The Land of the Sweet Poles

Well, this post is incredibly late because I actually went to Poland three summers ago. I thought I would share some photos with you of inspiring moments from that trip. 

Um, helloooo, European architecture!

An ivy-covered building that is part of the castle estate in Krakow (capital).

Pigeons. Everywhere you look. Little children run at the pigeons and try to jump on them, hoping to snatch one up. Older children sit or stand quietly with food, waiting to draw the pigeons close. Apparently, patience is a virtue you can't learn until after you turn 10 yrs old or so. 

A religious school of some sort. There were priests milling about in their priestly gear. I didn't grow up Catholic so it was all very wondrous to me. I actually took photos when flocks of nuns walked by. What can I say, one had a tiny backpack (on a large body) that looked like Hello Kitty. I thought it worthy of a photo. Since that time, I have grown-up and stopped taking photos of clergy. Even if they do have interesting paraphernalia strapped to their bodies. 

A restaurant in the heart of the city, the open air market.

A revolutionary day for me. Auschwitz awakened part of me. This came just before I entered graduate school for counseling. I cannot think of a more apt place to visit before embarking on a journey learning of human nature. This place is an architectural embodiment of the vast range of human capabilities. 
The capacity to sacrifice and love. The capacity to hate and hurt. It's in each of us, is it not? 
Auschwitz taught me that I could have been one of the Polish that helped victims escape. Or I could have been a camp guard, brainwashed by speeches of cleansing and freedom. 
I can no longer think "I could never do that! Oh no, not me."
The guards were normal people. The victims were normal people. 
Just. like. me. 

The capacity to sacrifice and love. The capacity to hate and hurt. It's in each of us, is it not?

An elderly lady begging on the streets. 

Poland is a fantastic place to visit. The weather is great. The people are friendly if you approach them but otherwise keep to themselves (just the way I like it!). The city is BEAUTIFUL. The food is ...meh. I'm not a fan of true Polish food - too bland for my taste. But they have some really tasty restaurants (gyros, anyone?) They have small specialty shops everywhere - such a great feel. 
Did I mention gelato? [My heart just skipped a beat.]

One last thing - the police or ambulance sirens. They are old school. I swear, every time a siren went off, I had a moment of panic. Like Hitler's army was about to march past my window. It is super creepy.