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When we visited Poland I noticed a style of passenger van being used in the tourist trade with which I was not familiar.
A little research revealed that it’s a Polish made van, the ‘Nysa 522’, a symbol of the Communist era. It was manufactured in Nysa, Poland from 1958 – 1994. Nysa built it to be a multifunctional van and it was used for carrying cargo and passengers, less commonly as ambulances. Nysa vans were also commonly used by the Communist Militia.
The company did little to improve the van over the years, powering them with relatively gutless 2.2 or 2.5 l engines. When the Soviet Union collapsed and Democracy re-emerged in Poland, sales of better quality and more popular imported vehicles …
Parked near Wawel Hill in Krakow is a rather fancy old truck, all done up as a beer delivery truck — down to large wooden kegs sitting in its bed. PIWO is Polish for “beer”. I thought this was extremely effective advertising.
The flat bed truck is a Barkas V901/2, an East Germany brand which was made in the 1950s. There were many other chassis put on this frame, but this style was the most useful and popular. These trucks were used in the Eastern European communist block until after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
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I’m a sucker for weddings. I understand that many couples don’t stay married, but there’s something appealing about the excitement, optimism and pageantry of the wedding day that appeals to me. I fondly remember my own wedding day some 33 years ago (still happily married), and more recently those of my two sons. I’m old-fashioned enough to consider marriage the cornerstone of civilization.
While traveling, I like to take the opportunity to snap photos of wedding couples when possible and I’m not being intrusive. There were a lot of weekend weddings in fall in Krakow, some of which I had a chance to photograph.
As always, my very best wishes to each of these couples.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to …
During my travels I’ve started to focus on certain features of the destinations I’m visiting, especially signs and more recently doors. I find them to be quite interesting and often reflective of the folks that built and use them.
The doors we encountered in Poland were as about as expected. Strong, sturdy, solidly-built and often utilitarian, but with some having a unique and interesting artistic flare.
Here are some of the doors we saw in Krakow:
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I loved the days we spent in Krakow! The city was everything I expected — and more. Krakow and its people that have survived a lot of hardship over the years, most recently including Nazi and Soviet occupation. The country and its people are now free and thriving. And remarkably, Krakow has endured the ravages of war and occupation with its beautiful medieval core intact.
There’s a lot to see and do in the town, from historic Wawel Castle (and its Cathedral), inviting Market Square, to beautiful churches and museums in the old town. It’s a city of advanced learning with a strong tradition of faith, from which Pope John Paul II advanced as leader of his church. The former Jewish …
The Royal Basilica of Saints Stanislaus and Wenceslaus, also known as Wawel Cathedral, is situated in Kraków, Poland. The church is part of the Royal Palace complex atop Wawel Hill, where a church has been for more than 900 years. Karol Wojtyla, who became Pope John Paul II, was ordained to the priesthood at Wawel Cathedral and performed his first mass here. Wawel Cathedral is where Polish kings were coronated and where many lie buried.
The current Gothic cathedral is the third church on the site and dates to the 14th century. It is a small cathedral with elaborate and ornate side chapels. Most of the church is open to the public and admission to the common areas is free. Photos …
The Wieliczka Salt Mine is situated in southern Poland, in the town of Wieliczka. less than a half hour’s drive from Krakow. It’s a historic place with salt having be excavated here since prehistoric times and the mine itself opening in the 13th century, making it one of the world’s oldest salt mines. The mine produced table salt until 2007 when it closed (because of the low price of salt at the time and flooding of portions of the mine) and turned its attention to tourism. It’s become a popular tourist site with over a million visitors a year. More than 38 million visitors have seen the attractions in this mine since it opened to the public.
In 1978 the Wieliczka …
I love to visit farmers’ markets! I enjoy the colors, the friendly people and, of course, the chance to buy some top quality fresh foods. The entire experience lends itself to photography and exploration.
While in Krakow we visited two markets, both very good but very different in character. The larger of these, ‘Hala Targowa,’ is considered to be the city’s best outdoor market and is the one we’ll look at today.
During weekdays in the summer and fall, it’s a typical farmers market. Our visit was on a Friday in early October and the produce offerings reflected the season. There were lots of excellent plums, a large variety of monstrous apples, a few pears and lots of root vegetables. There were some …