The latest lady in my Dlaczego Kochamy Polskę (Why Do We Love Poland?) series to inspire you to visit Poland is Magda from Kids in the City! Magda runs Kids in the City – website (www.kidsinthecity.pl), FB page (www.facebook.com/kidsinthecity.poland) and weekly Newsletter (www.kidsinthecity.pl/sign-up-for-our-weekly-newsletters) dedicated to international families living in Warsaw, bilingual families, and Polish families that are internationally-oriented. Over to Magda for her inspiration today:
Where are you from?
I’m Polish:) I was born in a small town in Wielkopolska province (Greater Poland Voivodeship). My parents who were teachers were offered a job in another school and we moved to a village 12 km from Toruń where I went to the high school. When I was 19, I moved to Warsaw to study International Relations at the Warsaw University.
Where in Poland do you live?
I have lived in Warsaw since 1999. I used to feel like a foreigner when I moved to Warsaw. Everything was new and different, I had no local support network, and I needed to adjust to a totally new life. Eventually, I fell in love with Warsaw – it wasn’t love at first sight and our relationship has its ups and downs. Warsaw isn’t undemanding partner;) But it’s absolutely worth the effort! I studied to become a diplomat and work abroad, instead, I settled down in Warsaw and started my career here. At the Palace of Culture, I met my future husband. My two kids were born in Mokotów. We live in Ursynów/Kabaty now.
When did you first travel abroad?
In 1993, I visited with my family Bratislava and Vienna. For me, it was the first travel abroad, and for my parents – Austria was the first non-Soviet-controlled foreign country they visited.
What is your favourite city in Poland and why?
Toruń! I keep recommending visiting Toruń to everyone! It’s a great tourist destination for people of different ages – young people who want to visit a new place and explore nightlife, families with children, couples looking for a romantic weekend getaway. Toruń is full of Gothic art and architecture, with a wonderful promenade along the Vistula River.
What I love about Toruń is that every major tourist attraction is within walking distance: the Old Town, Museum of Gingerbread, Planetarium (Copernicus was born in Toruń), the Leaning Tower, Teutonic Knights’ Castle Ruins, Cosmopolis Fountain Park. Here you can read more about top things to do in Toruń: http://kidsinthecity.pl/torun-great-weekend-getaway-in-poland/
What is your favourite town in Poland and why?
Zakopane in the Tatra Mountains. Because it’s so close to the Tatra National Park. I visit Zakopane with my family about 2 times a year. The Tatry Mountains are the perfect destination for those who love nature and for those parents who want to continue their hiking passion with kids. Some valleys are accessible with strollers, you can rent a child hiking carrier, and with bigger kids you can explore many picturesque valleys (e.g. Kościeliska Valley, Strążyska Valley, Ku Dziurze, Białego) and climb peaks.
What is your favourite village in Poland and why?
Jurata at the Baltic seaside. It’s located on Hel Peninsula – one of the most picturesque destinations in Poland. Hel Peninsula is 34-km long, narrow (100 m at the entry to the Peninsula in Władysławowo, 3 km at the end in Hel city) sandy land with pine forest and dunes. The Peninsula in Jurata is so narrow that it is easy to walk from one shore to another.
From the north, there are wide sandy beaches of the Baltic Sea, and from the other side, there is the Bay of Puck (Zatoka Pucka) that offers good conditions for windsurfing and kitesurfing. Here you can read more about the Hel Peninsula (lots of amazing photos!) – http://kidsinthecity.pl/the-baltic-coast-hel-peninsula/.
Why do you like living in Poland?
It’s not easy to explain why I like living in Poland because it’s about feelings and emotions. It’s not about Polish food (I like kaszanka sausage or żurek soup from time to time but I prefer insalata caprese, horiatiki or sushi). Obviously, it’s not about Polish weather… It’s not about landscapes and scenery.
I guess I’m in love with Poland:) It’s difficult to understand, and even more difficult to express why I love Poland. Poland means home and family.
What is your favourite Polish drink and why?
Kefir – it’s like a yogurt drink. It’s very rich in probiotics. Refreshing during hot summertime, and enriching diet during wintertime in Poland. We also use kefir to prepare delicious strawberry shakes (adding fresh fruits during summer, and frozen in winter).
What is your favourite Polish food and why?
Kaszanka – a traditional Polish “blood” sausage. Don’t ask me about the ingredients, I prefer not to think too much about them. I love kaszanka served warm with onion, pickles, bread, and tea – sooo Polish! I’ve heard kaszanka is similar to haggis or black pudding – I hope to try them both one day!
What is your favourite random fact about Poland?
The first woman awarded a Nobel Prize was Polish scientist – Maria Skłodowska-Curie. She is also the only woman to have won multiple Nobel Prizes (in Physics in 1903 with her husband, and in 1911, in Chemistry).
If you didn’t live in Poland, where would you live?
Thank you and Dziękuję bardzo to Magda 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!