolfie’s room.
There was also a heavy military presence—yes, one can feel that one is behind the Iron Curtain!
Moving on to Wraclaw, we met a Polish man, Jan, who presently lives in South Africa, who helped us order lunch. Since Gisela and Wolfie thought Wraclaw was depressing, they asked our friend to recommend another town. So Jan went with us, guiding us to Jelenia Gora, and to the Hotel Ciepleca. It was a pleasant town, which we discovered on a long walk before bedtime.
In the morning we visited the Norwegian Bird Museum, and then a glass museum.
Jan bade us goodbye and sent us on to Szklarska Poreba, which was in beautiful hilly pine country with charming mountain streams. We ate a great lunch of pancakes with cream cheese and then went for a long walk in the woods. Poland is interesting but quite poor—things certainly don’t ‘work’ like they do in West Germany.
More exploring tomorrow,