Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year 2010!

***** Happy New Year 2010 !!! *****

Thanks to everyone for stopping by for a visit.
Thanks to my 115 Followers
Thanks to all my many Commenters.
Thanks to my new Friends.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Germany - short visit in Dresden / Drezno

I would like present you my short visit in Drezno/Dresden in Germany.
The weather was cloudy so the pictures in colours will be ugly that is why I decided on experyment with black&white colours.

Drezno or in German language Dresden, it is the capital city of the Free State of Saxony in Germany. It is situated in a valley on the River Elbe, near Czech and Poland borders.


Dresden has a very long history as the capital and royal residence for the Electors and Kings of Saxony, who for centuries furnished the city with cultural and artistic splendour. Dresden was completely destroyed by the controversial Allied aerial bombing towards the end of World War II. The impact of the bombing and 40 years of urban development during the East German socialist era have considerably changed the face of the city.

Do you know what was the symbol of East Germany?
It was Trabant or Trabi or Trabbi - the name was inspired by Soviet Sputnik! - you can see Trabi on this picture:


it is nice
- and do you know about this, that this car it does not rust because is made from plastic?!
yes it is true...!


Trabant was the most common vehicle in East Germany, and was also exported to countries both inside and outside the communist bloc. The main selling point was that it had room for four adults and luggage in a compact, light and durable shell. For advocates of capitalism it is often cited as an example of the disadvantages of centralized planning as even refueling the car required lifting the hood, filling the tank with gasoline (only 24 litres[1]), then adding two-stroke oil and shaking it back and forth to mix.
It was in production without any significant changes for nearly 30 years with 3,096,099 Trabants produced in total!

... but we should return to the present day...

lots of restoration work has helped to reconstruct parts of historic inner city.


Since the German reunification in 1990, Dresden has re-emerged as a cultural, educational, political and economic centre of Germany.



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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas - Polish Traditions

Merry Christmas! / or Happy Holidays!,
Today (like I have promised in previous post) I would like describe you Christmas traditions in my country - Poland.
In Poland Christmas Eve is a day first of fasting, then of feasting.The feast begins with the appearance of the first star; there is no meat in the feast, and it is followed by the exchange of gifts.

The following days is often spent visiting friends. In Polish tradition, people combine religion and family closeness at Christmas.On Christmas Eve, so important is the first star of the night that it has been given the affectionate name of "little star" or Gwiazdka, in remembrance of the Star of Bethlehem. On that night, children watch the sky hoping to be the first to cry out, "The star!" The moment the star appears, people can start eating. According to tradition, bits of hay are spread beneath the tablecloth as a reminder that Christ was born in a manger. In some places on the table we prepare an empty place for a wanderer who may be in need.

The meal begins with the breaking of the opłatek (this is kind of very thin wafer - like on photo)Everyone at the table breaks off a piece and eats, then we share a piece with each family member giving good wishes for the following year.On the table should be twelve dishes, as a symbol of the Twelve Apostles.Poppy seed cake, beet soup, prune dumplings, carp, herring and noodles with cabbage and mushrooms are universal Polish Christmas foods.On the table should be twelve dishes, as a symbol of the Twelve Apostles. Traditionally, there is no meat eaten on Christmas Eve. Often there is compote of dry fruits.

The remainder of the evening is given to stories and songs around the Christmas tree. In the midnight Catholic go on Christmas midnight mass.

Many churches in Poland in Christmas time organize crèche which present history of Saints Family.
One of the largest creche in Europe (built inside church) is creche in Franciscans' basilica in Katowice - on the last one photo. For building of creche were used a lot of figures (the oldest are even 130 years old)and 2 kilometers of cables You may admire this crèche to 2 February.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Poland - Christmas Time

The Christmas season begins with Advent and lasts until the feast of the Three Kings. Christmas in Polish is known as Boze Narodzenie ("God's birth"). From a religious point of view, Christmas is considered the second most important feast after Easter, but it is definitively the biggest family gathering and reconciliation day of the year.
Today, like sings a Jim Brickman “I am Sending You a Little Christmas” – from Silesia – industrial region in Poland. I hope that it will be good “starter” to welcome a Christmas.
About Silesia – I should, and I will write a lot of stories but now I would like present my region in the different way. I show you some photos form The Upper Silesian Ethnographic Park in witch was organized the typical Silesian Christmas Eve

The Upper Silesian Ethnographic Park is an open air ethnographic museum located in Chorzow near Katowice. Museum presents traditional rural architecture from the end of 18th until first half of 20th century. Wooden Buildings collected in scansen come from various regions of Silesian Voivodeship. Sightseers are welcome to visit many wooden buildings:wind-mill and water-mill, granaries, wayside shrines and historic church - on photo in Christmas time beautifully decorated.

In Upper Silesian Ethnographic Park often are organize very interesting exhibitions and events. In previous Sunday I was in outdoor event named “Silesian’s Christmas Eve” ("Śląsko Wilijo" - in Silesian language). I must tell you that it was really great! Bread-soup (moczka), Cannabis-soup! ( siemieniotka), poppy seed with nuts and figs (makówki), fish, boiled cabbage with pea (kapusta z grochem), these and many different dishes I could taste on place in the cottages, besides I could listen carols and hostesses’ chats.
On the all place of Ethnographic Park was Christmas-trades. Visitors could buy hand made decorations, pictures – like this with Pope, as well as the Christmas dishes and cakes.
Besides on whole place of Scansen walked carolers, Saint Clauses, peoples with traditional hand-made color masks which they showed customs.
There are many Polish customs and beliefs that have been passed from generation to generation as part of a tradition. A lot of them are still observed today. And despite the passage of time, they keep their freshness and are a part of contemporary Polish culture. Some of them have deep folk roots others are connected to religious beliefs; and still others combine both religious and folk elements. The Polish customs, especially at Christmas time, are both beautiful and meaningful but about it I will write in the next post.
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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Netherlands - Bicycles

Bicycles are a very familiar part of everyday life in the Netherlands. In fact, probable the 15 million Dutch people own about 12 million bicycles; that's nearly as many bicycles as people, and twice as many bikes as cars! Bikes are a great and easy way of getting around because the Netherlands is so flat. Dutch people don't just use their bikes for fun - cycling is an important way of travelling, from doing the daily shopping to going to work.
Because so many people in this country cycle, the Netherlands has special traffic lanes, rules and road signs to improve safety for bikes. There are over 17,000 km of cycle lanes, indicated by round blue signs with a white bicycle on them. In cities like Amsterdam or Rotterdam these lanes even have special bicycle traffic lights!


If you will be in Amsterdam you have to: firstly visit a special parking place for bike near to the railwaiy station it is anazing view; secoundly rent a bike and go ahead and in the end notice exceptional bicycle saddle.
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