While in Poland in Leszno, I try to take the bike out for quick treks around the surrounding forest called Karczma Borowa .
I have been enjoying these immensely and wanted to share with you the beauty I encounter. One day I decided to take my camera along to take a few quick shots.
If you don’t know it yet, the Polish forests are unique, beautiful, varied and rich.
I finally had an opportunity to visit the place I grew up in so many years ago. As a matter of fact, it took me almost 24 years to come back to see some of my ‘old’ school friends. My family and I left Belchatow, Poland in June of 1987, right after I graduated from grade six (Poland reached its independence from the communist regime a couple of years later). I had an amazing memory from the times I’ve spent in Belchatow even-though I grew up during tough communist times. My parents sheltered me from the difficult reality of the day and enabled me to form great childhood memories.
The visit with friends from 24 years ago was surreal and I appreciated every second of it. What I would like to share with you however is the absolutely phenomenal nature of the town itself.
When my parents came from Kuyavia (Wloclawek) to chase a new dream of becoming inhabitants of their own apartment in Belchatow (which was quite an achievement for a young family in Poland at the time), the town was home to less than 25 thousands inhabitants. In the early 70s the discovery of brown coal triggered a boom in its population growth. The town exploded from a ‘small ‘ to a ‘predominant town’ over night. Today, the city is inhabited by over 60 thousand people and home to some of the countries’ best volleyball (SKRA Belchatow) and soccer teams (GKS Belchatow) thanks to a highly developed sports infrastructure sponsored by the largest employers of the town, Power Plant and Coal Mine Belchatow. Over 10,000 people are employed by both employers.
Since the big discovery of coal Belchatow became home to world’s largest coal excavators as well as one of the biggest energy producers in Europe. Over 20% of all of Poland’s electricity is produced by the plant in Belchatow.
As a child I’ve never fully comprehended the magnitude of the project until today. Here are a few images of the manufactured landscapes that provided for my and many families in Poland.
April 4, 2011, we arrive in London after a long, sleepless flight and a cranky toddler, a splendid beginning to our adventure:) The lack of rest and lack of lifts in London’s metro stations make it difficult to be happy about schlepping 5 pieces of luggage plus Niko’s stroller but we’re determined to get to the apartment as soon as humanly possible. We finally make it to the flat in Camden Town and are excited to be welcomed by our lovely host, Shara who shows us her fantastic place with a kid’s bedroom, just perfect for Niko and his much needed nap.
Camden Town is an inner city district in northwest London and a must-see place for sure! It features London’s most popular open-air and indoor markets with its own distinctive flavours, tiny shops, lively bars and plenty of eateries. We really enjoyed our stay in this part of town, it reminded us of Kensigton market in Toronto, only a thousand times bigger:) It’s multicultural vibe and ethnic symbols throughout, made us feel right at home.
Due to our short stay (of 3 days only) we were unable to see everything London has to offer but it does have a daunting range of sites and attractions one can choose from. Niko’s favourites were definitely the zoo and London’s green spaces, all great for unwinding or running around and chasing squirrels. All the parks we visited were fantastic with botanical gardens, ponds or playgrounds, apparently there are more than 3,000 parks and open spaces in the city.
In short, it was a great trip, definitely worth spending some English pounds:)
To see all our pictures from London please go here. Here is a video from our trip to London.
Also, visit our interactive travel map here to see where we have been so far. Zoom in to see each location with our points of interest.
What are your impressions of London. Let us know. Thanks