“Someday you will find me, caught beneath the landslide; in a champagne supernova in the sky” – Noel Gallagher.
When I first arrived in Warszawa in 2005, I was on a train from Berlin, it didn’t feel like anything special that day. It wasn’t going to change my life….I was wrong. I was holding a green and white snake, drinking a German beer and I was 24. I’d never even heard of Włocławek let alone how till pronounce the beast.
On that train, in 2005, I had already passed through Szczecin and Poznań, though I couldn’t ‘count them’, and so the story began, I was now in Poland but only to see Warszawa in 2005. I only ever came to Poland to watch a football match!!! I was supporting Northern Ireland in the 1-0 defeat in March 2005…
But time progressed and I worked with many Polish people through the years, I kept returning but it wasn’t until 2015 that I had added a SECOND location to my list! Yes, Warszawa was my first, second and third port of call. Since then, my travels in Poland have been relentless and it took me a while to get to the magic 70 in terms of my own criteria – Cities, Towns, Villages, Settlements, UNESCO Sites, Parks (without doubling up on things that I personally felt were two in one or the same thing). For example, the Trojmiasto (Gdańsk, Sopot, Gdynia) I count as three, I also count every German Death Camp and National Park as separate. But Warszawa is just Warszawa, as long as it’s within the zones. So here is my list of 70 ‘places’ I have been, which sadly I haven’t written a post on them all yet. Those that got a post, I have linked to it. Here’s to the next 70!! I have done these as accurately as I can remember in chronological order. If you are a friend of mine and you think the order is wrong, you may be right, and I may even have left places out for all I remember!
4.Auschwitz (German Death Camp)
5.Birkenau (German Death Camp)
10.Słowiński National Park
19.Stutthof (German Death Camp)
38.Modlin/Nowy Dwór Mazowiecki
39.Majdanek (German Death Camp)
53.Wilczy Szaniec (Wolfschanze / Wolf’s Lair)
63.Trzcianka (a different one)
64.Bochnia (UNESCO Site which I counted separately)
So yes, Włocławek was number 70 on the list, and then Nowa Wies came just after that. I didn’t include a few places I have been, such as Iława as I was only there on a 2 hour train delay and a few others slipped through the net. My plan is to visit 100, live to tell the tale and finally have one article minimum about each of these places. I was really there.
Places I have been that are related to Poland but not actually part of Poland:
72.King George Island – Henryk Arctowski Base (Polish Antarctica)
73.Krolestwo Dreamlandu (Polish based Micronation)
74.Królestwo Kabuto (Polish based Micronation)
75.Leblandia (Polish based Micronation)
Thanks especially to Julia, Kasia, Kamil and Rafał, without whom I bet this wouldn’t EVER have happened to a proud and quiet Ulster boy like me. Anyway, thanks for the first 70 and here’s to more adventures in Poland. This is a good song: