joi, septembrie 05, 2013

Jurnal de Polonia #9

Weekend in Wrocław

The motto of the weekend: “Can I stay in Wrocław forever?”
We left Bystrzyca Kłodzka’s train station at 08:43 after a night with a goodbye party which ended in tears. We arrived at 10:28 in Wrocław and started to enjoy the city. As I told to Adi, Wrocław cannot be described in words.
The Old Center is amazing, with a lot of old buildings, gothic churches, buildings which maintain the same architecture from the time they were built. Firstly we visited the Old City Hall, a monument of burgher architecture, unique on an European scale. It was being built for over 250 years, from the end of the 13th century to the mid 16th century. Most impressive was the eastern façade, crowned with a triangular gable. At its foot, there is an astronomical clock with a golden sun sphere in the centre with a hand pointing to the hours.
After spending some time in the centre and in a souvenir shop where I bought a mug with Wrocław’s picture on it and two postcards, 20 zł in total, we went to the university. 
Secondly we visited the University's Church where we found true riches of the Baroque, like illusionistic paintings, arcaded passages and rich sculptures. Also in this church one can find an alabaster copy of the famous Pieta, by Michelangelo  (a sculpture of Our Lady of Sorrows, holding on her lap the body of Jesus).
I have to admit that the interior of the church is breathtaking. I didn’t know where to look first. Next on our visiting list was the Leopoldine Hall inside the University and the Mathematical Tower which gave us the opportunity to watch the city of Wrocław from the above.
The Leopoldine Hall, so called the pearl of Wrocław’s Baroque, is highly decorated with frescoes, rich mouldings and sculptures. In the same time with us there was a group of tourists from Germany. Me and Natia took advantage of this fact and listened to their guide’s explanations, which was quite strange because this made us feel like we were part of their group. I guess those long hard years of learning german in school really paid off. The Mathematical Tower was the second place where the entrance was not free. We went upstairs to see Wrocław’s panorama. It was amazing!  Every corner of the balcony portico has a different column which is portraying Justice, Valour, Wisdom and Moderation.
However, visiting a city like this is not an easy task, so we went to eat something. Where else than at Kebab King? The food was not too bad, not so expansive and we completed it with juice and conversation.
In the afternoon we walked from shopping center to shopping center just to look at things and this made us very tired so we needed to rent chambers at the Avantgarde Hostel to rest a little bit. There we met with Ido and Mor, as we established and in the evening, beside me, Iulia, Reny, Natia and Simon, Adi and Merve joined us. As soon as the group was completed we started to party, first in the hostel room, then in the club and … but that’s history already.
Sunday, after a breakfast taken at noon we visited a bookstore. Of course I could not resist the temptation, so I bought two books “The Sharing Knife” by Lois McMaster Bujold and “Crystal George” by David and Leigh Eddings. Natia and Adi also bought books, because english books were really cheap.
Other thing on our visiting list was St Mary Magdalene’s Church. The construction of the basilica began about 1330 and the main portal is situated between two square western towers. Since I saw the name of the church I desired to see it so my dream was accomplished.
The most interesting thing which took part Sunday was a street singer. A woman playing violin enchanted us and we could not go from there more than one hour. We just sit on a terrace, enjoying coffee and listening to good music.
The rest of the day, starting from 2.30 p.m. and ending at 6 p.m. we just walked and admired the animals in Zoological Garden. The Garden founded in 1865 is one of the biggest and oldest in Poland, it has over 4 thousand animals, 600 species, including very rare ones, which are in danger of extinction. The animals are placed in attractive runs, pavilions, terrariums and aviaries.
Sooner than we wanted, the end of the weekend came and using the train we came back to Bystrzcyta Kłodzka. In the train we were so noisy that at some moment a girl come to us and asked who we are and where are we going because she heard us talking in English. It revealed that she was one of the new volunteers from Italy.

The motto of our weekend can be also the conclusion "Can we stay in Wrocław forever?"

P.S. Many thanks to Adi, for the improvements.