Postcards from Poland, Part One

Words by Dalene Heck / Photography by Pete Heck
Our visit to Poland is best described in just two simple words: bitter and sweet.

Remnants from its tragic history are never far from sight – we toured more museums and stood in silence at more monuments than we could possibly relay. We walked often with heavy lumps in our throats, choking back tears, and shaking our heads in sheer disbelief. Some of the darkest days in humanity played out on Poland’s soil, and to engage it all in just a few weeks was a substantive shock to the system.

But a good shock, a necessary shock, a disturbance that pales in comparison to the actual events and thus should be experienced by all today such that we never, ever forget.

That a country can pull itself up, live through and then shake off the shackles of communism, and still present itself with such a beautiful spirit is exceptionally admirable. There is no other country in the world that has given us such a dreary history lesson but then was so pleasurable in every other regard.

Obviously, Poland’s impression on us now runs quite deep. Because of that, our traditional postcards “finale” post had to be split into two parts, to accommodate all the beauty that we are so eager to share with you.

This is part one…

We walked often with heavy lumps in our throats, choking back tears, and shaking our heads in sheer disbelief.

Gdansk at Night

Gdansk Square

Tatra Mountains

Warsaw Mermaid

Lazienki Park Poland

Warsaw Poland Statue

Postscards-Poland-12

Warsaw Tram

Wieliczka Salt Mine

Krakow Castle at Night

Krakow from Above

Krakow Plac Rynek

Many thanks to the Poland Tourism Board for their assistance during various parts of our stay.
29 Comments... Read them below or add one of your own
  • August 28 2013

    wow, these pictures are just amazing! All of them, together with your words, make me more and more proud of my country! Thanks for that! And you know you have to come back soon, right πŸ˜‰ ?
    kami recently posted..the most confusing place I’ve ever visited: Cieszyn/ČeskΓ½ TΔ›Ε‘Γ­n

    • Pete
      August 31 2013

      Thank you again Kami for showing us some more of its beauty! Of course we are coming back, just a matter of when πŸ˜‰

  • Mariella
    August 28 2013

    #sigh… so in love with these photos and so happy that you got such important and beautiful insights into this wonderful country… thank you!!

    • Pete
      August 31 2013

      Thanks Mariella, it certainly is a wonderful country πŸ™‚

  • August 28 2013

    Do you sell these? They are amazing!

    • Pete
      August 31 2013

      Apparently we should be, and plans are in the works. Thanks Libby!

  • August 28 2013

    I have thoroughly enjoyed every single one of your Poland posts! You captured the country beautifully despite the dark moments and places you visited. Like you said, it’s so important to never forget. It makes me respect and appreciate Poland even more knowing everything they’ve endured yet they remain a strong and beautiful country.

    These photos are stunning.

    Happy travels πŸ™‚
    Lauren Meshkin recently posted..Photo of the week!

    • Pete
      August 31 2013

      We really appreciate this comment Lauren, and we are happy you think that we have captured its beauty. Such an amazing country, thanks again.

  • Absolutely stunning, I can’t pick a favorite!

    • Pete
      August 31 2013

      I couldn’t either, I had to narrow it down from 50-60 captures to fit it into two posts πŸ™‚

  • August 29 2013

    Beautiful photos as always from you two! I especially like the one of the tram in Warsaw.
    Jennifer recently posted..5 Tips for Obtaining a Russian Visa #gAdvRussia

    • Pete
      August 31 2013

      Thanks Jennifer, its Dalene’s fave as well.

  • August 30 2013

    It’s so hard to choose but I think the streetcar is my favourite one.
    Ayngelina recently posted..Festival of San Pablo and San Pedro

    • Pete
      August 31 2013

      Thanks Ayngelina, its Dalene’s favorite of both posts.

  • August 30 2013

    I am obsessed with the chandelier shot. Wow. The definition of bittersweet, huh? So much to look forward to re: Poland’s future. But so important to soak in its history, too….
    Abby recently posted..A once-in-a-lifetime wine cave sneak peek

    • Pete
      August 31 2013

      The salt mine was pretty incredible, especially that everything was made of salt. Another world in there. Thanks Abby!

  • August 31 2013

    Again, kudos on the spanning skills! Gorgeous photo set.

    • Pete
      August 31 2013

      Thanks so much, glad you liked πŸ™‚

  • September 2 2013

    Great shots as usual! Looking forward to the “selling” pictures project you have…

  • Ali
    September 3 2013

    Gorgeous photos as always!
    Ali recently posted..How to Travel Alone

  • September 3 2013

    Beautiful photos Pete.
    one day we will have to get to Poland and the rest of Europe. Have only been to England and The Netherlands so far….yeah I know we have a lot to see πŸ™‚

  • September 5 2013

    Your postcards are beautiful. The streetcar pic is especially cool. I may have mentioned before that I’ve long wanted to visit Poland, but your posts have taken it to a new level for all the reasons you’ve mentioned.
    Cathy Sweeney recently posted..The Subtle Beauty of Cisternino

    • September 6 2013

      I hope you get there Cathy – it is such an intriguing place to visit.

  • September 8 2013

    You have no idea how happy I am to see these postcards. I am so glad you finally made it to my country. Beautiful, beautiful photo! Especially the one from Krakow!

  • September 8 2013

    I absolutely love this series! What stunning photos. My favorite is the view of Krakow from above.
    Alex recently posted..The Complete Diving Guide to Gili Trawangan

  • September 16 2013

    I am always inspired by your photog posts. <3

  • March 6 2014

    I never been to Poland but your beautiful pictures make me plan to visit this beautiful country one day!

    Wilson
    Wilson Ng recently posted..Central Festival Mall Hatyai

  • Beautiful postcards! I can’t pick a favorite, but the salt mine is impressive! Thanks for sharing!
    Mary @ Green Global Travel recently posted..INTERVIEW: Wardruna Revives Ancient Nordic Folk Traditions

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