Our Experiences in Poland
(17th – 24th September 2007)
In an exchange programme in May a group of Polish children spent a week in Hungary as our guests. They participated in some lessons at our school and we showed them some places in our country while visiting many famous sights and some of our biggest cities, like Budapest, Győr or Szentendre. During these days we introduced them to some of our habits, traditions and the Hungarian hospitality. Similar events happened in the middle of September when the parts swapped and the hosts became guests.
On Monday, after a very tiring day at school, we left Bicske at 17:30. On the train, at last we had an opportunity to play card games and chat about interesting and funny topics. When we had felt tired, we made our beds and tried to sleep. Just tried!! Unfortunately, our beds weren’t comfortable and the train was loud, moreover, when we fell asleep, the frontier guards and customs officers on the Slovakian – Polish border gave us a very unpleasant wake-up. Finally, we slept only 3 hours, that’s why we weren’t too fresh next day.
We arrived in Warsaw at 8 o’clock a.m. The Polish teachers were waiting for us and took us to McDonald’s to have breakfast. After it we started our long walk in the city. First, we admired the fascinating view of Warsaw from the tower of the Cultural Centre. Then, we visited the Wyspianski and some other exhibitions in the National Museum. In a park opposite the different embassies, while we were having lunch, we could see lovely, fury squirrels playing tag. With our last reserves of energy, we entered the Technological University of Warsaw. By the modern underground we approached our Polish friends’ school and at last we could meet each other. They showed their school and we watched a funny film which was made by some students. Finally, everybody travelled to the hosts’ houses.
On Wednesday we started our day with an enjoyable and interesting History lesson with Chris. We realized many common facts in the Hungarian and Polish history. By the underground we reached a nice park where the remnants of a palace, which was destroyed in World War II, are situated. From there we were heading for the Old Town passing the National Theatre. The tour guide had already been waiting for us at the Royal Palace. To our big astonishment the former palace was completely destroyed during World War II and rebuilt from the Polish people’s money because the government didn’t give a zloty for reconstruction, as the tour guide said. She also told us that Polish people had rescued much furniture, many paintings, sculptures and other pieces of the decoration during the war, that’s why many parts of the rebuilt palace are original inside. Outside we met our Polish friends and that time they guided us in the heart of the Old Town where we saw the symbol of Warsaw, the pretty mermaid. A film about Warsaw at the beginning of the 20th century made us wiser. What’s more, we didn’t lose Flora at the underground station. J
Next day we couldn’t get a good rest because of the uncomfortable train seats and Barbi’s craziness. The long trip was forgotten because the view of the gorgeous sea compensated for it. As soon as the fresh salty air filled our lungs, we became refreshed in Sopot. Moreover, we could enjoy the sight of a real pirate ship. However, we hadn’t enough free time to look around in the town, to admire the see, to do shoping and to taste the Polish waffle. In Gdańsk a guide was waiting for us and she showed us the centre. The city centre is very special with its architecture style. It is also very colourful and lively. It’s a real cosmopolitan city. There it is possible to buy real amber jewellery and handmade sweets. The estuary of the Vistula is beautiful. It looks like a narrow channel, however, there’re many enormous ships. Gdańsk has many big churches: one of them is the gothic Saint Mary Church at the end of the Amber Street. There is an opportunity to climb the high tower, which provides the most amazing view of the city. Near it the Main Square is situated with the Neptune fountain. On our way home we got some delicious cakes from the Polish teachers.
We started next morning with a quiz. Then we could visit different lessons at school. The English lesson had the biggest success. It was a useful experience. We were strolling in Łazienki Park and had a guided visit to the Palace on the Water. We could also see Frederic Chopin’s bronze statue. We were walking through the most beautiful parks of Warsaw towards the underground station.
At the weekend we had 2 family days. Of course, we had different programmes, although most students went to Kazimierz. Another destination was Zelazowa Wola,
Chopin’s nice birthplace near Warsaw. Next day some people played bowling and others did some shopping.
Finally, we had sad farewells at the train station and the moment of saying goodbye to each other came soon. It was very sad to leave without knowing whether we could meet again. We were so absent-minded at this point that nobody could remember the numbers of our cabins, which we were told about by our teacher previously. That’s why Mrs Vilinovszki told us to go to school to practise some Maths on the day of our arrival. J
All in all, we were very exhausted and, of course, we didn’t study on Monday. We were lucky to arrive safe and sound with many useful and gorgeous experiences.