The Polish version of ‘Upstairs, Downstairs’

Today we met up with our friends, Jareck and Iwona who were Helpx volunteers with us last summer ( Simply spacerek!…and Toto, the goggle dog.. ) We loved meeting them again and looked forward to meeting Iwona’s mother and having lunch with them all at their flat.

On the way to their home, we’d agreed to visit Ogrodzieniec Castle with them. This partly ruined castle dates from the 14th Century. It is unfortunately, beset with lots of ‘tourist trap’ stalls within it’s grounds and inside the courtyard. Just the spot to stock up on your handy plastic sword and shield or a princess’s headress. The ‘shops’ don’t take away too much from the actual look of the castle, of which we covered just about every inch, via circular metal steps, stone steps, concrete steps and the wooden arrangement you can see in the photograph above.

The army assault course…(no sorry, that should read self guided tour) would have been easier had it not been a warm and sunny afternoon. Nevertheless we stuck to our task, though on dismounting the last spiral staircase it was with some relief I saw the notice that said “Stop : Castle tour ends here”.

We got back to the car and finished our short journey to their flat. Iwona’s mum greeted us warmly and we had a super meal, including authentic pierogis, carrot cake and vodka flavoured with chokeberries. Neither of us had heard of these rather unfortunately named fruits, though they made the vodka very palatable.

We spent quite some time chatting before Jareck and Iwona brought us back to the apartment and after a cup of tea, they set off home again. They have kindly offered to give us a lift on Saturday to Wroclaw, our next destination.

Tomorrow we visit Auschwitz. I am looking forward to it, though quite how I’m going to put it into words after, I’m not quite sure…


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