The latest lady to feature in my Dlaczego Kochamy Polskę (Why Do We Love Poland?) series is a personal friend and fellow student of the Polish Language School Klub Dialogu, as I introduce the lovely Lauren to you all. Lauren hails from England, lives in Poland and has attended a few events with me the last few months, including the Shakespeare Spectakl , the superb Maria Słodowska film night, the party by the Wisła and the Northern Irish evening (which she helped at). Let’s find out why Lauren is so positive about Poland.
Hej Lauren, Where in Poland Do You Live?
I am staying in Warsaw. I love this city, it is one of my favourites in the world, and I feel quite blessed that I am surrounded by constant beauty wherever I go. The people are great, the city is full of fun and in the midst of it all you can find lush parks full of greenery and serenity!
When did you first travel abroad?
I think that I first travelled abroad when I was around 7 or 8 years old. I remember being so excited and I loved all of those first experiences; the airport, the airplane, and constant hot weather for a week (being from England, that is for sure a rarity!)
What is your favourite city in Poland and why?
To choose a favourite city in Poland is very hard. I’ve been to quite a lot and I truly love them all. However, I’d say one of my top cities is definitely Toruń. It’s a really enchanting, medieval city, full of history, culture and amazing architecture. I really like science, and in high school chemistry and physics were two of my favourite lessons. Therefore, relating to physics, Mikołaj Kopernik and the solar system has always fascinated me. The fact that Toruń was his birthplace and home town for some time also draws me to this city. I must also add, that whenever I’ve been in Toruń, the moon has always looked so big and magnificent! I’m not sure why it looks different there for me, but I’m not complaining!
What is your favourite town in Poland and why?
Although I think it’s technically classed as a village, I would like to mention a bit about Białowieża. I was there last year and it’s a magical place. Home to the world’s largest population of Żubr (European bison), it is located in the middle of the Białowieża forest. The National Park, adjacent with the border of Belarus, is a sight to behold and I feel lucky to have seen such nature and to have seen Żubr and other animals with my own eyes! The National Park is so stunning, and it is often referred to as the ‘last untouched wilderness of Europe’.
What is your favourite village in Poland and why?
One of my favourite villages is probably Chałupy. I camped on the beach there with my friend, and it was a really fun experience! It’s a really cool place with good conditions for water sports, and I love such things. It’s really cheerful and happy, and located on the Hel Peninsula, so very close to places like Hel and Jastarnia. The beaches are abundant with white sand and they aren’t packed with people, making it, in my opinion, perfect for relaxation, too!
What is your favourite province in Poland and why?
I would say the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship. As I mentioned, I adore Toruń, but also I feel the same way about Bydgoszcz. I spent a lot of time there and I have some beautiful memories in that city. (Perhaps it’s also pretty clear that I generally like the North of Poland a lot!!)
Why do you like living in Poland?
There are honestly countless reasons why I like being in Poland. I have probably the closest and most amazing people to me here, and the people are generally kind and friendly. I first came to Poland because of my Polish friends, and I’m so happy I did.
Secondly, the language. I have an infatuation with the Polish language and I absolutely love to learn, listen, understand and speak Polish! I attend my Polish school here in Warsaw, and learning this language gives me such a sense of satisfaction and pride.
What is your favourite Polish drink and why?
My favourite Polish drink is vodka of course 😉 but I also like kompot in the summer. It’s really refreshing and delicious!
What is your favourite Polish food and why?
I like Żurek a lot, chłodnik and all Polish soups. I love mizeria too and schabowy and pierogi and sernik and gołąbki and kiełbasa and kasza and oscypek and pączki (ok, the list could go on; maybe I like all Polish food…)
What is your favourite random fact about Poland?
I wouldn’t call this a ‘random’ fact, but one of my favourite facts is that Maria Skłodowska Curie, a Polish physicist and chemist, was the first woman to ever win a Nobel Prize, the only woman to win twice, and the only person to win a Nobel Prize in two different sciences. That is an extraordinary fact, and one a country should certainly be beyond proud of, and I know that Poland is!
Lauren doesn’t yet have a blog of her own but has been writing some posts for Klub Dialogu as well as helping the school organise events. If you do have any questions for Lauren, send them to me and I will pass them onto her.
Thanks once again to Lauren for being the latest in my series of Those Who Love Poland! If you love Poland and run a blog or are a travel writer, please get in touch, you can be featured, either e-mail jonny (at) northernirishmaninpoland (dot) com or head to my contacts or work page and get connected! You can also subscribe to Northern Irishman in Poland by filling in the form below! Safe travels!