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A trip to Poland:   July 24 to August 6, 1998

 

 

Our arrival in Bialystok was unremarkable.  We settled down in our rooms and went to visit with family.  My uncle's two daughters were home for a visit (Anna lives in Olsztyn, not far from the little village my parents are from) (Elzbieta lives in southern Poland in a town called Zabze).  Bialystok is near the Belarusian border (about 60 km away) in northeastern Poland.

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Let me start off by saying that Bialystok is not a tourist attraction.  In that light let me also add that the Belarusian influence is notable and the woods around Bialystok are beautiful.  There are several historic sites to see as well as great shopping to be had.  Bialystok has a cornucopia of outdoor cafes and pubs, it has a slightly Bohemian feel to it.  It is also home to an interesting brew, Dojlidy Beer, which is probably the best tasting beer I've ever had (I'm not a big beer drinker).

The first night in Poland we went to bed early (jet lag) and woke up in the middle of the night, cold.  Nights in Poland cool down considerably; the only paralell I can draw is that it felt like we were in northern Wisconsin (not only the weather similarities but the soil and environmental similarities as well).

The next day we went exploring.  Near the bus stop where we got off at there is a park area, at the central focus is the Branicki, Palace originally constructed in the mid-18th century.  Surrounding the Palace are the grounds, a mixture of a French formal garden (directly in front of the palace) and a English garden park surrounding the grounds.  The Academy of Medicine is officially housed there now.  The palace had to be re-constructed after WWII, the Nazis destroyed it as well as killing off about half of the population of Bialystok.

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  Branicki Palace

 

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