Having been terrified by the sights of the ‘Beast from the East’ weather pattern across Europe in the week before I left Adelaide, it has been a remarkable beginning to my holiday, at least as far as the clear, blue sunny days. Granted there is a biting breeze and a chill factor that brings back memories of Iceland in July last year, but so far every day has been perfect – a sort of reverse temperature variation of the weather slogan for Queensland!

Today I shall visit the Palm House Gardens before leaving at 15:30 for Warsaw and the Conference! Yes I do need to justify the expenses claim, I have no doubt that Stephen Marshall will be checking up me personally.

Incidentally, as a complete aside, being the trend setter that I am, more than 6 years ago I committed FaceBook suicide and started my own blog site – the very reason you are on this page! The reason had nothing to do with the fact that my daughter had 4983 ‘friends’ and I had 3 , 2 of whom had actually accidentally ‘liked’ the wrong Graham Norton anyway. Seriously I am, I feel vindicated by the current data breach mess, not that I have anything to hide: it is in the open domain that I am a ‘pillow biter’ and have never slept with a member of parliament- state or commonwealth.

A few pictures with occasional comments

Lets get the picture of interior of the local cathedral out of the way first

Various pictures of the Poznan town square. In the centre is an ornate town hall and municipal offices which is now an historical museum. I have a sense of déjà-vue, but I cannot remember where I entered a town or city square like this in Europe. Any suggestions?

I explored the Cathedral Island a fortified island in the middle of the Worta River. There is a flourishing monastery and I saw several priests in black flowing cassocks, some quite youthful surprisingly. At least two carried IKEA bags which begs the question of what on earth would a seminarian need to self assemble in the cloisters, or perhaps the closet? I dawdled in the vicinity in the hope that I might chance upon a Nun or two carrying bags from the Polish equivalent of Bunnings, it was not to be.

This is a VERY clever visual perspective optical illusion…. look carefully at the picture below..

Well… have you worked it out? The Yellow red roofed building to the right of the square is real, BUT the facades of the buildings facing towards you, the green house, the tree and all the mish-mash of houses and appartments are PAINTED on the side wall of the pink faced building facing east, right up to the sky line of the pink building .. I also mean the tree behind the green house not the tree at the corner of the square, which is real.

Finally in the 20 km I walked on this day, I finished up exploring Citadel Park – a forest atoll with many graves and a rather derelict museum of war machinery – tanks, airplanes etc. It not really a War Memorial as such but nevertheless a large peaceful park in Poznan for meandering and meditation

Poznan The BlowUp 5050 Hotel

A long train trip from Gdansk to Poznan – mostly on flat rolling plains with agricultural villages interspersed with zones of industry and transport hubs. We rolled along at 120km/hour a sort of Japanese air-rifle train . I was not asked to pay added fees for this, although it was clean and safe. The trolley lady ignored me as she served the other ‘Premium passengers’. Eventually I went independently to the Dining Car and paid for a cup of woeful coffee and 2 rusks… (Autocorrection suggested ‘tusks’, which on second thoughts I should have accepted).

I am staying at the Blow Up Hall 5050 Hotel- part of a modern conference centre and shopping complex. I was reassured by my wonderfully efficient local travel agent that the name was NOT in anyway related to previous acts of Polish liberation uprisings in the 1950s, but was named in homage to the movie “BlowUp” staring David Hemings ( I thought it was Terence Stamp) and Vanessa Redgrave. It was made in 1966 and for every (nay most) Adolescent males, sitting up the back in darkness watching Vanessa Redgrave being photographed in the NUDE, was far better then being given enough money to buy a box of Fantales. It was understandable that this talented actress was known henceforth as ‘Vanessa the Undresser’ As to I , my preference was a box of Jaffas AND the unrequited desire to see David Hemings in his underpants. Although I still prefer Terence Stamp.

The Hotel is described on various web sites as Avantgarde- which is interior design speak for the shiny black, chrome and mirrored finish in my room. It is very disconcerting indeed disorientating. Words are not adequate to describe the visual catastrophe. The bathroom has a full length mirror along one wall, so that if you have any difficulty in perspective when showering or shaving, one can always do a stand alone gym workout by turning around and facing the mirror. I include pictures:

The toilet is separate from the bathroom. It is totally BLACK – close the door and one can experience for free, the sensory deprivation so effectively used by the invading American army in Iraq. It is impossible to know where one should sit or stand to answer the call of nature. Even at the best of times in my well lit bathroom in Adelaide, my sense of aim is problematic, but then as my friends know I can’t even throw an ball or catch it with any sense of manly skill or pride.

The room it self is quite big and very quiet. The TV appears to be kaput. There are no tea or coffee making facilities, although it has just dawned on me that I should undertake a more careful and minute search of the walls and shelves, as if the kettle is in shiny black plastic, I will not see it.

Poland! Is it on your bucket list?

On 17th March 2018, I head out to Poland. Its 21 days away and all of the land content is Poland, not often I go to Europe and spend it all in one country. Poland is the great unknown for many, including me. I have the feeling that it’s not a cycle friendly or developed region for bikes, so the places I plan to visit will be reached by train. Again research suggests that the concept of a ‘bullet train’ has yet to reached the Polish rail system.

poland itinerary