Rynek in Wrocław
My wife (moja żona) Kate joined me for Planet Head Day, and the next morning we left for a trip through southern Poland. First stop is Wrocław, for a day of exploring the old Rynek (city center) there. Wrocław has a recent history very similar to Szczecin: total devastation during the war, then the German inhabitants forcibly evicted and an entirely new (“pioneer”) population of Poles from the recently Russian-occupied region of eastern Poland came and rebuilt the city, retaining and rebuilding as much of the original architecture as could be done.
The Rynek in Wrocław is similar to the smaller one in Poznań that we visited two years ago. I would guess that all these buildings were rebuilt from scratch after the war. (The Rynek in Szczecin was not rebuilt as all the bricks were sent to Warsawa for rebuilding, as the sense was the Szczecin would later return to German control.)
Church in Wrocław
The churches are interesting to “deconstruct” with the eyes, which tell by the patchwork of new and old bricks the bullet and larger-caliber holes and collapsed areas that have since been repaired; often everything from halfway-up is made of new bricks (I don’t think there is a shard of original glass in the city). This church, apparently no longer in use, has a nice door.
Farmers Market in Wrocław
We love farmers market in Europe (and the US). As soon as we saw what looked like an old train station, we headed in that direction since that is usually where farmers markets are to be found in European cities.
Lunch with Kate
Having lunch, an oven-baked pierogi (essentially a calzone). Note the simple but very neat décor: wooden spatulas, forks and such are suspended to divide the booths, surround lamps, etc. Very effective and I would think very inexpensive.
It seems that every city in eastern Europe has some small-statue theme. In Wrocław this is gnomes, of which there are several hundred scattered everywhere about the city. Here is the backstory. In the last stage of protests prior to “The Wall” coming down, people in Wrocław took to painting anti-communist slogans on walls. The commies were very efficient about quickly painting these out to be covered with pro-Communists slogans. These the protesters painted out and replaced with … caricatures of gnomes.
A macho bicycle
Eastern Europe seems particularly friendly to those of us who ride the macho bicycles (ie, lack the silly gears, chains and brakes). Not sure what this sign means, but I like it!