Here’s the usual wrap up top ten list I do after most of our trips. Enjoy…
10. Poland has come a long way in teaching English since our last visit in November 2008. Just about everyone we met while in Wroclaw spoke near fluent English. It was both impressive and humbling, since I only know a smattering of a few languages and am only fluent in English myself.
9. Georgian food appears to be popular in Poland. I was very surprised to find two Georgian chain restaurants in Wroclaw, both of which offered authentic food, Georgian wine, and Georgian beer. I wish it would catch on more in Germany, because Georgian food is delicious and their wine is even more than delicious.
8. Art is a big deal in Poland. Well, okay, I knew this and even blogged about it a few years ago. However, the creative spirit really seemed especially apparent in Wroclaw. I saw all kinds of creative touches, from fun murals in restaurants to very serious art exhibitions in city museums.
7. Poles are happy to not be communists anymore. I saw plenty of evidence that Poland is a happier place, now that it’s no longer controlled by Russia. They even have a restaurant that pokes fun of those years as it also capitalizes on capitalism.
6. Craft beer is a thing in Poland! When we visited in 2008, I was not at all impressed by the beer available. What a difference eleven years makes! Now, there are breweries making fun beers available to everyone. And since there is no “purity law” in Poland to worry about, you never know what you’ll find there.
5. Wroclaw’s parking is better than it used to be. When we visited Poland in 2008, we noticed that it was hard to park there. I spoke to the bartender at the Sofitel, and he said that many families have two cars, which makes parking a challenge. The cab driver confirmed that a lot of people have their own cars and many families have more than one. However, I noticed that there weren’t as many double parked cars in Wroclaw as there were in 2008.
4. Gnomes are everywhere in Wroclaw. Although they were in the city in 2008, we didn’t notice them. It’s probably because they weren’t as plentiful as they are now. If gnomes creep you out, like they do my friend Mary Beth, Wroclaw is not your city.
3. Wroclaw has a beautiful airport that is super easy to get in and out of. Seriously… I wasn’t happy about flying to Poland, since I wanted to shop for art, but I was impressed by the airport. It’s very modern and nice.
2. But the drive to and from the airport from the city will probably take as long as the flight back to Germany, especially during rush hour… Like I said, lots of Polish people have cars now, and they’re all on the roads. However, their “autobahn” looked really good. Poland’s economy seems to be pretty good right now, and though it remains an inexpensive place to visit, I think it’s eventually going to give Germany a run for its money as an economic powerhouse.
And finally, 1. Polish people are warm and friendly… and if they don’t speak English, they will probably speak German. Both times we’ve visited, German has come in handy. However, this last time, almost everyone we spoke to could communicate in English, and overall, they seemed friendly, warm, and welcoming. And it didn’t seem to be just because Americans are probably better tippers than most other folks are. They definitely like money and they appreciate tips, but they also are genuinely nice folks who are eager to talk about their country. I hope to go back and learn more, maybe in an area we haven’t been to yet. I would love to visit Krakow or Warsaw or both. If Trump gets his “fort” there, maybe that will be a reality someday on another one of Bill’s business trips.