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.


Square Roofs

Becky’s created a square challenge again for June, this time it’s square roofs or rooves as some say. A few years ago a very clever friend proof read something for me. She said I should change my roofs to rooves and then I was corrected by my writing tutor who said it should be roofs!

My roofs today, complete with funicular, are in Bergamot northern Italy.

Looking down from the Citta Alta towards the new town.

Becky’s choice today is very clever!


Paula’s thursday Special

Paula’s in her third year of Thursday Special challenges, what an achievement. Those of you who don’t know Paula might be interested in joining in now that the WordPress challenges are no more. She offers five words and posts an example of each, her pullulating shot is amazing.

I’m choosing reflective, because the Museum of the History of Polish Jews not only reflects the beautiful grounds it stands in, but going inside makes you reflect on the inhumanity of humankind.

Paula would love to see you!


A final favourite

Isn’t it difficult to choose a favourite photo, from a vast archive? Some of the photos I love best are of my grandchildren, but posting those would add even more problems because I’d have to pick four!

So I decided to think about places I’ve been, and I think that our favourites are likely to be the ones that evoke the strongest memories. I’ll always remember the morning I took this photo and I’ve posted the story of it here and before.

I’m not sure if linking to the final weekly photo challenge  is still possible, but I will really miss creating the posts. I’ve been blogging for 7 years and have probably only missed 20 in that time.

Thanks to WordPress and the amazing  Daily Post team, I’ve made lots of friends around the world and learnt about things and places I’ll never see,

Twisted bits

I’m having one of those spells where I’m all behind with everything, blogging included, and it’s not likely to improve much for a couple of weeks. I did read that the Weekly Photo Challenges are coming to an end, so I decided to post for the penultimate one, the theme of which is twisted. I hope these images, taken in Sicily, fit the bill.

It’s a pity it’s ending, but as Jude said it has become a bit repetitive recently. It’s been a great way of making friends, from all over the world. there are lots of smaller challenges of all kinds, and who knows, Lucid Gypsy might become a little less photo lead.

The spring at Okohia

Early on a September morning in the year 2000, I was told to get up to go for a walk through the bush. It was hot and humid, but not unbearable, and I was intrigued to know where we were heading. The path was narrow, mostly just one person wide, and with low undergrowth both sides.

Here’s my daughter with my cousin Kelvin.

After a while I began to wonder what might be sharing the path with us , after all there’s no bush without bugs. My sister Patricia laughed and said, yes there are snakes and many things that will bite you. Well I was already bitten, mozzies see me as their own private banquet, and I told myself that most snakes would scuttle away.

After half an hour, we reached our destination, the village spring, with, so I was told, the best water I’d ever taste.

It was definitely a delight for our feet, the best tasting? I can’t remember, but the experience of walking to collect it, makes it the most memorable liquid ever.

Here’s Patricia carrying it home.