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Need a Guide to the Polish history and culture, I'm from Finland


Leena 1 | 5
26 Jul 2012  #1
I'm 42 years old Finnish high school history teacher woman. I'm planing about 2 weeks backpack trip in Eastern Europe (in September or October).

I have never been in Poland, and it would be interesting to see for example Krakow. Could you help me to find a guide (eg. university student?) or home accommodation for a few days? I'm very interested in history, beautiful places, every day customs, food, farming, society and Christian faith. But if you are "just tourist", you don't learn so much... I'm not looking for the cheapest way to travel, but the most interesting.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,389
26 Jul 2012  #2
... I'm not looking for the cheapest way to travel, but the most interesting.

many of the 'official guides' each have a page on facebook. use a few tag words to find them.
SeanBM 35 | 5,808
26 Jul 2012  #3
Hello Leena,

Welcome to the Polish Forums.

It would be best if you told is what you were interested in, as Poland has a lot to offer.

trip in Eastern Europe

They call it central Europe here ;p
Wulkan - | 3,251
26 Jul 2012  #4
I'ts worth noticing that Finland is more to the east than Poland
grubas 12 | 1,391
26 Jul 2012  #5
They call it central Europe here ;p

I'ts worth noticing that Finland is more to the east than Poland

Central or Eastern,what does it matter?
Wulkan - | 3,251
27 Jul 2012  #6
You're asking me like I was the geogrphist who established that Poland is located in Central Europe.
OP Leena 1 | 5
27 Jul 2012  #7
Heh, I have had funny and interesting lessons with my students about this geography :D Yes, Finland is eastern country, but many people here seem to think, that we live in the very west and Poland is eastern country because of the cold war time...

But to the earlier question: I'd like to walk together, meet real people, share thoughts and here about today's Poland. (I can find historical details and museums by myself and use guide books...) I have heard that Krakow is very beautiful, but I'm sure there are many other nice places worth of seeing.

My best experiences abroad have been meetings with other history teachers.
TheOther 5 | 3,643
27 Jul 2012  #8
Central or Eastern,what does it matter?

Exactly, so let's leave it at Eastern Europe then... ;)
teflcat 5 | 1,032
27 Jul 2012  #9
I'm sure there are many other nice places worth seeing.

Here are a couple of websites from the wild east of Poland, a place which is full of history, ethnic diversity, and great natural beauty. If you come in Septembr, PM me and I'll be your guide for a day.

bpn.com.pl
bialowieza.com.pl
Harry
27 Jul 2012  #10
Don't miss Zamosc, it is superb.

wikipedia.org/wiki/Zamo%C5%9B%C4%87
grubas 12 | 1,391
27 Jul 2012  #11
Exactly, so let's leave it at Eastern Europe then... ;)

Why not?Yeah, I know that "Eastern Europe" is associated with poverty and backwardness,this kind of stuff.But,in reality it doesn't matter.I find it silly that some Poles object when someone calls Poland an Eastern European country because if Poland was rich or super rich country nobody would care wheter foraigners call it Eastern,Central or Western as it doesn't change a bit what Poland really is.Asia overall is pretty poor but I don't think any Japanese have a problem with foraigners calling Japan an Asian country.You see what I am saying?
TheOther 5 | 3,643
27 Jul 2012  #12
You see what I am saying?

Actually, I was saying the same as you ...

I find it silly that some Poles object when someone calls Poland an Eastern European country

... just in other words.
rybnik 18 | 1,462
27 Jul 2012  #13
You see what I am saying?

I see what you're saying. But the fact remains that Poland geographically speaking, is a central european nation.............It's akin to saying Mexico is central american nation. "Who cares"? central northern.it's all the same......You see what I'm saying? :))
Wulkan - | 3,251
28 Jul 2012  #14
Exactly, so let's leave it at Eastern Europe then...

together with Finland? ok np...

if Poland was rich or super rich country nobody would care wheter foraigners call it Eastern,Central or Western

Go to Germans and tell them they are in eastern Europe and see their reaction.
OP Leena 1 | 5
30 Jul 2012  #15
Thank You for all good tips! :) And we have noticed that geography or history may be hot subjects
rybnik 18 | 1,462
30 Jul 2012  #16
what gives you that idea? :)
isthatu2 4 | 2,708
31 Jul 2012  #17
Would you be flying into Warsaw?
If so maybe work your way down Poland (north to south,avoiding the whole east west subject ;) ) and visit Częstochowa, if you are looking for Christianity in Poland that is ground zero.

Krakow is lovely but you are right,find a local guide to show you around.
Its very touristy but still charming, the salt Mines just outside Krakow, the carved chapel in there is stunning.

Have a great time :)
OP Leena 1 | 5
31 Jul 2012  #18
I haven't decide yet :) There may be very cheap flights from Turku to Gdansk. Częstochowa sounds interesting. Usually places, where are not so many tourists, are best. Atmosphere is just different... Would you recommend railways?
phtoa 9 | 236
31 Jul 2012  #19
Def not :-)
But you have a good connection between Warsaw and Krakow, but besides this the railroad system really blows!
delphiandomine 83 | 17,596
31 Jul 2012  #20
Would you recommend railways?

Yes - if you travel by "EIC"/"EX"/"EC" class trains, you won't have a problem. All seats are reserved, and fares are reasonable.

If you want, I can explain the system to you - or have a look on
polrail.com :)

(ignore the naysayers who will tell you bad things about the train network - they're the ones who take the cheapest possible trains and then wonder why it is terrible)
Harry
31 Jul 2012  #21
Would you recommend railways?

Yes, very much so. Even if you take the TLK (cheap trains), go by first class and there'll be no problem at all.

The only possible catch is that the train lines between Gdansk and Warsaw are still being up-graded, so you're looking at about seven hours to get from Gdansk to Warsaw. Frankly you might be better just flying to Warsaw and going no further north than Warsaw on this trip. If you can fly cheaply from Turku to Gdansk, it might be worth leaving the Gdansk area for a long weekend another time. I'd be thinking something like this: fly into Warsaw, couple of days in Warsaw, train to Poznan, couple of days there, then train to Wroclaw, couple of days there, then train to Krakow,few days there, then bus to Zamosc and day or two there, bus to Lublin and day or two there, back to Warsaw and fly home.
grubas 12 | 1,391
31 Jul 2012  #22
Exactly, so let's leave it at Eastern Europe then... ;)

It seems that Eastern Europe gets really bad rap and a lot of it.I just googled "Eastern Europe" and here are some results.

From a travel forum:
"are people from eastern Europe that poor?
they just work,they dont live their lives,they only want money,money,money.I mean we see people from other countries like France,Spain,Portugal (you know the good countries of Europe) and they dont go to other countries for the money,they come just for a new experience,to study....they all live well,in good houses and they have money,but that doesnt happen with people from Latvia,Romania,Poland,Lithuania...why is that?

maybe they shouldnt be in the European community?"
A poor home in Eastern Europe.

youtube.com/watch?v=aNiV4i0N_0I


  • Google images for Eastern Europe

  • Google images for Eastern Europe
OP Leena 1 | 5
31 Jul 2012  #23
Railway system wasn't too easy! :) What do you think, how much does it cost to travel about 200-300 km by train? We have in Finland only one state railway comany -and very high taxes. (300 km one way ticket is about 40-50 €)
Harry
31 Jul 2012  #24
^ Depending on the train and ticket type, 300km would be €10 to €20, second class.
TheOther 5 | 3,643
31 Jul 2012  #25
It seems that Eastern Europe gets really bad rap and a lot of it.

Yeah, I know. Google for 'Eastern Europe' and look at the maps that come up. You will see that on most of them Eastern Europe is equivalent to the area of the former Warsaw Pact; and herein lies the problem. While Poland is central Europe geographically, most people in the west who grew up during the Cold War era will automatically make the connection Poland = Warsaw Pact = Eastern Europe = pi.ss poor commies and no freedom. I understand that (some) people in Poland are not particularly happy about this negative image, but getting upset about it won't change anything at all. IMO, it will take at least another generation before things are back to normal again.
grubas 12 | 1,391
31 Jul 2012  #26
I think you are right,it will take at least a generation to change the image of Eastern Europe as a grim,poverty ridden place where the sun never shines and people walk in mud up to their waist.Las night I was reading travel reports from Poland and a couple of authors were reffering to EE as Eastern BLOC countries.
OP Leena 1 | 5
31 Jul 2012  #27
Would You -or do you know someone in Poland -who would like to meet me, show home town and tell "all" about Poland and it's history and identity? Just send me an email :) I'm very keen in history, society, identity and faith.


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