Thursday, July 20, 2017

Wroclaw, Poland in a nutshell

Wroclaw, Poland Rynek
Poland made our travel itinerary early in the planning stages.  We were excited to explore Jason's Gruchalla family ancestry.  His family emigrated in the late 1800s from a small town in the north, but we chose to make Wroclaw (southwest) our home base. We spent 3 weeks here and made a week long trip to the Gdansk area and Krakow.

Wroclaw, pronounced "vrot suave", proved to be a lovely, family friendly city with beautiful architecture, parks and tasty food and drinks.

Town Hall
Cities around Poland all have a Rynek, which is the main market square in old town.  Pictures of these colorful buildings was one of the things that drew us to this city.  The ice cream colored buildings are beautiful, but the majority have been rebuilt following WW2 and massive flooding.  The Rynek was a good base for most major sights, especially for finding gnomes.

We were fortunate to explore several museums with the kids.  The architectural details were amazing, the furnishings in the palace brought me back to my school days (history of furniture) and the ethnographic museum's display of textiles and art was stunning. I loved the bright colors of traditional clothing, it was all I could do to not buy the full getup for Adele.
Old beekeeping boxes, textiles, traditional clothing and art from the Ethnographic Museum.
Miscellaneous architectural features
Decor and furniture from the palace
Another favorite spot in Wroclaw was Park Szczytnicki.  For Seattle folks this is their version of Seattle Center.  It is home to Centennial Hall (or "the cake building" the kids called it because of it's shape), the steeple, a multi media water fountain show and Japanese garden.  We stopped by here a few times to play in the fountain, sketch in the garden and eat some amazing food truck grub.  Many events take place here, so it was always busy.  We stopped by the zoo too, and saw several baby animals!

The Steeple

Japanese Garden

Multi media light up fountain and spraypark
Zoo, crazy kids, baby hippo and cutest sloth ever!
Our apartment was about a 20 minute walk from the Rynek.  We enjoyed the location with it's proximity to some beautiful parks and views of the river.  Lots of great spots to relax and let the kids burn some energy.  There was large park and playground across the street that we frequented.  Across the river we found another lovely view with a water feature to splash around in.

Seven swans a swimming

Picnic at the park

Riverside park view
During our visit we happened upon two family carnivals with loads of activities for the kids.  They were over the moon to get their faces painted, jump in a bouncy house and play in a bubble machine.

During our last week, we stumbled upon a Taste of Europe festival in the Rynek.  They went all out for this festival.  Everything from food, drinks, music, shops to beach chairs, sand boxes and an outdoor garden show.  It was a fun way to spend an afternoon.

Just a little garden tic tac toe

Last but not least, Jason and I got to go on a date!  Hopefully this won't be the only one for the next year!

Much needed, well deserved adult time with my love.

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