Silesia explorer

Blog about tourist places, travelling in Upper Silesia, Poland

WHICH CLIMATE HAS THIS COUNTRY?


Well.

When I arrived to Poland it was June, I remember that the first day it was raining and my flat was cold. I had to wear long pyjama and buy two pairs of wool socks. I didn´t want to be in Poland !!

During a week it rained without stop and the storms were amazing. I haven´t seen the same before. I thought that the roof of my flat will fall down and that some thunder come to me in the street.

An experience happened to me with a friend from Ukraine (Oksana Bondar) : There was the day when Spanish football team played the final of European Cup. We wanted to see the football match in Spodek but it was impossible. We were waiting there for a long time under a roof and finally we decided to go home. The Sky in Katowice was black, orange, brown, the sun umbrellas in Spodek were fall down, the windy destroyed everything… DISASTER! and when we arrived to home it was the second part of football match. Spain won European Cup but still was raining till midnight.

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I remember that I was talking with my flatmate about my Grandmather. She hates storms and when storm is coming, she is going to her bed and she is keep herself under the blanket until when this storm dissapear. I was imagining me all summer in my room without nothing to do. But the weather changed.

Changed but strange!

The mornings were warm and Maria wear summer clothes. In the office break Carolina (Volunteer of Bona Fides), Tetiana and me went to buy our ice-creams… delicious!!. but the evening started to rain and Maria didn´t know what to wear. During June and July this is was the weather in Poland.

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In the beggining of August the summer started and we were swimming in Gliwice. There were a lot of people there. It´s some kind of swimming pool and it´s cheaper.

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I need the sun for survive and I think Polish people too.

But why Polish women have dark skin? aa I know it´s not because they took sun it´s because they spent a lot of money in Rayos V. Also now I can understand better how the weather influence in their caracter and for this reason when they are going abroad they come to Poland fell in love with this country and with the sun of south of Europe, but for some of them it´s difficult to go in summer because they can´t even breathe there.

Having in August, one week ago the weather changed again, one night I wear a dress which one it´s for summer and also summer shoes and suddenly started to rain to much and during all night.

I am used to have this climate but my friend from Spain became to be ill and he decided to go at home. During these last weeks I wear all kind of clothes, socks, coats, jerseys, I used umbrella, scarf…

A girl from Poland being in Wroclaw told me that summer in Poland is finished… but how I can believe her? Yesterday when I woke up and I look on my window there were people in front of my room taking a sun in the garden.

Are they crazy I thought?

Nie Nie. It was 28ºC so I decided to wear my bikini and go to some lake near to Nikiszowiec. When I arrived there a lot of people were enjoyed this day. It was wonderful, colourful. The people were fishing, eating, drinking, playing. The animals jumping of happiness and I was lying with my book, my food and thinking about myself. During 4 hours I was there and I was the girl more happy in this world just with shining sun but….

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Which weather it will be tomorrow?? Surprise, Surprise.

I will be ready step by step.

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4 must-see in Katowice


Katowice is the capital of Silesia region. And we live here.

There is your plan what you must see here in order to come back home and be sure that you were in Katowice. So let’s start:

1. Working mine

Not from underground, but at least from outside (though miners earn a lot of money, are you searching for job?).

If you see huge triangular tower with wheel on the top – it is a mine. This is what construction you should look for (not working mine).

If the wheel is going round – it is a working mine.

Find a miner (attribute: dirty hands and face, overalls, helmet, long boots), made a picture with him and then show to your friends.

Though if you are not attracted of high salary of miners, but still you are interested, go to Tarnowskie Gory and visit real mine, which stopped work more than 50 years ago. Read our article.

2. UFO

In 20 century UFO was flying above Earth. And in 1971 it arrived to Poland, in Katowice. Petrol finished and UFO is still here. Locals start to call it Spodek, what means Saucer.

It is a not-football stadium – an example of communist period flight of imagination.

If you make photo here – this mean you were in Katowice.

Football championship EURO 2012 madness.

Spodek is easy to find.

3. Colorful fountain

Near UFO you will see not less freak monument. I saw in different time this fountain with yellow, with red (actually it is a blood, and Dracula is from here) and with normal transparent water.

Fountain is situated at square near Spodek.

4. Nikiszowiec

For sure we will write big and full article about Nikiszowiec. It is a place with combined magic fairlytale and getto athmosphere. It is heighborhood built for miners in beginning of 20 century.

Maria and I – we live in Nikiszowiec. Here is a view from our flat.

To come to Nikiszowiec you should take bus N 30 or N 12 from city center and go 20 min.

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Tattoo Museum in Gliwice – you don’t need to go to Amsterdam any more


One month ago Museum of Tattoo was opened in Gliwice – the first one in all eastern Europe.

It is not actually the museum how we get used to imagine a museum. Museum is situated in the same space with working tattoo salon. If the door to the room is not closed you can even observe some man laying in the couch and master making weird things with the skin.

Museum is small – two rooms with exponates according to history of tattoo: drawings, paintings, reproductions of old pictures, tattoo sticks and stuff from different parts of world. All this is a private collection of owner. He works here, so you can talk personally –  creator of a museum is the best guide.

It could be one of the most amusing museums in Silesia, especially if you are involved in topic.

And entrance is for free. Nice, I like it.

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Museum is simple to find, go from Gliwice main square Rynek in down town, follow the map, see sign on the wall, go upstairs and find the door of tattoo salon.

Facebook page of museum.

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HISTORICAL MUSEUM- KATOWICE


MEMORIES OF THIS CITY

This museum showcasing some of the more interesting aspects of the life and times of the city and their people.

It´s situated five minutes ride for the city center, in the street Szafranek St. 9, and inside there are few important things to see. Admission 8zl/4zł students, Saturday free. Guided tours 12zł per person.

Open 10:00 – 17:30, Tue, Thu 10:00 – 15:00, Sat, Sun 11:00 – 14:00. Closed Mon.

It is divided into three main sections.

First floor: 

Wearing a pair of silly slippers provided in the price of the ticket, wander for a wonderful carpet in all rooms and include as well a superb recreation of house interiors of the middle and upper classes of the city from 20, 50 and 100 years ago.

The conservation of furniture, smell older and high roofs introduce yourself to the past.

The walls have a very formal style keeping with the times and adapted to each type of rooms.

                

               

Second floor:

This exposition is complemented with an XVIII century map and ironworks tools.

Exhibits of tradition and cultural achievements of less-privileged classes in Katowice it focuses on peasant communities as well as plebeian townspeople, mainly working class and partly craftsmen. Is dedicated to cultural remnants of former rural life and illustrates the urbanised culture.

A few photographs help the visitors to know what the town looked like at that time.

If you don´t know Polish it will be a little bit complicated to understand.

Third floor:

Sport is the theme of the exhibition. Was inspired and to some extent dictated by sports events – Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine, and the Olympic Games in London.

The exhibition objects were collected from various museums in Poland, with particular emphasis on the collection of the Olympic Center in Warsaw.

A separate part of the exhibition deal with the interwar period woodcuts depicting winter sports. Aptly fifties to the present day are represented in the graphic technique, taking up about the sport in different scenes and different forms of expression from realism to symbolism.

          

One of the best museums in southern Poland, and well worth visiting when you’re in the city…..

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Szczyrk: 2 hours from Katowice – you are in mountains


Szczyrk is quite famous Silesia ski resort. All ski resorts in summer time transform to hiking resorts.

Szczyrk is situated in the Beskids (pol.Beskidy) mountains. Beskids are stretching through Poland, Slovakia, Czech and Ukraine.

The best way to come to Szczyrk is first to come to Bielsko-Biala (pol. Bielsko-Biała). Szczyrk is near at hand from Bielsko.

In village you can find thematical restaurants with Polish food, concerts of folk music, fair with traditional souvenirs. But we came here not for this. Mountains are waiting for us.

In Szczyrk take chair-lift to the mount Skrzyczne (price 12 PLN). Please, not forget to take warm clothes. Wind is blowing, and in the middle of July here was +14C.

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Riding a  lift you observe perfect view to neighbourhood and feel flying. Under your legs you find stumps, fallen trees, green grass, around you – high firtrees.

And breath! Air is fresh and clear here. Seems like you can drink the air.

Lift drives you out of civilization, far far away. Leave all your problems below, and go to pure nature closer to sky.

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Getting off the lift you find charming beautiful landscapes. Green, grey and blue colors.

From the top you start your way along one of several trails. You can choose wide road, which is used for bicycles and ski, or tiny snaky  track, where your legs will be scratched by blueberry bushes. Blueberries are everywhere! Try this healthy and tasty berry – your fingers will be blue.

Night comes here unexpectedly. Once you admire magnificent sunset, pick up healing herbals (lift stops work at 19:00), and next moment – darkness. So don’t forget to take with you to mountains a relaible  person, who will not panic and search for the path to village together with you.

Enjoy your trip. But I advice you to behave carefully and respectfully to nature here. This forest is a mystery forest. Here gnomes and leprechauns are living. If you disturb them – they will get angry, send rain and storm to you. But being calm and kind-hearted they could play funny games with you, invite you to their houses and show forest treasures.

Szczyrk is definitely a good choice for weekends. Before you can check web-site of Szczyrk – it looks useful.

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