Syrena logo POLAND 2004 PHOTOS
Pieniny, Sandomierz, Wieliczka, Castles
Bill Biega's
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In the August 2004 I went from Warsaw to Cracow, Poland's most beautiful city (see detailed tour). Then I rented a car for a leisurely sightseeing drive back to Warsaw. Initially I planned to spend time in the mountains, but rain forced me to return to sunny central Poland. Side roads were narrower but well paved and marked, as well as free of heavy traffic, therefore much more pleasant than main roads.

The best view of the ancient Tyniec Abbey is from across the river Vistula.
In Ojców National Park Hercules Club is the most known landmark. The Pieskowa Skała castle behind it has been beautifully restored and is now a hotel.
The Ojców National Park is part of the Eagles'Nest Trail that extends 50km through the limestone Jura uplands northwest of Cracow.
The largest of the many castle ruins is Ogrodzieniec.
In the 700 year oldWieliczka Salt Mine, the most beautiful of its many chambers is the St. Kinga Chapel, 130m below ground.
It and other chambers are decorated by statues and bas-reliefs carved in the salt.
A miner's band entertains visitors in one of the chambers.
South east of Wieliczka stands the large castle of Wisnicz. Extended by Stanisław Lubomirski, after he defeated the turks at Chocim in the 17thC. Later it was sacked by the Swedes and has been empty since. It is one of the largest cstles in Poland.
The elaborate ceiling of the ball-room indicates the richness of the original castle.
The two hour raft ride down the rapids of the Dunajec River through the winding gorge of the Pieniny Mountains was the high point of this trip. The Three Crowns look down at the river.
The rafts are poled by two mountaineers in traditional góral clothes
On the way north pass through Stary Sącz with its large monastery to Tarnów. Its Gothic Town Hall dominates the rynek, market square with its arcades and painted houses.
Heading north over the Vistula a stop for relaxation in the great pool and sauna at the spa, Busko Zdrój. You can also drink the waters to heal various problems.
Sandomierz, on the Vistula, has been wealthy for its role in the grain trade since the 12thC. The castle has been considerably modified over the centuries.
The town hall has Renaissance parapets above its Gothic base.
Only one of th ncient gates remains today.

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All photos copyright © 2003 B. C. Biega. All rights reserved.

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