Forest

Poland: a land of only factories, high rise blocks and mines? Think again. With over 9 million hectares, Poland has the largest forested area in the EU. Almost 30% of Poland is covered by forested areas, a figure that has increased steadily since 1950. It’s well spread across the country too, with huge and rich... Continue Reading →

Pride and prejudice?

Roaring football fans on the way to a Saturday afternoon game drowned out a more hidden group that was also travelling into central Krakow on 18 May. Continuing a 15 year tradition, the annual “Marsz równości” (Equality March, hosted by Queerowy Maj) was about to begin. Krakow is situated in the Małopolska (Lesser Poland) region,... Continue Reading →

Katowice

Speaking about Katowice (‘Kato’ to some younger locals) to Poles - particularly those from outside the Silesia region - is usually met with groans and even blushes of embarrassment. At first glance it can appear quite a grey and gloomy place, with no shortage of concrete towers and communist-era architecture, factory chimneys, mineshafts and multi-lane... Continue Reading →

Anty Jude?

I hope to challenge stereotypes about Poland, but equally I want to avoid ‘sugar coating’ the image of a country that has controversies like any other. A beautiful Jewish grave in Chrzanów It’s worth saying upfront that I don’t believe that l Poland is any more dangerous for people of different races or religions than... Continue Reading →

Peak

Tatry on the Polish-Slovak border “Poland has mountains?” This reaction that I got from several people to some of my recent photos inspired this post. Poland is certainly not the flat and uniform country some imagine and here I want to show you some of the magic and legend that are so central to Polish... Continue Reading →

Strike!

After failed negotiations with the government, a huge teacher strike began this week in Poland, at the start of the national exam season. With the majority of public schools predicted to strike, it’s the largest industrial action in Poland in over 25 years, since the time of the country’s democratic transition. Solidarity! A middle school... Continue Reading →

Tongue twister?

Smacznego - bon appétit I’m still fairly early in my journey to learn Polish but here I share some observations and basic facts about this curious language. Is it as hard as people say? 'Balaton' lake in Trzebinia. Polish is a Slavic language spoken fluently by around 50 million people worldwide - mostly in Poland... Continue Reading →

Blok by blok

12 million people in Poland live in apartment blocks, mostly built during the communist period of PRL (Polish People’s Republic). How did this come to be, and what is life like for these people? An apartment in Chrzanow I want to dispel myths about Poland as a grey and characterless country. In this blog you... Continue Reading →

Death of a Slavic goddess

I notice the seasons here much more than other places I’ve lived in Europe. The weather varies much more between seasons than I’m used to - cold, snowy winters and hot, bright summers. Also, there are many events connected with seasons, the associated foods and their coming and going. The end of winter is no... Continue Reading →

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