Through my eyes

living my life without regrets

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I did not stay in Poland long enough, a great Country.

This was on the side of a MIG aeroplane parked in some field outside a small village. What does a MIG do here ?

The area I rode through was the former German area once called the 'Masuren" and lots of people ( the older ones ) still speak German. The whole area I rode through had a very neat and wonderful old charm. It has been Poland now for over 50 years and still, some of it reminded me of Germany. I met people ( younger ones ) that came from Germany to look the area over and to look at some villages their parents were born in. It was very emotional and I did not stay long enough. I heard stories of war fugitives, bombings, hunger and starvation, etc. For me, while the area is beautiful and charming, it had some sad connotations, too.
I rode past the 'Wolfschanze' ( located in Rastenburg (Ketrzyn), East Prussia (now Poland), 200 km north of Warsaw ) but did not stop to look at it close. The town near the Wolfschanze gave me the creeps, a town out of a Nazi movie.
Poland was too emotional for me, I will have to go back. My mothers maiden name was Wladislawa Idzkowiak, maybe you will understand from the name alone.

Some roads turned out to be very old and they are slippery when wet. Be careful when you can not see around the corner like on this road. Cars and trucks are parked right in the bend.
Of course some roads are mud roads like this one. I remember one road being very sandy and full of powder sand. I did not stop to take a picture, I was too scared to stop.

"Die Marienburg" Headquarter of the" Die Deutschen Ritter ". Having been educated in Germany this is it for me. Poland rebuilt this castle from photographs only since all plans were lost during World War II, but because the buildings were behind the 'wall' I could not visit the castle then. I have to go back to Poland to do the castle justice. The Poles did a superb job fixing it up.

"Kreuzritter" is the German word for those guys. Riders of the Cross ? The costume seemed authentic.

Looking at this I can imagine how much work it must have been to make just one cup by hand. Today they are considered trinkets but then, way back, it was the norm to drink out of wooden cups.
Good costumes and it could almost set you back a 1000 years. I am glad I live in today's society, life then was not what it seems. Just imagine a life without dentists. Ouch !

A schematic drawing how this all works. Boats are pulled over land using water pumps and rail road tracks and frames for the boats to rest on. The whole operation is amazing to watch.
In order to move from one lake to the other, and to move from one canal to the other, the boats are lifted out of one lake and then brought by rail road to the next, upper, or lower lake.
The whole system runs on water pumps installed around 1860 to 1870. Amazing that this system still works.
As you can see it works. Right now it's used for tourists but in its heyday it was used to transport coal and grain and whatever up and down the rivers and canals. Amazing stuff.

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