5 Things You Didn’t Know About Poland

Everyone knows that in Poland you can swim in the Baltic Sea (brrr!), climb in the Sudets and spend a long weekend in Masuria. Rumours also say that local vodka is produced in every house, and that the groom always falls asleep on his own (4-day) wedding… but if we drink so much, how can we pronounce, all these creaking and whispering sounds?

What else can we offer? What you still don’t know about Poland?

1. Tongue-twisters – Polish language is one of the most challenging in Europe. Cases, tenses and endings pester anyone who is trying to learn it, but if you go to Poland on holidays read some names of the villages. The longest name you can find is Siemieniakowszczyzna, but we have some more: Szymankowszczyzna, Wierzchosławiczki or Jazgarzewszczyzna. Can you pronounce it? Sometimes the names become very funny, for example: Zła Wieś Wielka (lit. “Big Evil Village”) or Morzeszczyn (when divided to Morze szczyn, lit. “the sea of urine”). Have fun!

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2. Want a haircut? – Go to Osinów Dolny located exactly on the Polish-German border. In this tiny town live only 180 inhabitants and, what is not that surprising, they all live from… Germans, who are coming there for shopping on weekends and for quick appearance improvements such as haircuts. That is why there are over 30 hairdressers and all of them pretty crowded.

3. Volcanoes – Iceland? Japan? Or maybe Indonesia? No! Did you know that volcanoes are also in Poland? If you want to see them, come to Kaczawskie Mountains in the Lower Silesia. On the Polish land of extinct volcanoes the volcanic rocks were formed around a half of a billion years ago, which is making them the oldest volcanoes in the world.

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4. Silesian Versailles – Poland once belonged to the most influential countries in Europe. After they merged with Lithuania, in the sixteenth century Poland had over 990.000 km2. So the kings and princes must have had somewhere to stay, and the rich country had a lot to offer. Currently, in Poland, you can visit up to 420 castles. Among them without a doubt the most beautiful is the Silesian Versailles in Pszczyna in the southern part of the country.

5. Train with gold – the mysterious legend says that between 1944 and 1945 there was a train coming from Germany to Wałbrzych, probably containing gold and other valuables that the Nazis wanted to protect from the onslaught of the Red Army. But the train never arrived to its destination and nobody knows what really happened to it. Rumours say that the treasure was hidden somewhere in the Southern Poland, in the area of the Owl Mountains. From time to time, Polish media present hot news about some new findings, but nothing has been discovered so far. So what? Treasure hunters there is a job for you!

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