So if you didn’t know…I know I don’t really look the part (for those that have taken a look at my ‘Bits About the Blogger’ tab)…but I’m Puerto Rican and Polish! I’m actually been raised more with a polish background because I speak polish with my Mom’s side of the family, as well as cook polish dishes, and celebrate holidays Polish style! Or at least, that’s how I’ve always felt we celebrated our holidays.
Anyway! I took my second trip to Poland just this past summer, (I also went to Greece but I’m saving that special post for later!) and maybe you’ve heard some things about Poland as a country in history class, but not many think “Mmm, Poland! That’s a Bucket List vacation.”
I believe, like many other countries, Poland is easily over looked. It’s a great country hidden behind the scenes and neglected of its beauty, history, and delicious ice cream.
Here are some of my adventures, that I think will interest you to visit Poland one day!
1. History is Everywhere
Here’s a glimpse of Wawel Castle in Krakow.
These are the remains of Saski Palace. Like many other parts of Poland, Saski Palace was sadly destroyed during World War II.
Next up is just a simple street walking through a part of Krakow! The ground-work reminds me of when they road horse carriages everywhere. To keep the history live, they still do have old-looking horse carriage rides!
Do you see that church to the right of my head, behind me? Yeah, that’s St. Mary’s (Mariacki) Basilica. It’s over 200 years old and the inside is beautiful as ever…I would have taken a picture, but there was actually a wedding taking place inside, so I showed my respect, said and prayer, and continued on my journey. But pictures wouldn’t do it justice anyway!
One of the most humbling experiences I have had was touring through Auschwitz Concentration Camp. Truly remarkable and definitely unforgettable.
2. Best Coffee Shops Ever
I don’t know if you know this, but Europe has Iced Cappuccinos…like they are INCREDIBLE.
An I know what you’re thinking, “Sab, they have Iced Capps at Tim Hortons?”
NO! You know how hot cappuccinos have frothed milk on top? Yeah…so does iced cappuccinos!! Every time I passed a Costa Coffee (BEST COFFEE SHOP EVER), I got an iced cappuccino.
This was not from Costa Coffee, but it was BOMB.
3. Greatest Bakery Breads and Sweets in the World
Along with their numerous, adorable coffee shops, they have an endless amount of bakeries. Bread is a staple in Poland, like we ate it at least two or three times a day, so they know all the tricks to making it delicious as ever.
Likewise, Polish desserts are wonderfully unique in that they are simple and not overly sweet. You will never see more than 1 cup of sugar in a polish recipe. HOWEVER there is one exception…that would be the one thing Poland is famously known for: paczki! It’s a donut-like pastry (but better), and there are plenty of shops that make it. I mean really…what kind of polish shop are you if you don’t? And what kind of person would you be to go to Poland and not try a paczek? (You wouldn’t be human…)
This paczek was specially unique because it was topped with nuts rather than a clear glaze and orange-rinds, so this is not completely authentic.
This is what my kind of paczki look like:
Don’t get me started on pierogi…
4. Since we’re talking about sweets, let’s talk about ice cream
You may think Ben and Jerry’s is the ride-or-die ice cream companion…or maybe you think it’s Breyers…BUT THAT’S BECAUSE YOU HAVEN’T TRIED POLISH ICE CREAM. (Sorry…I’m not yelling, I’m just excited.)
The one covered in a chocolate shell is my favorite kind, but their flavors are out of this world. In the second picture I have a scoop of blueberry and caramel. Third holds a scoop of dark chocolate and cappuccino. It doesn’t get any better than that. My mouth is watering just remembering it…moving on now.
5. Convenient Transportation
One thing I really enjoy is how convenient Poland’s transportation is. Not to mention, Poland is a very active country! People are always walking, riding bikes, taking buses and subway systems, and of course there’s people driving cars.
Sure…during rush hour, you might have to catch the next bus (in hopes that there’s space to stand or sit), but if you don’t have a car (*raises hand*) and you enjoy walking and staying active so you can have your daily ice cream/paczki fix (*raises both hands*), then it’s great!
Of course, there’s a million more reasons I could list for why you should visit Poland, but then this post would go on forever. Instead, I encourage you to look into it yourself. Use the ideas I left you today to research and discover some other things I didn’t list (again, there’s a LOT…I’m barely even scratching the surface!) and give it a go! I promise you won’t regret it!