Lublin

I can honestly declare that I have appeared at sessions on all the 4 days of the conference. I have attended 3 of the series of Controversies in Neurology in the past few years and this was of reasonable standard, so much so that I don’t have any feelings of guilt with respect to claiming professional development expenses from my employee. The weather continues to be clear and sunny – but with stale snow on the ground from the last fall of the winter ( I hope). However as I am spending a few days in the southern port of the Poland in the mountain region of Zakopane, I may get to see fresh falling snow!

A 4 hour train journey from Warsaw to Lublin in a 1st class carriage that was reminiscent of the 6 to 8 seat cabins on the country trains in Australia during the 1950 and 60s.

Lublin is a very large city with a very small ‘old town’ – it was all over in an hour or two and that included 20 minutes in the Dominican Cathedral.

But it had a nice feel to it. I was I think the only foreigner, the rest were local Poles or visitors who drove for a day trip from Warsaw. That is apparently what they do. I was fascinated by the number of locals who were carrying small ‘Posies” of dried flowers and leaves on a stick! They looked from a distance like colourful feather dusters. Intrigued, I asked the staff at the Tourist Office and we eventually came to the conclusion that these were part of Palm Sunday celebrations. This explained to me the large number of people quietly meditating in the Cathedral and an impressive queue of repentant Poles waiting to kneel and confess. About the only day in the Christian calendar that gets me vaguely excited is Pancake Day. The queue was only surpassed in length by a line which snaked around the block and across several footpaths, in the village square which was, I discovered, leading to the Icecream shop! Here was I rugged up in down jacket, gloves and beanie (new) breathing frost from both nostrils, to be confronted by literally hundreds of Poles patiently waiting for an ICECREAM! Yes I did relent and had one too – coffee/orange flavour and it was as tasty as it sounds.

.Incidentally I am staying at a rather quaint, musty Hotel that in its day was the centre of a thriving Jewish community I have a very large room and sitting room , warm and very quiet. It is the Hotel Ilan and it is within walking distance of the old town.

Tomorrow, weather permitting I shall take a local bus to Zamosc.