My last blog on the subject was very much about the trip aspect of Poland, the pottery...the stores...the accident. I'd like to take a moment to use pretty flowery words to describe Poland in general. The parts that we saw. The people we met. Not just the shopping and such, but Poland itself and the feel I got from it. I am huge on feelings, I feel like certain cities/towns speak to you. If you pay attention you can see the history through the paint, you can see the struggle or opulence. It's even more obvious in Europe, I believe. So let's begin, I will take you on a fantastical journey called "Poland, trip one".
As we began the drive crossing from Germany into Poland things began looking more...oddly like driving down the interstate in the states. Just at first. When you start entering populated areas you could see the difference. The homes, the yards, even the land itself. While on the autobahn, the most common sights were farms. Some of the farm houses were very beautiful and preserved, others were a bit run down. We noticed right away that there was a common building color. Grey.
Once we got into Bolesławiec, our beginning hours were spent seeking out pottery. Even during this time I was taking note of the landscape and homes. The sky was grey and overcast, many buildings were grey, the trees had lost their leaves leaving only naked grey-looking trees interspersed with the evergreens. We came across a home. A yellow home. The yard was still a bit stark but I could imagine it with spring green grass and the trees full of leaves. I could imagine laundry hanging on the line getting that fresh smell only the sun can bring. I imagined the people living there in this large home making borscht to eat for their midday meal. But as it was, things looked a bit bleak. I would love to revisit during spring or summer to see if the reality matches my imagination.
As we left the pottery area and drove to the restaurant, we saw large stores we recognized from Germany. We noticed little stores, boutiques and grocery stores. Then we hit a very residential area where most of the buildings were those I have become accustomed to seeing in eastern parts of Europe. Large rectangle apartment style buildings, very functional but not very stylish. I equate these things with living behind the Iron Curtain, countries that lived with communism for many years. Function was key, comfort was not. The things that we take for granted were frivolous and not needed in communistic countries. Most of these buildings were grey, fitting the theme I had been seeing. Some buildings had been painted brightly, trying to convey a new message of hope and happiness. Bright yellows, greens, oranges, reds. Still very geometric, straight lines...still the same rectangle functional buildings. Just bright and cheerful. Trying.
As we exited that part of town we entered the countryside again. We came across more of the fully functional farms, beautiful land, stone houses. We stumbled upon several large brick or stone homes that you could just tell had once been stunning and gorgeous...windows now bricked over or completely open with no screens or covering. Parts of roofs caved in, a bit of tagging here or there. I wanted to live in those places, I wanted to crawl into an open window and make myself a home. Start small, then transform it to it's former beauty...a traditional Polish home filled with beautiful pottery and walls in that blue so popularly used in the traditional patterns. Lots of candle light, dim lights, nothing over powering. I could see myself inside this stately home with my Great Dane laying by the fire and Stella on a faux fur rug. These are the things I was seeing as I saw these homes. I know most people saw crumbling and decaying facades and nothing more. Sometimes having a very active creative imagination gets me into trouble. Sometimes it creates beautiful images that only I can see, that only I can describe. It is usually a blessing. I enjoy finding beauty in things that others view as decay.
As we continued driving we came across a new housing development, some homes still being built. They were large homes made of stucco with clay tile roofs very much like the ones I often see in Bavaria. The architecture was gorgeous with many curves and arches, details missing from the functional apartment buildings. They were beautiful, but far less beautiful than the homes I had been creating in my mind. They seemed very out of place.
Once we neared the restaurant we were eating at, some of the homes were rather large and seemed more like the ones I had created. But directly next to that home would be one of the ones I had already fallen in love with, a beautiful stone home with blemishes beyond many peoples abilities to see the beauty. The restaurant itself was gorgeous. It is also an inn and for my future trips, I plan on staying in that inn and exploring more of the surrounding area. There appeared to be a working farm that was either part of the inn or at least attached to it. There were horses, farm cats, and dogs. Basically Bri heaven.
By the time we were leaving the restaurant, not only was the sky still grey, dusk was setting in casting even more shadow on places that already seemed dark. From that point, I was sitting in a back seat and was less able to see reality so I kept focusing on the beauty that others don't see, the beauty my mind was creating for me.
Once we exited Poland things got back to being common place for me. This section of Germany may have been East Germany and also behind the Iron Curtain but it seemed that if that was the case, they had rebounded much more quickly than the still recovering portion of Poland we had just left.
All in all, I loved the trip to Poland, I loved the things that were seen and unseen. I plan on returning very soon, with or without buying pottery. I want to check and double check that I have my SD card this time, make sure it is clear and ready for an absurd amount of pictures. I want to make people see things the way that I see them or at least help create a better scene for them. These things will happen, I am determined.
The way I saw Poland reminded me very much of the way that I saw Croatia, which I have not blogged about - but I will.
I hope that you have enjoyed my verbal tour of Bolesławiec and the surrounding countryside.