We have spent a week in sunny Poland since we last wrote......in the deepest depths of the country where the dongle refused to work!
Anyway – we took a successful ferry from Ystad (in Sweden) to Swinoujscie (in Poland) on Tuesday (29th July). It was a night crossing taking 9 hours, on a very posh ferry. The children had entertainment (in Polish!) and face painting and then we decided to get a cabin as there was no -where else to get our heads down. We each shared a bed with one child each and luckily I picked the quiet side of the cabin. Phil – on the other hand, suffered a disturbed night as he had very noisy neighbours in the cabin next door. He was very unimpressed!
When we landed in Poland we instantly remembered about Polish drivers and the way, in our experience, that they like to wait until the very last minute to overtake and especially enjoy the challenge if there is an oncoming lorry!!
We travelled through N/W Poland and visited interesting places including Szczecin and Koszalin. The children and I climbed over 350 steep steps up the lighthouse in Gaski. Phil’s leg would not allow this climb and so he filmed us at the top as he supped a piwo! (Life’s tough!)
Phil and the children paddled in the Baltic sea – just to say they had – until their shoes were swept into the water! It was not the best day for paddling!
We had a great time staying with friends - no time for sleeping – only partying and dancing! They are all excellent dancers and are determined to teach me (which is a bit of a losing battle!). We were very pleased to have been invited to a wedding during this year’s visit and we were honoured to be seated among family at the ‘top table’ during the reception. Our thanks to Kamil and Asher.
These wedding celebrations lasted for a whole two days! The wedding day began by us all having our hair done (kinda curled!) at 7am – yes 7am! I had been shipped off the day before to buy a dress (as my idea of wedding attire was not approved!) I also had to buy STILLETOES! –well – I tell you – and for those of you that know me – I don’t need to tell you – me and high heels don’t go! I tried to walk the minimum distance but its actually walking in these things that is the problem – and Phil said I did a very convincing impression of Tina Turner!
The church service on Saturday was very similar to that of a Catholic service in England. As the bride and groom left the church they were showered with coins – wishing them wealth and happiness throughout their lives together.
Then it was off to the Reception celebrations which continued through to Sunday evening! We noticed lots of extra’s and differences to that of the traditional English wedding and will include some of these in our fact-oids!
We enjoyed the remainder of the time in Poland with lots of swimming in the local river and drinking of Vodka (but not at the same time!)
We also did plenty of eating of Polish foods during this time. Our friends fed us delicious food at every opportunity, including:
BIGOS - A mixed dish including cabbage, sausage, garlic and onion.
GOLAMKI – A concoction including minced pork and rice which is then wrapped up in a cabbage leaf.
KIELBASA – Sausage
KRAKOWSKA – Large Sausage
TATA- A favourite meal made from raw pork and raw egg. This is considered a deathly combination in England – so why do many, many, people on the continent not think twice about eating this, treat this as a delicacy and do not die from eating it either?!
Many meals were served with a tomato, onion and pepper dish which was very tasty too!
We said our goodbyes – until next time – and left Poland – bound for Germany.
We have camped in Mid Germany near a village called Hohegib. This was north of the big town of Gotten. The site - “Camping Platz Am Barenbach “- was very efficiently run with friendly and helpful owners . The children enjoyed a huge swimming pool all to themselves and Ben has cracked his 100 metres! Jemma managed 300 metres and has been motivated to practice her diving after watching the beginning of the Olympics through our working satalite system! (much to Phil’s pleasure!)
The children have had sickness and we have both spent a bad day suffering from the two bob bits!
All is well now and we have moved on to a campsite near Frankfurt.
· The Bride and Groom and then the Bridesmaid and Best man sign the register BEFORE the marriage service is conducted.
· Wedding rings are worn on the index finger of the right hand.
· Widows and widowers change their rings over to the left index finger.
· At the beginning of the wedding reception-all of the guests join together in a pledge (holding two fingers up similar to that of a scout pledge). This pledge promises that everyone will not leave the Wedding Reception until all the food has been eaten and all the alcohol has been drunk!
· There are no speeches apart from a vote of thanks from the Bride and Groom.
· There are no long-winded photo sessions – the Bride and Groom were taken off for a photo shoot and then they come back and take selected members for photos – while everyone else continues the partying!
· The wedding cake was wheeled into the darkened room- with fireworks blazing from it!
· The Bride and Groom cut the cake and offered it around themselves.
· At midnight some humorous rhymes and games are dedicated to the Bride and Groom – including a blind fold game to ensure that they can recognise different parts of each other’s anatomy!
· The Bride and Groom thank their parents and then join them for a very emotional circle dance to very powerful music.
· The Brides veil is detached and she throws it out for a girl to catch.
· The Grooms tie is removed and he throws it out for a boy to catch.
· This newly formed couple must kiss for a minimum of 20 seconds, as everyone claps and cheers!
· At any and many times throughout the celebrations – loud clapping and jeering requires that the Bride and Groom must kiss and not stop until the cheering stops! Easier said than done sometimes!!
· The newly married couple charge 5 Zorte for a two minute dance with them or until the next person pushes you off – and this money is collected by the Bridesmaid and the Best man.
· The second day continues the celebrations with much dancing and drinking!
· Everyone leaves at the end of the second day...............
· From our experience – a tooth mouse (not a fairy) works in Poland and gave Ben a 5 Zorte coin.
· From our experience – a tooth Fairy works in Sweden and gave Jemma a gold 5 Krone coin.
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CHEERS! (More pics soon!)
Wednesday, August 13, 2008 4:40:04 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00) Poland