In Poland and in the world there are places which we should see even if only once in our life. Some of them, to my regret, are unavailable because they are dangerous. Fortunately, we can show at least some of them to our children. One place which everybody should see in Poland is Malbork Castle.


This castle, which is the biggest in the world in terms of area, is placed on the banks of the river Nogat and is very impressive. It has been built in phases since 1280 and has been passed from German hands to Polish hands many times. Eventually, after a pounding in 1945 by The Red Army, it was rebuilt and deemed a national monument. In 1997 it was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.


Huge but interesting in terms of architecture, this bricky building is intriguing and encourages us to visit it. The features of the castle include: the Karwan Lower Castle, where train equipment, cannons and ammunition were kept; St Wawrzyniec Chapel and outbuildings; the glamorous Medium Castle, which was the political centre of authority and in which we can find St. Bartłomiej Chapel, the Great Refectory, the Grand Master Palace, and the Monastery of the Teutonic Knights, known as the High Castle.


Visiting the castle takes 3.5 hours and is conducted by an experienced guide or (for a fee) with an audio-guide. I don't know any child - even one who is very interested in medieval castles - who patiently follows his parents, listening about the historical and architectonic details of this wonderful castle.

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We were in the Góry Sowie (Owl Mountains) for the first time. We tried to book our accommodation quite late, and it turned out that it is difficult to find a room during the holiday weekend. There were a few rooms on offer, but we would have had to put up with a noisy party in the same place. It could be difficult not being at the party but only hearing the noise behind the wall.


When one door closes, another opens. We found a guesthouse called Mała Sowa (Small Owl) in Rzeczka. It was a success. We actively spent three days making use of the nearby attractions in the picturesque setting of Góry Sowie and rested in a friendly and clean guesthouse. Our first impression was excellent because this place pays attention to cleanliness and a nice-looking environment. Manicured grass, various plants, big barbecue area, fireplace, playground and ¬- best of all – calm, which we always need in a place like this.


The rooms and apartments are big, with enough space for baggage. They are arranged with great attention to detail: Old clocks, radios, huge old beds and wooden cupboards like in grandma's home make a nice and cosy impression.

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At the Polish seaside you can eat anything you like: fish and seafood, pizza, hamburgers, creps, dumplings, sushi, and tasty homemade dinners. When we visit a small town for the first time and we don't have any favourite restaurants, we visit the places which somebody has tried already and evaluated and recommended. Obviously, we may have different tastes and expectations, and this way of choosing could be unsuccessful, but in Jastrzębia Góra the internet users' opinions didn't let us down.


We came across the tavern "U Rybaka" ('At the Fisherman's place' ). Right after our first dinner we knew it was a success, and we stayed faithful to "U Rybaka" ('At the Fisherman' ) until the end of our stay in Jastrzębia Góra. We didn't eat there every day, but for a few days we tried some of the yummy dishes.


At dinnertime the long queue of hungry vacationers waiting for a free table may be off-putting. For me it was a sign of the quality of the food in the restaurant. The tavern has a lot of seats and the nice staff efficiently steer you towards free tables. If you are patient and wait for a few minutes you won't be disappointed.


There is something for everybody on the menu. We focused on fish, but if somebody doesn't like it, they may also eat a tasty dinner. There are meat dishes, traditional soups, pasta dishes, dumplings and salads. The herring starters and steak tartare with salmon were our first choice. Both of them were excellent. The herring dish was so big that we were all able to try it.

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During the long May weekend the weather in Karkonosze wasn't nice. In Poland we say: "the weather is squared". The sunny moments with almost summer sun were interspersed with torrential rain and cold wind. In short: "something nice for everybody".


One of the mornings said hallo to us with almost October weather. Somehow we had to utilise our children's energy. Mountain trips weren't possible. Fortunately, we found Glass Factory Julia near Szklarska Poręba, which we decided to visit.


Our first contact with the place was disturbing. The crowds of people milling around the building, the buses and cars filling up the decent-sized carparks and a lot of children messing around frightened us a bit. Actually, it turned out that the only difficult thing was finding a free space in the car park. The crowd of adults and children were efficiently directed by the Glass Factory staff. The checkout line, tickets, the set times for visiting the Factory, the shop, guide and interpretive walk – everything was well thought out and very well organized.


Visiting the Factory is possible only in the care of a guide in 20-person groups. The groups enter the factory every 30 minutes. If there is an exceptionally large group of people, visiting starts every 15 minutes. Although there were a lot of people ahead of us, we waited only 45 minutes, which was exactly as much time as we needed to see the products in one of the shops with coloured glass (visiting the factory finishes in the shop with white glass) and drink an excellent hot chocolate and coffee in the Lily-white Café. The cakes and dessert served in the local glass looked appealing and were very tasty. The only minor flaw was the small amount of chairs in the café, but here we were also lucky.

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Lower Silesia is a completely new area for us. This year we went there for the first time and now we know that it wasn't the last time. We were there for a week with our children who need changes and attractions all the time. We decided to do something new every day. However, if we had been there without the children, we would probably have done different things. For starters, we went on hikes to the Szklarka and Kamieńczyk Waterfalls, Jurassic Park in Szklarska Poręba, a crystal glass factory called Julia, and Chojnik Castle. For me, the best thing was an attraction which, to my astonishment, cannot be found in every Tourist Guide: The Colourful Lakes, lately recognized by National Geographic Traveller as one of the new seven wonders of Poland.


Any careful visitor to the Szczecin and Wolin Island area has had a chance to see the Emerald and Turquoise Lakes. In my opinion however, their actual colours have been at odds with their names for some time, and the leaves which lie on the bed have caused the azure to be less and less visible. There is no such doubt when it comes to The Colourful Lakes. Their colours really significantly differ from typical, clear tarns, although I think that everybody can see different colours from those indicated by the names.


The Lakes are situated in Rudawski Landscape Park near Wieściszowice village. Four of them lie on the slope of Wielka Kopa. Back in the XVIII century a pyrite mine was situated here. In the XX century the extraction of this mineral ended and once again mother nature came into power in this place. The mine excavations were filled with water, creating picturesque lakes where the colour comes from the chemical structure of their walls and beds.

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