“You’re making me question my heart and my soul if I think that it’s not quite right”
– Noel Gallagher.
As I aim to fulfill my quest of visiting every Polish Province by the end of 2017 (and subsequently to continue to visit more and more remote Polish towns and cities), next up in April 2017 was Rzeszów. Thanks to my March 2017 reader vote where you voted to send me to Podkarpackie Province next. Sadly, the liars, GuruGods and hackers had me feeling depressed for a lot of April, so I ended up pencilling Rzeszów in for the nick of time and it was a short trip for once.
I waited until April 29th 2017 to make it here. Although the record books will show that I was actually here before, back in 2015, on a train bound for Lviv, Ukraine. I don’t count cities or towns on my list unless I have really been to them with my feet, not just my eyes from a train or bus. All the places on my travel list are for real – Jonny Blair’s journey. And that includes wacaday nations like Krolestwo Dreamlandu!
I only had time for a quick tour and this is also a shorter post than normal, but this is what I saw…
1.Stary Rynek/Market Square
As pretty a Rynek as you will find in Eastern Europe, Rzeszow has a good one. The square is a buzz of activity with lots of bars, restaurants and cafes. It was very untouristic too, unlike Krakow or Pozzie.
I had time for a few beers in the Square too – the Browar here was excellent! I chose the wooden pallet selection to try all 4 varieties and it certainly fulfilled my taste buds.
In the Main Town Square sits a pretty Town Hall/Ratusz. I have toured lots of Polish towns on my travels and get kind of used to these now. My favourites are in the Gdansk and Poznan but Rzeszow’s one is well preserved.
3.Provincial council headquarters (Urząd Wojewódzki)
The council offices are huge and very “Eastern Block” style, as I call it. There were reminders here of my visits to Belarus, Latvia and the Ukraine.
4.The Vagina/The Revolution Monument
When I backpacked China some 5 years ago, I remember hiking in the gorgeous Danxiashan Mountains in the northern part of Guangdong Province. In there, I saw a willy/penis rock and a vagina/fanny rock. Before I came to Rzeszow, I was told that for some reason, their Revolution Monument resembles a Polish Vagina!
And yes when I got here, I saw it straight away, although a little crazy that the resemblance to a lady’s bits takes away from the actual point here. It’s a Revolution Monument and it’s a pretty sturdy and prominent structure.
I didn’t lick it or get naked of course, though I did think back to the lunatic adventures on my travels as I’m not a shy boy. I got nude on the Inca Trail in Peru, toured a Penis Rock in China, toured a Vagina Rock in China, showed my willy to the Germans in Munich and my Finnish friends in Jarvenpaa, I also once did nude yoga in England.
I would like to do a nudist beach or park in Poland for my wacaday series Dziwaczne Odkrycia! I have heard there is a nude beach situated near Międzyzdroje, close to the German border, also one of the most up-market resorts on the Polish coast. I may well end up there too if it wins my July Reader Vote.
5.CH Galeria Rzeszów
Every decent Polish town and city these days is awash with a sad dose of commercialism. Rzeszow is no different. Their huge commercial Galeria is near the bus station, and train station and joined to the colossal Hotel Rzeszow.
Castles are a huge part of Polish history, back to the Teutonic Knights era. I have toured Malbork and Wawel in the past and this time I took a walk around Rzeszow Castle. Oddly, I have yet to write about Polish Castles and in fact, in the case of Rzeszow I didn’t even go inside!
7.The PKO Bank Building
As I wandered through the streets from the Old Town to the river, there were a lot of striking buildings that flung their architecture down on me. As this was a very rushed reader trip, I didn’t PKO Bank Building in Rzeszow
Not to be confused with Poland’s most famous and lengthy river, the Wisłok is a totally different river to the Wisła!! This river water-runs its way through the Podkarpackian capital. What’s most impressive is the quantity of bridges and the relaxed vibe that begins as you leave the old town. Suddenly the buzz dies down to a flurry of dog walkers and fisherman.
9.Park of Culture and RecreationPark Kultury i Wypoczynku
The two big Parks by the river make for a gorgeous stroll, one is called Park of Culture and Recreation Park Kultury i Wypoczynku and the other is Olstynzki Park, possibly named after the northern Polish city of Olstzyn. The Park of Culture and Recreation Park Kultury i Wypoczynku includes a boat on the grass with a man in it. This man is Pomnik Stanisława Nitki, a legendary Rzeszowian who once walked across the river by rope, or so I heard.
10.Church of the Holy Cross
There are of course many churches in Rzeszow. One of these, the Church of the Holy Cross on 3 Maja Street sits prominently on a pedestrian street.
11.Church of St. Mary
The first church I visited in Rzeszów was the Church of St. Mary very near the Old Town Square and architecturally unusual on the outside with both brick walls, a concrete tower and concrete walls. Inside a gem too and I popped in for my daily prayer.
12.Parafia Rzymskokatolicka pw. Wniebowzięcia NMP
I decided to make it a hat-trick of Churches on the list as I currently pray a lot, even for those who lied to me and wanted me to die last year. The Parafia Rzymskokatolicka pw. Wniebowzięcia NMP is on your walk from the Revolution monument to the Stary Rynek and probably the biggest church in this hat-trick.
13.Ludwika Zamenhofa Park
When I walked around solemnly, solitudinally and lonelily at dawn, I encountered a quirky park, which I didn’t find a name for, as it was on Ludwika Zamenhofa Street, I named it Ludwika Zamenhofa Park and it looks like this. This sight will make up my lucky thirteen. I had 2 days in Rzeszow just, arriving by bus and leaving by train to Lublin.
It’s a very pretty city and one I hope to go back to. I spoke to many locals in the bars by night and made some new friends. I will try to feature the bars on a Piątkowe Picie some time. For the meantime, here are some more photos from my time in Rzeszow.
Here are some videos from my time in Rzeszow: