Anticipating Meg and Jo

Poland first came on my radar a few years ago, when the Crazy Polish Woman worked in my office, she told me how beautiful it is and the I’d love it. Then four or five years ago, I discovered both Jo and Meg. Meg blogged about her early visits to Warsaw, where her daughter and son-in-law lived with their tiny twins. Next, Jo posts about her visits to see her Polish family in Beltchatow and Krakow. One of my school friends, Jackie, went to Krakow in the depths of winter (crazy girl) for the Christmas market, absolutely loved it and has been back several times since. Never being one to laze on beaches for holidays, Poland went on my ‘one day’ list.
In spring 2016, Meg arrived in Europe for a year, I already had a holiday booked in September, and work pressures meant that taking leave was difficult, then I became ill and vague ideas of flying to Warsaw flew out the window. Maybe next time I thought.
This spring, I saw a whispered comment on one of your blogs, from Meg implying that she was making plans. Whispers because she was planning a surprise trip to see her family.
I started plotting. Checking annual leave charts, hotels, and flights, I knew it was possible to fly from Bristol with a budget airline, but to Modlin airport, some distance from the city. The times weren’t very good, I’m not keen on arriving in a new city late at night.
British Airways to the rescue, with a flight actually costing less, arriving at Chopin, where transfers are a doddle. Everything fell into place.
Getting information about the city was difficult, because there are no up to date guide books. I found an e book for my kindle, watched a few YouTube videos, tried to work out how many zlotys we would need, to eat, drink, move around the city and for any entry costs. We ended up taking around £175 worth each, and brought home nearly half that, it’s an inexpensive destination!
Three weeks before our departure, the excitement was mounting, and some funny business was going on with certain people’s blogs, more little whisperings. I had an idea what it was but didn’t dare to dream that I was right, especially when I drew blank with a direct question. Then I had an email saying, ‘Secret’s out’, from Jo, she’d been in league with Meg with a plan to rock up for lunch on the Sunday. I was beside myself, we all were.

Some of my friends think I’m mad choosing to fly across Europe to meet online friends. They don’t understand the richness of these friendships, but every one of the people I’ve met so far are warm, loving people, real friends.

Thanks to my traveling friend Lindy for this lovely photo of us, and for joining me on an adventure once again.

Now I’m leaving you with some photos, impressions of Warsaw.

I’m tentatively linking to Cathy, she has an on-going challenge about the anticipation and preparation for a particular destination. She’s in Niagara and Buffalo this week, but I’m particularly looking forward to her long distance walk, the Camino de Santiago, in a couple of months.

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Black and White sunday, Traces of the past

As promised last night, my dilemma is solved, using the same image in two different ways. Paula is asking for traces of the past in nature, well despite a volcano erupting, there are traces of the past in the little cottage as well as the silver birch trees that are struggling to hold on.

Paula has rather more dramatic volcanic traces to share with us, and you can join in here.

An Etna roof

Becky’s June square challenge continues, in Lisbon.I had a bit of a dilemma with my photo because it fits Paula’s challenge too. You’ll see what I decided to do tomorrow.

I took the photo somewhere in the region of Monti Sartorius, Sant’Alfio in the Mount Etna National Park. Etna erupted several times between 2011-2012, this was June 2013 and there was plenty of evidence of damage. No one has ever died as a result of an eruption.