Travel goals in the last year.

1 Nov

My travel horizons haven’t diminished since settling in Poland, but  I have reduced the travelling distance, in other words getting to know Poland, especially this part of Poland. No longer do I stroll around various destinations as far removed as Borobodur or Ljubljana. You won’t necessarily see me wandering the streets of Munich or Venice, Ayvalik or Bandung, though I’d love to check out the ghosts of Singapore. I think getting to know your adopted country is just as interesting a form of travel if you happen to be in that position. So, I aimed to swim in at least two new lakes and one new river last year, but I ended up in swimming in the same river as I had before twice, and in two new lakes.

I wanted to see a few more castles in Poland. In previous years, I had seen castles in Warsaw, Szczecin, Gniew, Golub, Malbork and others, but this year it was more cathedrals than castles. Poznan cathedral and Farrah church, Gniezno cathedral and Gdansk cathedral.  As you can glean from this, I like castles, churches and swimming, and what you can not glean from this is I also saw old mansions, which I also like. 

For example, for art lovers, there is a little secret place in the grounds of  Rogalin. Let us keep it a surprise for visitors to the place.  The national museum in Poznan has an awesome collection of art, both Polish and international. You can mix your Malczewskis with your Tintorettos, but actually some of the lesser known paintings are the real stars of the show.   On the way to Poznan from Torun and Bydgoszcz, there is also a folkloric park where I stood in a typical peasant homestead and bought fabulous farm made sausages and a few bottles of beer from a tiny local brewery. On the subject of microbreweries, Poznan has one which is famous all over Poland and yes, the beer is great.

As for my adopted home town, it still has good pubs, but I do not visit them that often. Married life diminishes the need to prop up bars. I plan in the future to interview the owner of one of them, a jazz pub, if he allows me, as he is a talented jazz drummer in his own right, and bung it here on the blog. It is only a plan… As for future travel plans, we shall see.

My wife and I went also to Greece for a summer holiday. Greece really is in crisis, but there was some humour about it all. There were menus in Athenian tavernas called Crisis Menus, i.e. cheaper than usual.  The waiters were more attentive. One of them in the Plaka district introduced me to the chef because he happened to come from the island we had gone to. For the first time ever, in a taverna we had been to before a few times, the owner produced a till receipt with the bill. Gone are the days when island people would flap a white handkerchief in the middle of the seafront to warn others that the taxman from Athens cometh off the ferry.

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