Saturday, March 28, 2009

Trip to Poznan, Poland - Pt 3

On this day we took a venture outside of Poznan to the village of Kornik, where Kornik Castle lies.

It was very nice. The floors were magnificently puzzles of different types of wood. The furniture and architecture was great. The grounds were beautiful. In a few weeks, they'll be even more gorgeous as the azaleas and rhododendrums and all sorts of flowers come out in bloom. We saw a few white bell shaped flowers poking their heads through the snow.

Here is a picture of the grounds from inside the castle. I thought this would be a great shot because this window was aligned with the main path, some snow was still on the ground, and the glass of the window is old and wavy. I'm really happy with how it turned out. Click on the image for a larger view if you're interested.

Here's a picture of the family standing on that same path with the castle in the back ground.

On the next day, we went to the cathedral. It is the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul. This is at least the 3rd version of the cathedral on this site over the ages. The first dates back to the year 968. The first King of Poland, Mieszko I, and another king just a few generations later, Bolesław I, are both buried here as well as several other historical characters. The crypt and an area that shows ruins and former foundations from the prior churches are open for viewing below this cathedral.

Here are the front doors. They tell the story of Peter. Sunni was having a home school moment and pointing out the story of Jesus walking on water and Peter attempting to walk out to him for our oldest. He identified the story and characters. What a genius!


One of the painted domes. This isn't the main dome but from one of the side rooms of the cathedral. I liked the artistic style of the characters on this one, though. They're definitely different than the traditional painting style from that time.

I also liked the icons of the saints/apostles on this archway.

Here is the massive pipe organ in the back. There is a public chamber music event on Sunday, but that is the day we leave unfortunately. I'm sure it'll be beautiful. We heard the one in Westminster Abby of London played several years back. It was awesome. This one looks to be bigger.

Here is the back of the cathedral with all it's spires from across a bridge.

That afternoon we visited a park. Here's Seth and Gran swinging.

And E climbing to the crow's nest of the "ship"

This is one of the friends my parents know. Her name is Helka. She is thinking about going into modeling, if that wasn't obvious. The boys adore her, as you can see on Seth's face. She loves them too and brought them some toys to borrow from her niece during our visit. The picture is inside of the flat my parents (and we) are staying in.

Sunni and I had a date one evening. It was to the Opera House. We saw the Marriage of Figaro. It was good - great singers and live orchestra. The opera was in Polish as opposed to Italian, but it didn't matter since I don't understand either. It was fun.

Yesterday we visited the Old Zoo downtown. Here's a photo op with the grandparents.

Seth watching the Alpaca.

A walking street with shops downtown. We bought a few things here, including a Poznan team futbol jersey for me.

Anyone like the Beatles?

The other end of the street with a great statue. There are several statues around the city.

And a nice stop for a banana split and a cappucino. Afternoon coffee and snacks in cafes has been a nice tradition for this trip.

We have one more day of touring and then we head home. It's been a great trip.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Trip to Poznan, Poland - Pt 2

Here are some more highlights from the trip:

Getting ready to start another day touring the city with my beautiful family:

Here we are at the local market. This evening Sunni and I came back and bought foods for dinner. We bought fresh peirogi, which are Polish dumplings. These were filled with potato and cheese and a few had a meat mixture. They were excellent. To go along with this, we bought fresh mushrooms and onions that we grilled, some fruit, and beet slaw. The Polish love beets. Apparently they have a beet soup as well. Sunni wants to try it, but we haven't gotten there yet.

Sunni's been jibbing me about hat on facebook. It was a gift from my parents when we arrived here in Poland. Actually, not many people my age wear them here, but several of the middle aged and older gentlemen do. I kind of like it. It keeps my head warm anyway.
This is the inside of a Franciscan church we visited.

Most of this day it rained, which is what it's done mostly since we arrived in Poznan. So, for the afternoon I had the brillant idea of going to a mall. Of course, we had to walk to the mall so we got all wet anyway. The mall was neat, though. We don't usually seek them out when traveling but this one is in an old brewery here in Poznan, so it's sort of historic.

We stopped for a rest and refreshment. Here's my youngest enjoying the foam from Momma's cappucino.

The next day we went down to the Old Market Square. It's a beautiful area. There are a few museums and historic churches as well as shops and cafes. Here are the boys feeding the birds. They had fun.

The Town Hall is the centerpiece of the square. Every day at noon, a trumpeter plays a little tune and then these goats come out and butt heads 12 times. Everyone stops and watches. There was a local school on a field trip there yesterday. All the kids would cheer with each head bump.
Just down from the square is the Parish Church - a former Jesuit college. Here is the inside - also beautiful. There was lots of pink marble and paint in this one, plus the outside of the church was painted a salmon pink with white trim. Not your normal church colors, but it worked.
The ceiling in the Parish Church. Our oldest liked trying to find Mary and baby Jesus in the paintings. Sunni said it was like a spiritual "where's waldo". :)

Here are our little goats butting heads.

And then the snow came that afternoon. As you can see, it was blowing hard! The boys loved it. They've never been in snow like this!

My sweetie in the snow.

And me: artic man!

After the snow stopped, we had a couple of inches so we went back out and played some more. Snow angels, snowmen, snowball fights. It was all a good time!

Next on the list is a visit to a local castle. Stay tuned!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Trip to Poznan, Poland - Pt 1

My parents have been house sitting for missionary friends in Poznan, Poland since January. When they told us late last year about their plans, we were of course very excited for them and told them we'd bring the boys to visit while they were there. Well, that time has come. So on Friday afternoon, we set off on our great adventure - the first trip "across the pond" for our boys.

The flight went reasonably well. It was a 13 hour journey with one short layover in Frankfurt, Germany. Here's a picture of the boys rocking out to German children's music on the airplane station. The one catchy line from the song that they boys loved and sang out at the top of their lungs:
"Mella mella mac mac!"

We arrived in Poznan on Saturday at 12:30 in the afternoon. After settling into their "flat" in this great art-nouveau town home, we walked down to the neigborhood park to stretch our legs. Our oldest is sliding down the slide with my mom watching. Check out the homes behind us. The architecture is great here! It's been very interesting because a good portion of the city is the old Soviet block cube buildings - very plain and drab. But much of the city remained in tact during the Soviet control so there remains a great deal of the beautiful historic buildings.

This is the Opera House. Sunni, Grandma, and my Mom are posing with the boys. Mom and Dad have been to a couple of ballets here at the house. We may go see Madame Butterfly later this week if we can get tickets.

Here you see the Medical school with one of the cathedrals off in the distance.

We walked on down to the Old Market Square where we found a little tea shop and stopped for tea and hot chocolate! It was delicious.

Here's a picture of the family in the Old Market Square. Behind me on the right is Town Hall. Apparently the bell clock has 2 goats that come out and butt heads on the hour. I'll have to try and get a picture next time we're down there.

That night we all went to bed about 9 PM (which is 3 PM Texas time). We slept until noon the next day. That was Sunday morning, so we missed church, but opefully we're all caught up on our sleep and will be adjusted for the rest of the week. That evening my folks had their Polish friends over for pizza. We had a great time visiting with them all.

It's Monday morning now. I wonder what today will bring!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Book Sale

Our public library had a book sale last weekend. On Saturday, they had a grab bag special: all you could fit in a plastic grocery sack for two bucks. Here's my loot (plus 3 other picture books for the boys). It's quite an assortment, though all fiction. Classics, gangsters, Texas authors/settings, and a couple because I just like the title. I'm looking forward to reading through them. It'll be fun to see if some of my random choices were worthy of the 20 cents I spent on them. Quite a steal, eh?

The only one I couldn't find a picture of was a mystery published in 1945 called Nine Strings To Your Bow by Maurice Walsh.

Does anyone have any reviews of these?