Poland: The Journey Begins. A Return To The Land Of My Father’s Parents.
Anyone who follows my blog will know it is obvious I love to travel. Whether it is to the ocean, the mountains, a foreign country on a far off continent or a small neighboring town I love to look for anything, flora, fauna, scenery or history, I can find on my adventures. Well this trip to Poland was special. And it is because of the one person I give the most credit for my wanderlust and appreciation for the beauty of nature. My dad.
He also instilled in me, and my siblings, a love for the home of his parent’s, Poland. He kept alive the many Polish customs and traditions, carrying them out faithfully throughout the year. Whether it was the Blessing of the Easter basket, Holy Supper on Christmas Eve, or a family visit to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Doylestown, he made sure we knew and appreciated our Polish roots. He has us attend the Polish parish of Transfiguration church and enrolled us in the parochial school.He loved his new country but he always wanted to return to visit Poland. He never got the chance. We lost dad three years ago but I am sure he accompanied me on this adventure to the land of my grandparents.
I started my adventure visiting dad’s grave and then drove the two hours to the Newark airport. I arrived three hours early since I’d rather be sure I make my flight,especially when traveling out of the country. I had no problem at the car parking lot or security.I had a few hours to kill. It just so happens airports are my favorite place so I had no finding something to do with the extra time . I spent some time reading Poland by Robert Michner, a book I first read with my dad when it was first published. And, of course, I did my usual people watching. I love observing people in airports. So much to learn about the many people who gather here.
As always seems to be the case, my flight was delayed. Luckily, I had a three hours layover in Montreal. Other folks weren’t as lucky and grumbled as they missed flights, some of them international. After the delay, we were soon in the skies over New York City and we actually flew right over the skyscrapers of Manhattan.
I arrived at Montreal with plenty of time to spare and had time for a nice meal in the airport. Watching folks in the international terminal is even more fun. People of many nationalities, races, cultures and religions.all were waiting patiently for flights taking them all over the globe. My flight to Munich was on time and around 8 p.m. I was flying over the city of Montreal. It has been 30 years since I was in this city.
The flight over the Atlantic to my next stop in Munich Germany was about 7 hours and I found no time to read, since I, fortunately, actually dozed off for a few hours. This is a relatively recent occurrence in my travels. When I was younger my excitement would never allow me to sleep as I was glued to the window during the flight. I always try and get window seats. even at night I would look for the stars, planet and moon as we soared through the thin atmosphere of our planet.
This flight went quickly and we soon met the rising sun near the British Islands and I was again watching , when there were no clouds below us, the small towns, cities and farms of Europe before our landing in Munich. I love to see the small towns and wonder about the lives of the folks living their lives on them. How different, and alike from mine.
In Munich there was a short layover and, thanks to the changing of my gate to another terminal, and my inability to find anyone who speaks English, it was a hectic rush to the other side of the airport where I arrived just as my plan to Krakow was boarding.
The airport in Krakow was a small one and I soon was at baggage claims. The baggage was being unloaded as I arrived and I soon felt the joy of all airplane travelers, of being reunited with my checked luggage. One of the worst feelings, and it has happened to me more than once, is when the luggage stop unloading and your’s is no where to be found. Never a good feeling. But, thankfully, not on this trip. And both me and my luggage were soon leaving the terminal, there being no customs check-in!
Another pleasant surprise, one of so many I would enjoy on my visit to Poland. I was now off the explore the home of my ancestors. Here is a link to some more photographs from my travels to Krakow. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/poland-photographs-april-2017/nggallery/poland-april-2017/Poland-Day-One.-Airplane-travel-April-8-2017-
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”
― Leonardo da Vinci