I am writing this post to you from the comforts of my bed after an extremely tiring long weekend in Poland. A weekend meeting family, eating lots and drinking even more. The Polish way!
We set off in the car at 4am on Thursday morning to catch our 8am flight from the gorgeous Luton. The first day was spent in Gdańsk, pottering around, drinking coffee and eating pizza before meeting a friend in the early evening. A lot of coffee and very little sleep caused me to feel quite sick and by the time we got in the car to drive to Koscierzyna I was asleep. Subsequently I missed all the countryside views as we drove out of the city to my girlfriend’s hometown and to her parent’s house which was to be our base for the next few days. After arriving and eating some delicious placek po wegiersku there was beer. And then whiskey. And then bed!
The next day after a particularly restless night’s sleep we popped into the town centre where I accidentally bought 2 pairs of shoes… Following a quick lunch we went to nearby Szymbark and saw an upside down house, various post war atrocities and the longest single piece of wood.
It was here we met the girlfriend’s cousins and their kids for a sausage which we had to cook over an open fire in the ‘old style’. After this I tried the car for a short drive up the road to a lookout tower in Wiezyca which rose 30m in to the air. My vertigo was not doing too great as we walked up the wooden looking structure. At the top it wasn’t so bad though as you could not see anything for clouds and mist! After a quick descent it was back home for dinner and beer as more of my girlfriend’s family popped by.
Saturday was the big day. It was the little one’s 1st birthday and we were all getting dressed and going for a traditional Polish party. Eek. It started off easy with fruit juice and some food. And then more food. And then vodka. And then more food. Then vodka. Then dessert. Then coffee. Then cold meats. Then vodka. Then more coffee. Then vodka. Then it gets a bit hazy as I went from family member to family member (there was about 30!) attempting my best Polish. There was a lot of dancing too which as anyone who knows me can vouch for is not my speciality. I’m not sure if it was the atmosphere or the vodka but I was loving it. It was an amazing night and was great to meet the girlfriend’s family for the first time. Even if I did make a fool of myself and couldn’t speak to them.
The next day was spent relaxing and trying to get rid of the vodka induced hangover… I wish! We didn’t have time to rest! This was our last full day! So after a typically English bacon and eggs we popped over to see the little one and have a coffee and some food. Then we drove to nearby Wdzydze (try saying that with a hangover – or without for that matter) which is a small village next to a ginormous lake. The area was stunning. A cross shaped lake surrounded by forests and rolling hills stretched out for miles and miles. We wandered around as the hangover really took its toll. It was only then that the dehydration kicked in properly. I blame the lack of colon. My girlfriend would blame the vodka. Luckily there was another 30m tower to help. This one was less vertigo inducing and the view from the top was amazing. The sun glittering off the lake and the cool breeze helped blow all cobwebs away and by the time we were back home I was feeling much better.
Then there was another trip to the 1 year old’s place for champagne and beer and birthday celebrations. Up next was a visit to auntie and uncle a few minutes away where of course there was more food and beer. And a very sweet nalewka which was basically a 95% honey and plum flavoured spirit. Apparently it would get rid of any aches and pains. Which I definitely had after 3 exhausting days and very little sleep! After that it was home for bed before an early start to get back home to rainy England.
What a weekend. I had a great time meeting the extended family and experiencing true Poland rather than the time previously spent in the larger more touristic cities. I loved it and look forward to returning at Christmas to give the j pouch a real Polish test! Not long until surgery now. Poland was the last thing to do before it. After rather unceremoniously putting on my final bag it is now time to relax and stock up on toilet paper and lucozade for the next few weeks.