Friday, May 02, 2008

Kazimierz Dolny

In Poland this weekend is known as "Majówka". The first and third are both holidays, and usually most businesses take whatever days necessary extra to make a long weekend. This year that means no work from Thursday to Sunday.Yesterday was an opportunity for me, Agi and my future in-laws to take a trip to a nearby tourist spot. Aside from wishing to spend a day out we were also looking for a location for us to have our wedding photos taken in later this summer.Kazimierz Dolny is named after one of Poland's most important kings, Kazimierz Wielki, (also known as Casimir III). The town was once an important trading post on the Wisła river (Vistula in western books) which runs through Poland's major cities and divides the country in two. The central square has been well preserved and is still beautiful.
There is a large hill to one side of the town which has several noteworthy buildings on it. There is a tower which was part of an early wooden fort and which was later used as a lighthouse. Also there are the ruins of a slightly later castle. Further around the hill there are 3 life size crucifixes which I presume was meant to be a pilgrimage point reminiscent of Calvary. The hill also provides wonderful panoramic views across the river and the plains opposite.The town is also famous for selling large bread cockerels which taste like a heavier type of croissant. They were very nice for breakfast this morning!Despite it being one of the busiest days of the year we had a lovely time and got back to the car just as the heavens opened. As an aside I notice a lot of dandelions about along with white and red deadnettles and what may be an early stage of goosegrass though I'm not sure about the last one.