Kazimierz Dolny 06/05/2016
We are happy to report the sun is shining and we are sitting on the banks of the Vistula having had a lovely couple of days in Lublin and now here. It is a shame when you get to a place like this that you cannot stay longer but we have a route to the North and we are going to stick to it, well maybe. ‘Kaz’ is a one-horse village with a market square, with surprise-surprise a market in and some fine buildings to act as a backdrop. It is also famous for baking bread in the shape of a cockerel, needless to say we bought one and found it be similar to a brioche. We also had breakfast sat out in the square and watched the sellers, hawkers, thieves and shoppers go about their business.
Typical Wooden House
Hard Working Men
More wooden Buildings
The journey was uneventful with most of it along a free-to-use highway and then a good standard of minor road to ‘Kaz’. We stopped in a car park in the centre of Lublin for about 50p and hour and also bought a data card in about 5 minutes and loaded it with 10Gig for about a fiver. The same operation in Italy would have cost €30 and taken about three hours and be wrong.
The campsite for Lublin that appears on the somewhat flawed Camper Contact app closed down a couple of years ago even though you can get access to the overgrown site. But a friendly local told us of another place on the other side of the lake where we stayed overnight for a pound. The place was in a beautiful setting with a small beach and a bar. I watched a Ukrainian chap with the world’s smallest BBQ cook an equally small sausage for his wife. It had been dark for an hour before they sat around the dying embers and ate.
Lublin is how most people expect an Eastern European City to be. It has a beautiful Old Town, a castle and good bars and restaurants – but without the hordes of visitors one gets in Krakow. Lublin also has a Death Camp on the outskirts of town for those of a morbid curiosity. We walked around the cobbled streets sticking our nose in here and there before ending up at the Castle.
Old Town Gate
More of Castle Street
The castle has mainly been used as a prison since it was rebuilt in 1820 and was utilised by both the Germans and Russians during their time as oppressors. Entrance to the grounds is free but for a small fee you can either go up the tower for panoramic views, see a rather dull museum of gawp at the wall paintings of the 14th Century Chapel of The Holy Trinity. The frescos painted in 1418 are the finest examples of Russo-Byzantine art in Poland, if not Europe and are well worth the entrance fee. The views from the top are fine but like the London Eye they are only good in one direction.
Soviet Style flats
Holy Trinity Fresco
And even more
On leaving the castle we headed back to the Old Town to have a look at the Cathedral where the painting of the Virgin Mary shed tears in 1949. Again it is strong on frescos but from the later Baroque Period.
Walking back to the Old Town
Entrance to The Cathedral
Beautifully Painted Ceiling
We finished off with one last look at the old town and a quick wander around the pedestrianised modern quarter which was also rather pleasant. It even had a Solidarity Office but unfortunately without a picture of the hirsute Lech Walesa, one of my all-time heroes. Try Lublin instead of Krakow is our advice for your weekend in Poland. You will not be disappointed and you want have to dance around the drunken crowds.
Not the same without Lech
Love to All