Northern Irishman in Poland Northern Irishman in Poland Tue, 18 Oct 2022 09:44:11 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 Northern Irishman in Poland 32 32 Śmieszne Historie o Piłce Nożnej w Polsce: Republic of Ireland 1-0 Northern Ireland in Swarzędz! Women’s Under 19 Match! Tue, 18 Oct 2022 09:21:43 +0000 Read more about Śmieszne Historie o Piłce Nożnej w Polsce: Republic of Ireland 1-0 Northern Ireland in Swarzędz! Women’s Under 19 Match![...]]]> “Holding back the years” – Simply Red.

I rolled the back the years recently in the wake of deep depression. Down in the doldrums, going nowhere in Warszawa, I took a 4 hour train to Swarzędz, about 30 minutes by train from Poland’s perky Pozzie, Poznań. Northern Ireland women’s football team would be playing three matches here in the space of 9 days. Schedules allowed me to only make one of those matches – the middle one, which also happened to be the Ireland derby. Northern Ireland’s Green and White Army would be playing the Republic of Ireland. I’ve been to Poznań more than ten times of course, nothing new, but Swarzędz was the oddball my travels had always craved.

“I find it hard to belong to something new” – Ben Paulley.

“I find it hard to belong to something new” – Ben Paulley.

Poznań, in its splendour, was the scene of many of my glory days – my recording for International Radio Poznan, an English speaking project with my mate Mateusz, a night on the Hot Beer (Grzaniec) with the infamous Karolina Kokosz, plus manys a night on the rip in days gone by. This time, I’d sidestep Poznań itself. News filtered in via Facebook that Northern Ireland were playing in a four country tournament in the venues of Swarzędz and Plewiska. This of course, was right up my Linenhall Street. I had to be there. Like my wacaday trip to Gliwice in 2017 where I was the ONLY Northern Ireland fan, I got my Northern Ireland flags and shirts and off I went. Next stop was Swarzędz. However, the trip itself exceeded all expectations and at times, reduced me to tears supporting my wee country.

“They’ll pass you by, glory days” – Bruce Springsteen.

Śmieszne Historie o Piłce Nożnej w Polsce: Watching Northern Ireland in Poland Again!! Republic of Ireland 1-0 Northern Ireland in Swarzędz!

Śmieszne Historie o Piłce Nożnej w Polsce: Watching Northern Ireland in Poland Again!! Republic of Ireland 1-0 Northern Ireland in Swarzędz!

Getting to Swarzędz

Being based in Poland since 2016, yet I didn’t know where the duck Swarzędz actually was!! Challenge accepted!! I had heard of their football club, Unia Swarzędz as they had played KP Starogard a few times. I went to Warszawa Centralna and found out there’s a direct train from Warszawa so this was easy! I got a seat and the 4 hour trip to Swarzędz could begin, the night before the match.

Leaving Warszawa Zachodnia for Swarzędz

Leaving Warszawa Zachodnia for Swarzędz

Swarzędz away (near Poznań)

Swarzędz away (near Poznań)

Arrival in Swarzędz

Sleeping in Swarzędz

Again there are a few options here – mostly bed and breakfasts but avoid the dreadful Hotel Europa, not just over-rated and over-priced but the bar and cafe only opens from 12.00 – 18.00 daily. When I popped in there for help (and a coffee or even a beer), the staff were unhelpful and unwelcoming. No map, no advice and they didn’t want me there. I spoke in Polish the whole time and still they didn’t care. So you should stay at Pokoje pod Swierkiem. It was about £40 a night.

Pokoje pod Swierkiem in Swarzędz

Pokoje pod Swierkiem in Swarzędz

I was in Room 7, upstairs. It was very cosy and private. Ideal, I’d say. It was located on a street called Cieszkowskiego 100/102c, on the edge of the city. By complete coincidence I got a lift here from the train station from a Polish lady Wiktoria, as she knows me from online teaching in Poland. Her family gave me a lift as they lived nearby. My room was cosy, yet lonely. That wasn’t to matter as a GAWA encounter was just around the chimney corner.

Pokoje pod Swierkiem in Swarzędz

Pokoje pod Swierkiem in Swarzędz

Drinking and Backpacking in Swarzędz

In the main old town market square (“The Rynek”), I went backpacking through the sights of Swarzędz . The main church, an odd large wooden chair, a perky old town square, “Big Ben” (the local carryout joint) and some war statues. An old brewery graced a street nearby, but in general I realised this was more about the football. I wasn’t falling in love with Swarzędz in the way I had done in Starogard Gdanski and Tczew.

Backpacking in Swarzędz

Backpacking in Swarzędz

Backpacking in Swarzędz

In terms of being on the rip, there is a brewery bar and the hotel bar on the edge of town plus manys a kebab joint. In the main square, the perky Rynek, there is really only the famous “Syty Pan” (my “local” two nights in a row). I chose Cherry Ale when drinking here, a good choice given that on the Saturday, AFC Bournemouth (The Cherries) would beat Leicester City 2-1!

Drinking in Swarzędz – Syty Pan in The Rynek

Drinking in Swarzędz – Syty Pan in The Rynek

Drinking in Swarzędz – Syty Pan in The Rynek

Arrival at the football stadium in Swarzędz

On the matchday morning, after munching a hot dog and a cappuccino I arrived alone at the football stadium in Swarzędz.

On route so it is

The three matches

I was here 1.5 hours before kick-off, at half nine because the flier said 10 a.m. kick-off but that was actually UK time, here it was 11.00 a.m. kick-off, which Chris Penney had alerted me of on Facebook. The match was an odd 11.00 a.m. kick-off. There was a steward on the gate and I spoke to him saying I was a supporter of Northern Ireland. He welcomed me and in I walked. I thought nobody else was in the main stand, then I spied a gentleman watching the team come out to train. It was Kenny Shiels!! Yes it was Kenny Shiels!! Kenny Shiels is the Northern Ireland international women’s manager who led us to our legendary first ever major tournament in 2022 – the Women’s Euros in England. On route to that tournament, we had beaten Ukraine, Belarus and Faroe Islands all home and away!! We had also ousted Wales on away goals thanks to Ashley Hutton’s legendary 93rd minute header on her 100th cap. We’ve written better scripts than Hitchcock, us Northern Irish. Also, I had previously met Kenny at Coleraine Showgrounds years ago with my Dad. Here, he talked away to me! A gentleman! I was surprised to see him here!

It’s Kenny Shiels!!

Then it was time to have a nosey around the stadium – this was a class wee ground. Stadion Miejski w Swarzędzu (Stadion Unii Swarzędz). It is a tidy ground, and probably about my 60th to visit in Poland and 500th stadium globally. This tidy stadium can hold 1,500 supporters. The local club here is Unia Swarzędz, who at times have played against KP Starogard, my club of choice in Poland.

Stadion Miejski w Swarzędzu (Stadion Unii Swarzędz)

Stadion Miejski w Swarzędzu (Stadion Unii Swarzędz)

Stadion Miejski w Swarzędzu (Stadion Unii Swarzędz)

Stadion Miejski w Swarzędzu (Stadion Unii Swarzędz)

Stadion Miejski w Swarzędzu (Stadion Unii Swarzędz)

Stadion Miejski w Swarzędzu (Stadion Unii Swarzędz)

Stadion Miejski w Swarzędzu (Stadion Unii Swarzędz)

Meeting The Ladies

It was time to get emotional and for my heart to melt, and be proud. As I start to chant Green and White Army, some of the Northern Ireland team have seen my flag and heard me, and four of them come bouncing over!

“Never forget where you’re coming from” – Take That.

Watching the ladies warming up

Unlike at the Women’s Euros in 2022 and Belarus away in 2007, on this occasion I didn’t know the ladies names, YET. Neither the ladies nor I got embarrassed by that as they came over and introduced themselves. Vibrant and confident, I first met the smiling duo of Sarah Tweedie and Keri Halliday. Both players had scored away goals before – Sarah got a header at Israel away and Keri scored a 20 yard screamager just a few days earlier, here in the match against France to put us 1-0 up! We posed for a photo and I wished them good luck. These moments have forever melted my heart. To be miles from my home city and meet people from back home is always emotional.

“We’ve got that Sarah Tweedie, woah that Sarah Tweedie” – GAWA (me) – to the tune of “You’ve lost that Loving Feeling”.

It's Keri Halliday and Sarak Tweedie!!! Green and White Army!!

It’s Keri Halliday and Sarah Tweedie!!! Green and White Army!!

The Match Itself – the Ireland derby!

This is one of the oddest places I have watched an Ireland derby. I reflected on my travels down the years and other times I’d experienced Northern Ireland v. Republic of Ireland. My first memory was in November 1993 in Belfast when I was in the stadium at Windsor Park for a 1-1. Jimmy Quinn bulleted Packie Bonner to the ground before Englishman Alan McLoughlin somehow squeezed a jammy equaliser past the collosus of Tommy Wright. Later in life, in 2010 I was in Sydney when Northern Ireland lost 1-0 to the Republic of Ireland in a fans tournement. Here I was in little Swarzędz. It was a far cry from Belfast’s Windsor Park, scene of manys a glory day gone speedingly by.

Watching my beloved Northern Ireland at Windsor Park (second right)

“Living in a land down under, when women glow and men plunder” – Men At Work.

Watching Northern Ireland v Republic of Ireland in the land down under in 2010

Watching Northern Ireland v Republic of Ireland in the land down under in 2010

What’s more is that the EXACT same two flags from the above photo would be here again today. One of those is the Travelling Northern Ireland flag of 205 country fame and still not torn or shred. I start to meet some of today’s GAWA – the Green and White Army! I talk to Paddy, Ali, John, Graeme and Louisa, Louise and Peter, and Michael. These are parents of some of the players – I believe – Naomi McLaughlin, Ellie-Mae Dickson, Ella Haughey, Helen Parker, Rhyleigh Marks and Sarah Tweedie. I counted our GAWA end at one point and we had 22 fans. I think this included a few Polish that had drifted over. This was the Northern Ireland end. The other side of the stand had the Republic of Ireland end. The teams came out and lined up! Northern Ireland would play in white today.

Northern Ireland v Republic of Ireland in Swarzędz, Poland

Northern Ireland v Republic of Ireland in Swarzędz, Poland

Northern Ireland v Republic of Ireland in Swarzędz, Poland

Northern Ireland v Republic of Ireland in Swarzędz, Poland

Northern Ireland v Republic of Ireland in Swarzędz, Poland (copyright Wiktoria Łabędzka)

The match started and we had the first chance but soon the Republic took control. A dodgy goal which was debated was eventually given and they went 1-0 up. It came from a corner and was a bit sloppy. For some reason, the half-time whistle was blown on 43 minutes much to the disgruntlement of our GAWA. We outsang them, outnumbered them and outflagged them!

Northern Ireland v Republic of Ireland in Swarzędz, Poland

Northern Ireland v Republic of Ireland in Swarzędz, Poland

Northern Ireland v Republic of Ireland in Swarzędz, Poland

Northern Ireland v Republic of Ireland in Swarzędz, Poland

In the second half, I thought we were the better team and deserved a point. We motored away but couldn’t get the goal. A near post flick that involved the two players I first met was the closest we came – Sarah Tweedie swivelled on Keri Halliday’s ball and it went wide. Manager Aaron Hughes pushed us forward until the end, but alas it ended 1-0 to the Republic. I was still loud and proud, given that their goal was debatable and we had two players injured. The GAWA was loud and proud.

Northern Ireland v Republic of Ireland in Swarzędz, Poland

Northern Ireland v Republic of Ireland in Swarzędz, Poland

Northern Ireland v Republic of Ireland in Swarzędz, Poland

Northern Ireland v Republic of Ireland in Swarzędz, Poland

Northern Ireland v Republic of Ireland in Swarzędz, Poland

Northern Ireland v Republic of Ireland in Swarzędz, Poland

Northern Ireland v Republic of Ireland in Swarzędz, Poland

After the match, I spoke to Chris Penney and asked if Aaron would come over for a photo and a chat, which he did!! This is Aaron Hughes who won over 100 Northern Ireland caps, scored for Northern Ireland, played in the Europa League (UEFA Cup) Final for Fulham and played at Euro 2016 for Northern Ireland, marking Robson Kanu, Lewandowski and Tommy Mueller!

It’s Aaron Hughes, it’s Aaron Hughes!

With Aaron Hughes and Chris Penney after the match

Northern Ireland: Erin McAllister, Sarah Jane McMaster, Aimee Neal (Sarah Tweedie), Helen Parker, Rebecca Magee, Ella Haughey, Aoibhe O’Neill (captain), Naomi McLaughlin, Maeve McConaghy (Emily Reid), Erin Montgomery (Keri Halliday), Ellie-Mae Dickson. 

Subs not used: Rachel Norney, Eve Reilly, Grace McKimm, Rhyleigh Marks, Molly Loughran, Mikayla Wildgoose.

Rep. of Ireland: Summer Lawless, Melissa O’Kane, Kate Thompson, Tara O’Hanlon, Lia O’Leary (Kerri O’Hara), Eva Mangan (Rolake Ayoola Olusola), Jessie Stapleton (captain), Jamie Thompson (Michaela Lawrence), Scarlett Herron, Sophie Morrin, Emma Doherty.

Referee: Jelena Pejković CRO

Assistant referees: Gordana Katušić CRO, Julia Bukarowicz POL

Fourth official: Anna Adamska POL

Attendance of GAWA: 22
Attendance of Other fans: Around 50

Post Match Pints in Swarzędz – Syty Pan

After the match I had a (Shawn Jensen / Książęce) Cherry Beer in Syty Pan, pierogi in Poznan and another few drinks where by chance I met up with Peter and Louise in Stacja Cafe Bar in Poznan. It had been a tremendous day!!

Stacja Cafe and Pub, Poznan

Shawn Jensen / Książęce) Cherry Beer in Syty Pan, Swarzedz

Earl Grey IPA and Pierogi z Szpinakiem in Stacja Cafe and Pub, Poznan

Drinks with Peter and Louise in Stacja Cafe, Poznan

Other links –

Facebook Photos on Wielkopolska

Official Original Northern Irish FA match report

Breakaway Ireland FA match report

Green and White Army!

As you might know, down the years I have prolifically made a lot of videos and taken a lot of photos. After having my phone, backpack and laptop all stolen, I haven’t been up to making as many videos as I used to. I still got plenty of photos and made a few short videos. Here are some videos of my trip to Swarzędz:

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Gaming the Polish Way Tue, 23 Aug 2022 19:36:57 +0000 Read more about Gaming the Polish Way[...]]]> Polish people have a great appetite for seeking fun and entertainment in their free time. Perhaps it’s for this reason that the country punches well above its weight on the world stage when it comes to gaming. From traditional games to cutting edge console titles, the country is home to, and produces, some of the finest gaming experiences you can find anywhere across the globe.

Below we’re looking at some of Poland’s greatest gaming gifts to the world. Whether you’re travelling to the country, or seeking to sample this unique part of its culture at home, you can rest assured there’s more than enough here to keep you excited and engaged for hours.

Polish Consulate in Northern Ireland

Gaming the Polish Way

Demon Slaying Blockbusters

Poland has increasingly become a hotbed of innovation among the video games industry, with numerous developers from the region putting out memorable and, sometimes, best selling games.

Among the studios putting it on the gaming map are PlayWay, a specialist in developing simulation games such as Ultimate Fishing Simulator, Car Mechanic Simulator 2021 and 9-1-1 Operator. Ten Square Games also calls Poland home, publishing leading mobile titles such as Wild Hunt and the upcoming Undead Clash out of their Wrocław based studio.

But standing head-over-shoulders above the rest in terms of critical acclaim and impact is CD Projekt, the studio behind the immensely popular adaptations of Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Witcher fantasy novels into action RPGs. Their latest major release in the series, The Witcher III: Wild Hunt, still tops charts ranking the best ever open-world RPGs today, no less than seven years after its release.

Sergey Galyonkin from Raleigh, USA – Games Day 2011

Their latest game however, Cyberpunk 2077, was one of the most ambitious ever developed, taking 10 years to produce. In fact, Cyberpunk 2077 was so hotly anticipated that it garnered the highest number of pre-order sales of any game in history. Unfortunately, upon its release the game was marred by bugs and glitches, especially when running on older consoles. This dampened the parade of what is objectively an excellent sci-fi RPG at first, but fortunately following some timely patches and updates the game plays well and delivers on all that CD Projekt held out in promise for its latest and greatest game.

Having a Flutter

Poland doesn’t just prove itself more than a match for other nations when it comes to video games though, in fact the country is home to some of the most prestigious casinos in Europe including the Plaza Hotel and Casino in Wrocław, the Grand Casino City Hotel in Bydgoszcz and the crown jewel Orbis Casino Victoria Hotel in Warsaw.

Each of these is well provisioned with all the classics from popular slots games, to table mainstays such as blackjack, baccarat, and of course, roulette. Should you need to brush up on the fundamentals of that spinning king of casino titles before taking the town by storm at any one of these establishments, there are in-depth guides available online that cover everything from the roulette board layout, to common techniques and recommended strategies. This will ensure you show up your friends and have a memorable time in any one of these world class brick-and-mortar locales.

Homegrown Sports

Like every region with a long history and distinct cultural identity, Poland is home to several utterly unique folk games and sports that you’ll find nowhere else. Perhaps the most popular example of these is the game palant. On the surface, this game plays quite similarly to baseball, except that when players hit the ball with a bat (the palant), the batter must then run to a designated finish line and back to the nest or base before being caught out. Immensely fun, the game is still played across the country, with a national competition still being held every year in the village of Grabów near Łódź to determine who will be awarded the prestigious moniker of ‘king of palant’, a term all the more funny once you realise the word translates roughly to ‘idiot’ or ‘fool’.

Poland is also home to a relative of volleyball called pierścieniówka. Where the two games differ is that in the latter there are 3 holes cut out of the volleyball net, and players must throw the ball back and forth through the holes in the net. Hitting the net, throwing the ball over the net, or failing to volley with both hands all warrant a foul and a point awarded to the other side.

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5 Amazingly Rare Benefits of Traveling For Mental Health Tue, 26 Jul 2022 18:36:40 +0000 Read more about 5 Amazingly Rare Benefits of Traveling For Mental Health[...]]]> Most people travel when they’ve the time and means to do so. But smart travelers understand that going on a trip or vacation can provide tons of therapeutic benefits. This article highlights the top five benefits of travelling for your mental health.

5 Amazingly Rare Benefits of Traveling For Mental Health

1.      Traveling Rejuvenates the Mind

We all find ourselves trapped in a rat race at various times.

Some of us are trapped in the 9 – 5 rat race where the bulk of our waking hours is dedicated to working, leaving us no ample time to pursue our interests. Others have to contend with the daily onslaughts of tending to mundane family chores or studying hard for their ever-upcoming exams, all at the expense of their happiness.

While these endeavors are necessary, they can easily affect your mental health. And that’s where traveling comes in.

Regardless of the duration, going on a trip or vacation can offer a much-needed break from your otherwise monotonous routines. A fun-filled trip can give you a dose of motivation, allowing you to return to your normal life feeling reenergized.

2.      Traveling Combats Stress

Traveling regularly features among the top natural ways to combat stress and anxiety. People who travel frequently report remarkable improvements in their general mood and overall outlook on life. These effects are instrumental in relieving stress, anxiety, and even depression.

To enjoy the stress-busting benefits of traveling, you should consider administering anxiolytic supplements like cannabidiol during your trip. If you need synthetic urine for any reason, find the best stores that sell synthetic urine here.

5 Amazingly Rare Benefits of Traveling For Mental Health

3.      Traveling Boosts Creativity

‘Creative blocks’ and ‘mental slump’ are no foreign terms, especially to people in the creative industry. There comes a time when your mind implodes such that no fresh ideas come in, and nothing gets out.

The most dreadful part of creative blocks is that they have a way of setting in when you least expect them. Most writers would agree that writer’s block tends to occur when there’s an urgent assignment.

During such moments, traveling can be the last thing on your mind. But unbeknownst to you, taking a break and venturing outdoors might be all you need to get your creative juices flowing again.

Exploring unfamiliar landscapes and interacting with new cultures can enhance your mental ability to navigate between ideas and think more objectively. This can improve your cognitive performance, memory, and creativity.

4.      Traveling Helps Nurture Positive Thoughts

This is perhaps one of the least popular mental health benefits of traveling. And that’s because it largely depends on the specific places you visit during your trip and vacation.

Trips that allow you to connect with people from various walks of life can play an instrumental role in nurturing positive thoughts. As you engage with the locals, you’ll be able to understand their challenges and sources of inspiration. The mere fact of giving them a listening ear can help increase your empathy towards others.

Interacting with new cultures also helps you develop more tolerance and reduce ideological biases. For instance, you may come across primitive forest dwellers during your trip. It’s easy to dismiss such folks as uncivilized simply because they dress in animal hides and speak deplorable English. But upon engaging deeply with the tribes, you may realize that they’re remarkably civilized and only choose to remain in the forests to preserve their cultures.

5.      Traveling Helps Bond With Your Near and Dear Ones

Are there ongoing conflicts in your family such that everyone always seems to be reading from a different script? Well, that’s your cue to start planning your next all-family vacation.

Traveling with your kin can help restore lost love and harmony. That’s especially if you can rally everyone around a common activity. Just be sure to involve everyone throughout the planning process.

If you have a large family of differently-aged kids, remember to make provisions for fun activities that suit the various ages. Most importantly, ensure one specific activity requires everyone’s participation.

Besides restoring love and harmony in your family, traveling can also help you bond with your employees. As an employer or manager, taking your staff on occasional retreats to environments where they can freely ventilate their opinions without risking victimization is essential. During such moments, you can pick up valuable clues on the core things ailing your company.

Wrap Up

There are numerous reasons to start planning your next vacation now. To fully enjoy the potential mental health benefits of traveling, you’ll need to consider a trip to the most exotic destinations. Focus your itinerary around places that let you explore the grandeur of Mother Nature as you seamlessly interact with unfamiliar cultures. Also, remember to add travel essentials to your packing list to avoid the last-minute rush. These essentials range from proper clothing and photography equipment to travel documents, medical supplies, etc.

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Why Online Dating Has Replaced Face To Face Dating Wed, 22 Jun 2022 13:51:25 +0000 Read more about Why Online Dating Has Replaced Face To Face Dating[...]]]> “Before my eyes, beyond the stars, beneath the sun” – Ash

As you get older in life, finding love gets harder and harder. It’s a real challenge. I’ve been around the world a few times over. I visited over 200 countries but still that elusive love was all in my head, was all in my mind.

Do Polish Ladies Prefer To Date Foreign Gentlemen Or Polish Gentlemen?

Why Online Dating Has Replaced Face To Face Dating

Childhood sweetheart Claire McKee was just fantasy worlds. Teenage love was lost on East Belfast blonde bombshell Vicky Everitt as we busstop spoke back in my tech days on Belvoir Estate in the Northern Irish capital. Later it was all globehopping. I fell in love in Hungary and Hong Kong but nothing became concrete. I ended up in a 5 year relationship but that fizzled out leaving a ring and a failed engagement. Love was usually found in a bar, in the air, on the beach, anywhere. Since those halcyon days, the world of love has become a lot more complex. Sites like erodate sprung up giving us the chance to flirt online, events like Speed Dating came to town and apps like Tinder came out.

Best flirting online in Poland

In real life though, away from all of that, I finally fell in love with a Polish lady. Perhaps she was the best. I was in love with her style, her natural beauty, her intelligence, her wordly appeal, her hair and her sense of wonder. That lady, I met her offline, I met her in real life. However, I have since realised that offline dating and meeting ladies in real life situations is the worst way to meet someone. It’s not all about willy sinking, boobie sucks and raunchy nights of sex. Pleasure takes its toll when conflict arises.

Best Sex Dates in Poland

Best Sex Dates in Poland

There are many reasons for my opinion on why online dating has taken over. But the main ones are honesty, trust and openness. You see if you meet a lady online on a site like, you can check out their profile in advance. You can Google them. You can do the research to ensure that they are real and genuine. You can do all that detective research before you even decide to meet them. In my life, I met a lady who wasn’t real, wasn’t genuine, lied, couldn’t be trusted, was dishonest and very closed and shy. This should have been a warning sign for me that that person was a bad egg and would have severe consequences on my life’s cannon.

Piątkowe Picie: My First Time Trying Hot Polish Beer (Grzane Piwo) in Poznań

Why Online Dating Has Replaced Face To Face Dating

Sadly that person ruined my life with her lies, and she did it in a way that you could not believe. As a result, I’m now online dating loyal. I prefer to meet girls online. It’s a great way to get to know each other online first before actually meeting. This builds trust, sincerity and honesty. I’m always looking for new sites in Poland to try out and I am still waiting for Mrs. Blair to dander around the chimney corner into my arms.

“I feel you. I hope you comprehend” – Simply Red.

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Do Polish Ladies Prefer To Date Foreign Gentlemen Or Polish Gentlemen? Fri, 03 Jun 2022 11:20:24 +0000 Read more about Do Polish Ladies Prefer To Date Foreign Gentlemen Or Polish Gentlemen?[...]]]> Video blogger Aria Martelle is half-Polish and half-United States of American. Here in one of her videos she interviews local Polish ladies on the streets of Krakow to ask them one main quiz question. This one – Do Polish Ladies Prefer To Date Foreign Gentlemen Or Polish Gentlemen?

Of course, I am a foreigner living in Poland so I hope it is not 100% that they only like Polish as then I will never have any chance of a date in this country. I guess 90% would be a decent ratio in my opinion, which gives foreigners a glimmer of hope. At any rate, girls make the choice and we are merely wandering gentlemen on a round ball. Here’s the video…

Do Polish Ladies Prefer To Date Foreign Gentlemen Or Polish Gentlemen?

Do Polish Ladies Prefer To Date Foreign Gentlemen Or Polish Gentlemen?

Do Polish Ladies Prefer To Date Foreign Gentlemen Or Polish Gentlemen?

Do Polish Ladies Prefer To Date Foreign Gentlemen Or Polish Gentlemen?

Do Polish Ladies Prefer To Date Foreign Gentlemen Or Polish Gentlemen?

Do Polish Ladies Prefer To Date Foreign Gentlemen Or Polish Gentlemen?

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Mieszkam w Polsce: How To Go To Accident and Emergency in Warszawa – My Days at SOR, Wojskowy Instytut Medyczny Wed, 18 May 2022 19:44:59 +0000 Read more about Mieszkam w Polsce: How To Go To Accident and Emergency in Warszawa – My Days at SOR, Wojskowy Instytut Medyczny[...]]]> “Some might say that we will find a brighter day” – Noel Gallagher.

Mieszkam w Polsce: How To Go To Accident and Emergency in Warszawa - My Days at SOR, Wojskowy Instytut Medyczny

Mieszkam w Polsce: How To Go To Accident and Emergency in Warszawa – My Days at SOR, Wojskowy Instytut Medyczny

Life is full of ups and downs. In my case, I’ve endured a lot of bad luck with injuries. I am clumsy, I am injury prone, I have been in more different hospitals in different cities in different countries at different times for completely different reasons down the years than anyone else I’ve ever met. That goes for professional footballers.

“Roses in the hospital” – Richey James Edwards.

Being hospitalised for 3 days in June 2020 After Being Hit By a Train. Note this was taken AFTER they cleaned me up, on day 3. I have no photos of the real horror.

Being hospitalised for 3 days in June 2020 After Being Hit By a Train. Note this was taken AFTER they cleaned me up, on day 3. I have no photos of the real horror.

I pray that this will be my last serious injury, at least for a while. Nothing good ever seems to happen to my health. Whether it’s mental pain, depression, deep suicidal thoughts, emotional trauma, hurt, or physical pain. I’m rarely a few weeks away from disaster. Down the years I’ve had so many injuries and hospital visits, that I never really know what’s around the chimney corner…

“My cheeks are turning yellow, I think I’ll take another pill” – Richey James Edwards.

How NOT to live your life

On the flipside, despite these illnesses I’ve somehow managed to –
– be fully vaccinated against COVID.
– never had COVID.
– visit 200 countries, writing about all of them, mostly on my Don’t Stop Living blog.
– live around the world, in 7 countries across 4 continents.
– win a national football cup in my home country of Northern Ireland.
– hike the highest peak in Central America- Tajamulco.
– hike the 20th highest mountain in the world (on topographic prominence), Mount Kinabalu, Borneo.
– go bungy jumping, skydiving, airdiving, paragliding, canyon swinging, speedjet riding, ziplining, quad biking, stroke crocodiles that were awake, feed hyenas mouth to mouth and many other wacaday physical activities.

My travel madness: Paragliding over Queenstown, New Zealand

My travel madness: Zorbing in Rotorua, New Zealand

My travel madness: Speedboat racing, New Zealand

My travel madness: Sky Diving Over Lake Taupo, New Zealand

My travel madness: Bungy Jumping in Auckland, New Zealand

My travel madness: Feeding hyenas mouth to mouth in Ethiopia

My travel madness: Stroking awake crocodiles, The Gambia

My travel madness: Indoor sky diving

10th Bangor BB – Northern Ireland Champions 1998

Summiting Mount Kinabalu, Borneo. Wow!

Apart from a few chapters in my book series Backpacking Centurion, I haven’t often written about my physical injuries or hospital visits. I will do that sometime in more detail. For the sake of this post, I will focus only on my recent hospital visits and experience. I will not mention mental health, emotional trauma or dentist visits. This is a serious shoulder and arm injury, on my left side. I got this injury in May 2022 while living in Warszawa, Poland.

Back to Hospital – May 2022, Warszawa

I fell over after hitting a bus stop after a night out. It was a clumsy, silly injury sustained due to my own stupidity. It was dark and cold. I was tired and drunk. I was dressed for summer, yet it was still like winter. No protection on my body and my slim bones which are basically beside my skin. Being slim has huge downfalls. If I had worn a protective winter coat that night, or if I was fat, this injury would simply NOT have happened.

Stupid clumsy injury, I fell over after hitting a bus stop

I wish I wore this jacket that night – it’s padded – and this was the type of bus stop I banged into and fell from

But here I was faced with a shoulder in agony. At first I slept it off and thought it was a small fall, slight bruise that would pass in a few days. But the pain got worse. I didn’t just go to the local doctor, this was a case for the Accident and Emergency unit. In English, this is known as “A and E”. The “A and E” sign is clear in every UK hospital. In Polish hospitals, it became harder to find…

A and E – Accident and Emergency in the UK

Where Is the Accident and Emergency Unit in Warszawa?

Good question. Neither Google nor your friends might even know. Unless they’ve been there. Plus there are many of them when you Google, but which one to choose? Which are the best? Which are the fastest? Of course I had been to Accident and Emergency in Poland twice before, firstly in Gdańsk with Monika in December 2016, secondly, more recently back in June 2020. However, that 2020 visit was a deadly incident whereby I was hit by a train, knocked unconscious and rushed luckily by a passer by straight to the hospital. I wasn’t awake or aware. The ambulance took me that time. I had a hattrick of days in hospital but I survived. I could have died that time. It wasn’t my time to go.

“Somehow I’ve survived” – Jon Bon Jovi.

My head X-ray in Gdansk, 2016

My June 2020 injury – 3 days in hospital in Wasrzawa

On Google you can search for “Ostry dyżur”, this is apparently “accident and emergency “. However, I was to learn that even Polish people, and hospital staff may not be able to help you find this place. It’s a hidden gem, disguised under the headline SOR. Ironic to high hell, here I was sore in SOR! SOR stands for Szpitalny oddział ratunkowy.

The first two hospitals I went to, they couldn’t help. I won’t detail where they are or what they are called as I’m about to tell you how to get it right. I’m telling you what to do correctly, not what to do wrongly. So much of my life has been a calamity of terrors.

Arrival at Hospital Wojskowy Instytut Medyczny

I arrived around 12 noon at the address Szaserów Street 128 in Grochow, Praga Poludnie, Warszawa – this is the place to go!! The opening hours for Accident and Emergency are 9.00 – 19.30. Here is a huge medical institute and hospital. On Google, I had seen this place but I had no indication or idea that it was the right place for me. Maybe I got lucky? The third hospital I tried was the right one!! Success but the Accident and Emergency unit was NOT easy to find.

The Accident and Emergency Unit – Ostry Dyżur Unit at SOR, Hospital Wojskowy Instytut Medyczny, Warszawa

First of all I checked for signs in this huge hospital. I was looking for “Ostry Dyżur”, or “OD”. There was nothing. Even the huge notice board on reception had nothing like that written on it. I was at a loss. I was down and out but I joined the queue for the reception, which was womanned/ manned by two members of staff. They could help me.

I told them I needed “Ostry Dyżur” for my “boli na bark” (this was me trying to say in Polish that I needed “A and E” for my “painful shoulder”). The lady on reception was polite, she pointed to her right and in Polish told me that the place I needed was out the door on the left, down the stairs and into the first ward on the left.

I needed an orthopedic surgery, with a doctor, access to an X-Ray (rentgen) machine and a tomography scan. Of course, I’d have to wait, and wait and wait.

Looking for the Ostry Dyzur, SOR, Hospital Wojskowy Instytut Medyczny

Reception at SOR (Szpitalny Oddział Ratunkowy)

I walked through the automatic doors at the SOR centre. In front is a machine to take a ticket for the queue, to be seen by a member of staff at the reception, and registration. I pressed the button and was given the number “Zielona S049”. Within 15 minutes, my number comes up.

This reception worker spoke and understood English. Of course, this was excellent for me and a surprise. I love the challenge of speaking Polish and trying to communicate, some might say that I buzz off that. But here in an emergency, this doctor understood and told me to wait outside room number 3 in an adjacent corridor.

This room was known as Gabinet Lekarski Numer 3, literally Doctors Room Number 3. On the door were the magic words “Ostry Dyżur: Urazowy”. I had finally found the right room. It was now 13.30 p.m.

Ostry Dyżur Unit at SOR, Hospital Wojskowy Instytut Medyczny, Warszawa

It stated on the door that this room operates from 9.00 – 19.30. I had 6 hours left on that timescale so I was confident I’d be seen today.

Waiting at Ostry Dyzur, SOR, Hospital Wojskowy Instytut Medyczny

I went to the reception window to register but oddly the lady there told me, as she had told others, that we didn’t need to register. We just need to wait by the door. There was a huge queue of people though. There was only one empty seat, so I sat in it. All around me were people with arms and legs in slings, more plasters of Paris than Paris had ever known.

Wheelchairs were all around me. I was on painkillers at the time, my own medicine from the local Żabka shop. Ibuprofen somehow isn’t strong enough.

Painkiller loyal

I could see that others around me had been waiting by door number 3 for a long time. It was now 14.00. The frequency of the door to room 3 opening was once every 30 minutes. Somebody would come out, and the next injured patient would go in.

The queue system was organised by us – the patients. We had to know who was next. As I was the last to sit in a seat, I was last in the queue. The wait would be long.

I hadn’t brought a book, or any food or drink. Or my medication. I expected to be here a maximum of four hours. Of course that was wrong.

As the hours passed, the length of the queue didn’t decrease. More new patients would come in, some of the patients already here would go home. While the queue size didn’t decrease, at least I was moving up it.

At 16.00 or thereabouts, I finally got seen by the doctor. There were still many behind me. I had brought all my documents with me. Passport, PESEL number, European Health Insurance card etc. They checked all that, then the doctor asked about my problem.

After a quick check of my very bruised torso, it was clear that this was a serious injury. Much worse than I had thought. He put a strong sling on my arm, in a position not to be moved. He immediately told me to go up to the second floor for an x-ray.

I went with my documents to the second floor but they then sent me to the fifth floor. It was here where I joined another queue, this time for Rentgen, an X-ray. Please note that neither rentgen nor x-ray might be written anywhere. Here on the fifth floor, it read ” Pracownia RTG Ortopedyczna”, so the rentgen part becomes RTG. Polish people and doctors here may interchangeably call it a Rentgen, an RTG, a zdjęcia (photograph) or indeed an x-ray.

The X-Ray room – RTG / Rentgen

Once I got into the x-ray room, the x-ray was taken and I was told to go back down to the ground floor. The view from the fifth floor is nice, but no saving grace…

5th floor view from where I got my x-rays done

5th floor view from where I got my x-rays done

Again, here I would wait for the doctor at the same “Ostry Dyżur” room.

The thing about all this waiting around in hospital is that you also cannot relax. There is no time for that as you are moved from ward to ward, from room to room, from doctor to doctor. If you snooze, you lose as they say. If you pop to the toilet, while they call you then it is tough luck. The doctors have no time to waste, so if they call you and you don’t go, they will take the next patient. Simple and fair.

Even if I had taken a book, the reading of it would not have been enjoyable. It would be stop start stop start. I went back down to the ground floor, by lift. Here it was about another one hour wait for the findings from my x-ray.

X-Ray (Rentgen) results time – broken shoulder bone, broken second rib, some bones, joints and muscles out of position

The news isn’t good. I have multiple issues here. Firstly, there is a “clean / clear” crack in the upper shoulder bone, known in Polish as “bark”. The doctor refers to this as a collarbone which is confusing as the crack is nowhere near the collar.

This crack in the bone means the joints in my shoulder are all out of position. This will take between 6 and 8 weeks to recover.

X-Ray (Rentgen) results time – broken shoulder bone, broken second rib, some bones, joints and muscles out of position

Nextly, I have a broken bone in my rib cage. It is the second rib bone from the top. Wow . That’s two major broken bones. It’s the first time that I’ve broken a rib or a shoulder bone. The rib bone should recover naturally in 4-5 weeks.

The exterior bruising is not such a big issue of course. It looks ugly and my skin is yellow, blue, green, red, blue, purple, brown and orange. My shoulder is a rainbow 🌈 of pain.

All the colours of the rainbow – trust me in real life it was more colourful – this photo lies and makes it look better than it is!

In the past, I have broken a few bones, including bones in my right arm and right leg. This is not even mentioning the times I was in hospital for a head collision, a willy (penis) operation, a broken nose, being hit by a train, an eye operation and an attack in a bar where I was punched on the skull three times and required a head x-ray. There are more than that…

2007 leg break – Bournemouth, England

2004 arm break – Bournemouth, England

The doctor says I now need a tomography scan. This means going up to the first floor for another wait. Standard. Standardzik.

I had tomography scans before. They are like a detailed 3D scan. After the tomography scan, I am back downstairs to wait for the doctor.

As this department closes at 19.30, it’s worrying as the queue is still long. I took these photos without the other patients of course, for privacy.

Waiting at Ostry Dyzur, SOR, Hospital Wojskowy Instytut Medyczny

However, I am seen around 19.00, for the third time. The doctor informs me that they need to wait for my tomographic scan to be checked. He suggests that he is unsure when this will be, or what they will suggest. It could be an operation, a sling, a plaster of Paris or anything. Most importantly they have my x-ray and tomographic scan now and can make a diagnosis. There are five of us waiting as the operating time of 19.30 passes. The others are as worried as me about the waiting time, since there is actually no doctor here now.

At 20.45, a nurse comes to say that there will probably not be another doctor here for 9 more hours but an emergency doctor will see all of us in 3 hours. As no new patients will be accepted, at least I’m in the first five patients to be seen when that doctor arrives.

The five of us decide we should leave and come back to this department at 23.45, when we are told the emergency doctor will be back.

Luckily I live nearby and am able to walk home, albeit slowly. So I walk to my flat, tell my family, friends and work about the injury and grab some food and painkillers.

I get back to the hospital at 23.30 and the nurse informs me that for sure the doctor will be here at midnight. So I wait with two other new patients, while the 5 patients from earlier are not here now. I never found out why, my own health is paramount here anyway.

Waiting at Ostry Dyzur, SOR, Hospital Wojskowy Instytut Medyczny

Waiting at Ostry Dyzur, SOR, Hospital Wojskowy Instytut Medyczny

At midnight, low and behold, a doctor arrives. This time, I am ushered to a different room to be seen, probably around 00.30.

The doctor has good and bad news. The good news is that I am not being recommended for an operation tonight (at least for now) and that I am being given a week to try and heal. Tonight, I must keep this sling on and in the morning, I must go to a specialist to get a special shoulder and rib harness. I must also go and get more medication from the chemist (pharmacist). I have a prescription for the tablets. I have a hospital note for the harness. I have a six week sicknote for work (physical work). I have my diagnosis and treatment schedule for the next week.

I read everything myself, with the help of Google translate and I learn a few more Polish words through these injuries and doctor visits. Not much consolation for being unable to travel anywhere for 6-8 weeks.

At 1.55 a.m. I am finally at home and I sleep. However, I waken up at 6.00 a.m. as I’m teaching English face to face for a nice business in Rondo Daszyńskiego. I am able to walk okay and as I need to go to the chemist and the rehabilitation shop, it’s no issue for me also to go to work for a few hours. I had to leave the flat anyway.

Teaching marketing and business English in Warszawa

I teach English in a business for three hours face to face – it felt too late and irresponsible to cancel that. I sit down there and can use my right hand to write. It goes okay and the chemist is a 5 minute walk.

I get my medication from the chemist. It’s 3 types of medicine.
1.Doreta tablets. 1 every 8 hours.
2.Paracetamol tablets. 1 every 6-8 hours.
3.Dexal to be absorbed in liquid 3-4 times a day.

More medication

More medication

Then I get the metro and a tram to ActivOrto. They are based on Grochowska Street in Praga Południe. The lady in there, Karolina supplied me with the required Orteza support clothing. It’s a black padded velcro shoulder and rib cage harness. It’s a bit painful putting it on.

ActivOrto. They are based on Grochowska Street in Praga Południe. The lady in there, Karolina supplied me with the required Orteza support clothing

ActivOrto, Grochowska Street in Praga Południe. The lady in there, Karolina supplied me with the required Orteza support clothing.

ActivOrto, Grochowska Street in Praga Południe. The lady in there, Karolina supplied me with the required Orteza support clothing.

On the way home I grab a coffee ☕ and croissant 🥐 at the nearby Cafe Vincent. However, after this trip on buses and the Warszawa metro, I am tired. I also realise that I shouldn’t travel anywhere for now. The public transport can be bumpy on buses and trams and it hurts my shoulder and arm.

Coffee and croissant at Cafe Vincent, Praga

Also on the diagnosis when I left the SOR section of the hospital that night (early morning), it informed me that in one week’s time, I’d be back at the same hospital, same department for a check-up.

In the meantime, I rested at home. I did some online teaching, I wrote some travel articles for companies and I got my emails all up to date. I was still working. I never want to stop working.

ActivOrto, Grochowska Street in Praga Południe. The lady in there, Karolina supplied me with the required Orteza support clothing.

ActivOrto, Grochowska Street in Praga Południe. The lady in there, Karolina supplied me with the required Orteza support clothing.

I also update my social media, and focused on writing more blogs and more books. I had more time for that now I was housebound.

I also signed up for Netflix for the first time ever, which allowed me to watch some movies, serieses, football stuff and documentaries. Those are things that my busy, nonstop wacaday life wouldn’t allow.

Life had changed again. I’m housebound for 6-8 weeks now. I’ve given up alcohol again
I’ve given up live football, bars, and restaurants. It’s time to reflect on my life again.

Onto the next chapter.

Stay healthy and stay happy!

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Piątkowe Picie: My Five Local Bars While Living In Bielany, North Warszawa Fri, 13 May 2022 18:45:52 +0000 Read more about Piątkowe Picie: My Five Local Bars While Living In Bielany, North Warszawa[...]]]> “Nothing but memory, memory” – Manic Street Preachers.

The idea with my Piątkowe Picie series was to write about bars and cafes every Friday. I started this website and blog project as a joke in December 2016, and in jest in a time of deep travel weary depression. Life got way too busy after that. I had written about 1000 blog post ideas to write on here. I’ll never find the time to write them on here. I couldn’t duplicate a me. To keep a series going every Friday is just too intense!

Piątkowe Picie: My Five Local Bars While Living In Bielany, North Warszawa

Piątkowe Picie: My Five Local Bars While Living In Bielany, North Warszawa

“If you can understand the me, then I can understand the you” – Metallica.

You see, NIMIP, Ulsterczyk is a busy little boy. Depression couldn’t halt me. I run three blogs, ten websites, ten social media pages, a teaching business (I teach creative and business English online and face to face) and I still have time to travel the world.

Piątkowe Picie: My Five Local Bars While Living In Bielany, North Warszawa

In 2019 I moved to the Warszawa district of Bielany. Bielany is in North Warszawa. I previously had lived in Śródmieście, Praga Północ, Imielin (briefly) and Ochota. In Bielany, I resided with a Ukrainian lady, Maria. I lived on the main thoroughfare, Ulica Broniewskiego. Even in the same city, I’m nomadic. I get bored of the mundane. I abhorr repeats, monotony, copycat days. Sleepless nights don’t exist in a Jonny Blair world.

“I can’t sleep cos the world won’t wait”- Noel Gallagher.

Bielany, Warszawa

All in all, I spent about 15 months living in Bielany (na Bielanach) and these were my local spots. I miss them, but life goes on.

1.Pub Tato

This cosy joint was once my local bar. Pub Tato is a quirky hideaway unapparent from its outside door. It also featured at the start of my first Poland-based book, I Went To Gdansk With Somebody.

Pub Tato Bielany Warszawa

This nondescript thin door sandwiched in between a Żabka and a kebab joint opens into a long narrow bar which has three sections. Pub Tato is a surprise.

Pub Tato Bielany Warszawa

Pub Tato Bielany Warszawa

Welcoming owners Agnieszka and Krzysztof run a successful business here. Upstairs is an open bar to chat away to the world. There is live football on the television, and cheap beer and shots. It is probably the place where I learnt the most Polish, just chatting to locals.

Pub Tato Bielany Warszawa

Pub Tato Bielany Warszawa

Downstairs is a smaller room, to cope with overflow. Wall art includes Robert Lewangolski. Out the back is a beer garden.

Pub Tato Bielany Warszawa

2.Piwna Sprawa

I wrote about my favourite craft beer bars in Warszawa and Gdańsk before. Piwna Sprawa was included.

Piwna Sprawa, Bielany

Piwna Sprawa, Bielany

Piwna Sprawa, Bielany

Piwna Sprawa, Bielany

Small yet cosy and close to my mate Rafał Kowalczyk, this is where I went if I wanted a drop of good beer. WiFi, football, great staff.

3.Bar Struna

Pulling the strings, hosting parties and showing live football this bar sits shining atop a balcony section of a shopping area on the reverse side of my old flat.

Bar Struna, Bielany

Bar Struna, Bielany

Bar Struna, Bielany

I’d sometimes eat pierogi, tatar or a burger here in Bar Struna over a few pints of Tyskie. It’s perhaps the swankier upmarket option in this district.

Bar Struna, Bielany

Bar Struna, Bielany

4.Pub Na Conrada / Aramis

This was a small local bar, we usually called it “Aramis”. The cheapest, dingiest bar in the area but very cool. You could just chill out in here. When I first moved to Bielany, I realised that I had slept near here twice before, near Pub Na Conrada. The first time was in 2007 in a Nurses Hotel. The second time was to stay with my cool friend Kasia Powierza, who hails from Biskupiec, and who I met in Gdansk.

Pub Na Conrada, Bielany

It was here on a Wednesday night in March 2020 that I sat drinking beers with Rafał Kowalczyk whilst watching Liverpool v Atletico Madrid. Little did we know it would be the last beer in a bar for two months. Two days later, coronavirus hit and the lockdown all began.

Pub Na Conrada / Aramis

Pub Na Conrada / Aramis

Pub Na Conrada / Aramis

5.Bar Hutnik

For pizza, beer, football and pretty girls working, Bar Hutnik was a top spot. The interior decor is fancy and a shock.

Bar Hutnik, Bielany, Warszawa

The bar is also linked to local football club Hutnik Warszawa and they are also big Legia Warszawa fans. I watched the famous Bayern Munich 8-2 Barcelona match here.

Bar Hutnik, Bielany, Warszawa

Bar Hutnik, Bielany, Warszawa

These are only some of the bars, pubs, cafes or restaurants in Bielany of course – I went to a few others and there are many many more. Since leaving the neighbourhood of Bielany in September 2020, I left all those bars behind. I’ve since lived in Grochów and Powiśle. I really do plan to write about all these places sometime!

Happy Friday everyone. Slaínte! Na zdrowie!

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Dziwaczne Odkrycia: A Guide to Łódź’s Ulica Piotrkowska, the Longest Shopping Street In Europe Sat, 26 Mar 2022 20:28:23 +0000 Read more about Dziwaczne Odkrycia: A Guide to Łódź’s Ulica Piotrkowska, the Longest Shopping Street In Europe[...]]]>

Hostel Review: Sleeping on the LONGEST Street in Europe at Music Hostel, Łódź

With a length of 4.9 kilometres, Łódź’s Ulica Piotrkowska (Piotrkowska Street) attracts visitors from far and wide. Put simply, it is the longest street in Poland and is often dubbed the longest street in Europe, although other streets debate this. Here is a concise guide to exploring this iconic street which was originally called Bigel by many locals in the past, and is also sometimes referred to as Pietryna. Piotrkowska Street runs longitudinally in a straight line between Liberty Square (Plac Wolności) and Independence Square (Plac Niepodległości).

Your Route Down Piotrkowska Street

Start your journey in Łódź’s old town square, (stary rynek) which is just north of Liberty Square, the northern starting point of Piotrkowska Street. Walk south through the park to Liberty Square and straight in front of you is the beginning of this almost 5 kilometre long street. On the right you will see the Museum of Pharmacy, and on the left sits the Archaeological Museum and the Pentecostal Church. Work your way down through this magnificent thoroughfare, making sure to understand the significance and the history, whilst enjoying some food and drink along the way and exploring the best that Piotrkowska has to offer.

Sleeping on Piotrkowska Street

To experience a night here, sleep on the street itself. For those on a budget, there is one hostel located on Piotrkowska Street, the Music Hostel at number 60. However, if you fancy splashing out on an unusual hotel, check out the Stare Kino Cinema Residence Hotel located at number 120 – in here all rooms have a cinema theme to match the city’s popularity as the movie capital of Poland. There are plenty of other sleeping options on the main street. A list of the best hotels in Łódź can be found here.

Hostel Review: Sleeping on the LONGEST Street in Europe at Music Hostel, Łódź

Hostel Review: Sleeping on the LONGEST Street in Europe at Music Hostel, Łódź

Hostel Review: Sleeping on the LONGEST Street in Europe at Music Hostel, Łódź

Cafes on Piotrkowska Street

Piotrkowska Street is packed with a blossoming range of up-and-coming cafes. The most stylish cafe here is Grand Coffee (located at number 72), with its elegant old-school interior, it serves a wide range of international coffees and creamy desserts. For cat lovers, head to Herbaciarnia Kocie Oczy (number 25). Here, you can sip some of the finest teas and coffees in Łódź surrounded by the cafe’s resident cats! Also of note, the Hort Cafe (number 106) is a super cosy place to sip a cappuccino and eat one of their trademark ice creams while watching the world go by.

Bars on Piotrkowska Street

For pub crawl lovers, get ready to explore more bars on one street than you imagined. Start at Bistro (number 71) and work your way down the street, popping into Pijalnia Wodki i Piwa (number 79), Eclipse Inn (hidden in an alleyway at number 80) and Emir’s Magazyn (number 82) to name just a few. Those places also all serve food plus there are plenty more food options on the street including kebab joints and the usual global fast food chains. For further information check out our articles on the best bars in Łódź.

Restaurants on Piotrkowska Street

There are over 50 restaurants located on Piotrkowska Street so you are definitely spoilt for choice. For some excellent Polish cuisine, try Karczma u Chochola (number 200) which serves up country style Polish food such as goose pierogi (dumplings) and kiełbasa (white sausage). For a range of international dishes, check out Drukarnia Skład Wina & Chleba (number 138) which is famous for its wine, pasta and curries. For pancake lovers, Manekin (number 65) is a superb Polish pancake chain worth popping into. The entire street is full of restaurants, all the way down and flavours of the world waft through the street at every corner.

OFF Piotrkowska Street

Half way down Piotrkowska Street (at numbers 138 – 140) is a poky little bar zone called OFF. Here you can find a load of quirky bars, cafes, restaurants and clubs all with their own individual appeal and packed into a renovated courtyard. Check out Brush Barber shop, which is an intriguing place. By day, in front of mirrors, barbers cut hair. By night, the hairdressing tools and chairs are removed as Brush turns into a lively cocktail boasting its own brand of cocktails.

Piątkowe Picie: Drinking in Brush Barber Shop, Łodz, the Best Cocktail Bar In Poland

Piątkowe Picie: Drinking in Brush Barber Shop, Łodz, the Best Cocktail Bar In Poland

Also in OFF, there’s the Football Bar for sports fans and the trendy Mebloteka Yellow Bar which attracts a good mix of students, locals and tourists.

OFF, Łodz

OFF, Łodz

Murals on Piotrkowska Street

Łódź has lots of wall murals scattered across various parts of the city and if you follow this guide, you will encounter many of them on your walk down Piotrkowska Street. Of these, the huge mural located at number 152 is the most visited and the most distinctive. It was once listed in the Guinness book of records as the largest piece of graffiti in the world. The mural is known as “Łódź winning” and is a representation of the city’s history. It was made entirely using cans of spray paint (2000 of them) and was finished in 2001.

Mural Tour, Łódź

Mural Tour, Łódź

The Walk of Fame on Piotrkowska Street

Łódź has been labelled “HollyŁódź” over the years due to the fact that the city is the centre of excellence for Poland’s film industry. The city has a “Walk of Fame” with stars on the pavement, the same way that Hollywood has. This walk of fame is naturally also on Piotrkowska street and was designed by Andrzej Pągowski back in 1998. You can see the stars of these Polish movie celebrities and more: Roman Polański, Pola Negri, Jadwiga Andrzejewska, Kazimierz Karabasz, Janusz Majewski, Władysław Starewicz and Zbigniew Zapasiewicz. The National Polish Film School is also located in Łódź.


Monuments on Piotrkowska Street

Łódź Bajkowa (Fairytale Łódź) is a project where monuments have been erected all over the city. Not all of these are in and around Piotrkowska Street, but keep your eyes peeled for Miś Uszatek (located at number 87). This is a fictional cartoon bear who is popular with Polish children. Half way down Piotrkowska you will also see the large statue of famous pianist Artur Rubinstein. It’s outside Piotrkowska number 78 – the address where Artur once lived. Finally, towards the end of your adventure down Piotrkowska Street you will come to number 282, where the monument Trzy Misie (Three Bears) sit – again this is a statue of cartoon characters.

Finally, once you have reached the end of Piotrkowska Street, at number 294, there will be a famous tram station, from where you can get a tram to most suburbs in Łódź and conclude your tour.

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How to Start Playing at an Online Casino From Poland Mon, 14 Mar 2022 10:47:15 +0000 Read more about How to Start Playing at an Online Casino From Poland[...]]]> While Poland has some proper casinos, during lockdown, online gambling and gaming has skyrocketed and you can now enjoy it all online. Some things seem quite easy to do until you start and find out that it is not as easy as you envisaged. If you want to start playing at an online casino, this article is for you. Online casinos are gradually taking the place of the brick and mortar casinos as many people keep getting engaged. An online casino is an online web address where lovers of casino games visit to play their favourite games. While playing the games, they can also make money by taking on the game of their choice. Irrespective of the country or region you come from, it is necessary that you have the basic knowledge of how to start playing at an online casino.

How to Start Playing at an Online Casino

How to choose an online casino

There is always an online casino that you can access wherever you are in the world. You can opt for betting sites in Ireland or anywhere else in the world. In doing so, you need to ensure that you are doing it the right way. There are several online platforms where you can bet; unlike online casinos, some deal in the football business and alongside other sports. Below are some things you must consider before choosing an online casino to play.

  • Acceptance: some countries do not give their citizens or inhabitants access to online casino gambling. Before you choose any online, ensure that you know the status. While some casinos do not accept casino gamers from some countries, others do not have any form of restriction. You can access an online casino from anywhere, your home, office, park, etc.
  • Withdrawal policy: online casinos use different modes of withdrawal and deposit in transacting business. The casino of your choice must have policies and mediums convenient for you to use. In some cases, the withdrawal policy can be cumbersome as you have to wait for a stipulated number of days before withdrawing your earnings.
  • Welcome bonus: when you register at an online casino for the first time, you are given a bonus that you can use to play. Some casinos give cash, and some give free spins and other mouth-watering offers. Place all the options of the various casinos available before you and pick that you are most comfortable playing or that you know how to play. 
  • Wagering requirement: when you get a bonus or gift at an online casino, you need to meet some conditions before withdrawing it. These conditions are known as wagering requirements, and they vary based on the terms of the online casinos.

How to play at an online casino

When you want to start playing at an online casino, there are some steps to take. Below is a highlight of the steps to take. You can do the registration from any place.

  • Registration: the first step to start playing at an online casino is registering. Once you are registered, you will be recognized as a verified online casino player with your chosen platform. The registration process involves entering some personal information like name, address, date of birth, among others. Some casinos offer a welcome bonus at this stage.
  • Deposit: the next phase is to deposit a certain amount of money into the account that has been opened. A deposit bonus is attached to some online casinos, which will be activated when the first deposit is made. 
  • Play your game: after you have successfully gone through the registration process and made a deposit, you can now play. There are various games like blackjack, roulette, poker, slots, among others, that you can enjoy. 
  • Withdrawal: after playing your favourite online casino game and winning, the next thing will be to cash out your winnings. The cashout process is quite easy as many mediums like PayPal, cash app, and others can be used.

Now that you have gained more knowledge about playing at an online casino, the next step is to try it out. Before playing at an online casino, you must know that you can win or lose as nothing is certain. Also, ensure that the money you use to play at the online casino is one that you can afford to part with.

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From France to Gdańsk: Accommodation and Sightseeing Fri, 25 Feb 2022 15:30:21 +0000 Read more about From France to Gdańsk: Accommodation and Sightseeing[...]]]> I have now been to the beautiful Polish seaside city of Gdańsk in seven consecutive calendar years, a statistic I never thought would happen way back in 2016. But here I am in 2022, back in the city I love, a city that inspired me so much. I was also here in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021, the city has an incredible magnetism for me and I will now reflect a bit on the journey from France to Gdańsk. I actually started off my trip to Gdańsk in Milan…

Smaczne Środy: The Best Kebabs in Gdańsk

2016 in Gdańsk

I flew into Milan from Cork. I spent three days in and around Milan, visiting the San Siro, the castle, the art galleries and of course watching some football. Then from Milan, we headed overland by train to France!!

I was in France for the Euro 2016 football tournament. We booked the trains online and we did the same for the hotels and hostels, using Ebooking to save time and get an easy reservation. On that trip to France, we started off in the city of Nice, where we watched Poland v. Northern Ireland in the Euros. Sadly Northern Ireland lost 1-0 on the day, but it was good fun before we had to overland north to the city of Lyon…

Northern Ireland v. Poland in Nice, France, June 2016

In fact, on route to Lyon we also did the trip in and out of Monaco, itself a separate country with the capital city there being Monte Carlo. We toured the main sights there which included the famous casino, the grand prix circuit, the harbour and the most dangerous bend in Formula One motor racing.

On the train from France to Monaco in 2016

In Nice, we stayed at the Hotel Saint Gothard, and then in Lyon we opted for the Ibis Hotel. Of course, they were booked online as it was easier, and was also a busy time due to the Euro 2016 football tournament. In Lyon, France we watched the Northern Ireland v. Ukraine match. This time, my team was successful as we won 2-0, goals from Gareth McAuley and Niall McGinn. After that match, we stayed in France, again booking into an Ibis Hotel. This time however we headed north by bus. We got a cheap Megabus which took us from Lyon to Paris, the romantic capital city of France.

It’s the Ulster Boys making all the noise, everywhere we go – here in Lyon, France

We stayed a bit north of the city in fact, in an area known as Epinay Sur Seine. From there, we toured the usual sights whilst based at that hotel. We were able to see the Sacre Coeur, Montmartre and the famous windmill of the Moulin Rouge. As well as the usual textbook tick-off sights like the Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysees and the Arc de Triomph. In France, there were two matches to attend as well as some local bar hopping and indulging in French wine, cheese and pancakes – crepes. The first match was a 1-0 defeat to Germany, which meant that Northern Ireland went through to the next goal by virtue of three points, a zero goal difference and one of the top 4 third places teams.

The final part of that trip to France saw me get a bus overland to Brussells. It was here in Belgium, that I booked a flight back to Poland, and then…I ended up loving Gdańsk and living in it. It was a very crazy journey.

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