Poland: a monoculture?

There are certain constants that you will encounter over and over again as you cycle through Poland. I have already mentioned its predominantly Catholic culture, and you will be reminded of this at almost every turn, both in town and in the countryside. In every town there will be a huge monument to their most famous son, Pope John Paul II, depicted very astutely as a man of action, proclaiming to the world, his garments billowing in the wind…

and you can guarantee that at least one major street in every town and village throughout the land is named after Jana Pawel II.

then in the countryside, you will pass dozens of shrines like this, ribbons fluttering in the breeze…

In a tiny village, remote from anywhere, I came out of its one and only store to see this in the carpark…….

I couldn’t believe there might be another English visitor in these parts, so remote, so far off the beaten track. The driver turned out to be a local lad, who lived and worked in the UK (I never asked him if he was a plumber!) and he was home on holiday. But that yellow registration plate seemed so out of place….

In the 1960s, when I was but a teenage lad, I was given a book entitled Treblinka. It made a huge impact on me, and I remember resolving there and then that I would, one day, visit the place to pay my respects to the nearly 900,000 Polish Jews who perished there during the last war. So the time has finally come. I am just 8km away, in Markinia Gorna, and tomorrow I will visit both the extermination and labour camps….I say no more for now.

About Frank Burns

My journeys around the world are less about riding a bicycle, and more about what happens when I get off the bicycle. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on September 11, 2019, in Biking the Baltic 2,400km and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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