A trip to the Sudetes – our diary.
Monday – Day One
A long day full of excitement is finally behind us! We are already in the hotel in Nowa Ruda.
The trip to Wroclaw lasted almost 5 hours. We had two stops, including one breakfast break. In Wrocław, we ate a second breakfast in the park at Panorama Racławicka. Then, came the Panorama of the Battle of Racławice, which surprised us with its size. It was interesting to see such a large picture and a building specially built for it.
Today, Mr. Szymon told us about “Wrocław gnomes”. The story was very interesting. Once upon a time, the inhabitants of Wrocław lived peacefully until one day Chochlik appeared. He was not polite at all, as you probably suppose. He played various tricks, e.g. unbuttoned shoe laces, poured salt into sugar bowls instead of sugar, etc. One day, the inhabitants had enough of him! A raft came with gnomes on it. They helped to deter Chochlik. The residents of Wrocław decided to thank the dwarfs by letting them live in the town. In honor of this event, residents have placed statuettes throughout the market. When we were walking around Wroclaw, we were still finding new dwarfs. At the town hall, we met as many as three figurines, called: Ślepak, Głuchak and W-Skres.
We ate dinner in the “MIŚ” bar which refers to the PRL period. After dinner, we walked around Ostrów Tumski – there was also some geographical information about rivers flowing through Wrocław. The Odra River flows through the city – the mother river, and her daughters are the rivers: Bystrzyca, Widawa, Oława and Ślęża.
Tired but happy, we went to Nowa Ruda, and a big dinner was waiting for us. Now we’re getting ready to sleep.
Tomorrow is an intense day in the Table Mountains.
by Victoria, Zuzia, Tosia, Pola
Tuesday – 2nd day – Szczeliniec mountain and The Table Mountains
Today at 8:30 am, we ate a very delicious breakfast in the hotel restaurant. There was a lot to choose from and everything tasted great. Right after breakfast, we met our new guide Mr. Marcin, who accompanied us throughout the day. Together, we set off to the Table Mountains.
Errand Mountains was the first place we visited. We saw many beautiful rocks in many curious shapes. These stones were laid out in the form of a labyrinth with many narrow crevices and corridors. During the trip, one could hear children saying things like “this is epic” and “this is creepy”. Everyone was delighted with the place and the views, which we admired. Our guide told us all about the places worth visiting, always both in English and Polish. He named the rocks that we saw and told us many stories and legends connected with them.
One legend was about Karkonosz, a wizard who fell in love with a princess. Every day he would visit and court the princess, but she rejected his advances time after time as she did not love him. One day a merchant came to the castle. There were animals from all over the world in his carriage. Immediately, the princess felt affection towards him. They decided to get married right away. Right when the story was supposed to end happily and the lovers were about to say “yes” and kiss, Karkonosz entered the room. He was heartbroken and decided to turn everything and everyone into stone. But eventually, he understood that his reaction was not appropriate and decided to protect this place and woman he loved so dearly. In order to do that, he created a stone throne upon which he is still sat at till today. All students decided that it was an interesting story.
On the way back, we visited the highest peak of Table Mountains- Wielki Szczeliniec – which is considered to be one of the jewels of The Crown Of Polish Mountains. We had to climb hundreds of stairs to get to the top, which is why it took us ages to get there. On the way down, we visited “hell”- the widest crevice of Table Mountains. After the hike, everyone was exhausted. After a delicious dinner, however, we went happily to play at the swimming pool. After that, we celebrated Tosia’s birthday with a beautiful and delicious cake. At the conclusion of the day, we quickly fell asleep in our rooms.
We miss you so much and can’t wait to see you!
Marysia, Witek, Nell, Jagna, Oliwia, Wiktoria
Wednesday – 3rd day
We began today with a community meeting. During the meeting, we talked briefly about yesterday. Then, we went to a mine complex called Riese. The drive was supposed to take 20 minutes, but because of an accident we had to take a different route and it took much longer. Nobody complained as the views from the bus were beautiful. We saw sheep and cattle grazing on steep hills. After we got there, our guide told us about the history of the complex. We heard sad stories about people who were held prisoners, people who died there, and people who were responsible for the whole affair. Many of them lived and died in that area long after the war was finished.
Later, we went to Sowie Mountains, and it was cool. Our guide brought his dog along (a border collie) whose name was Graf. He was very sweet. Rain accompanied us all the way to the top and it was quite cool and refreshing. At a certain height, there was mist all around us, but our guide explained that it was actually a cloud. We can now say that everyone walked with their heads in the clouds!
When we got back from the mountain, we ate dinner and had a bit of free time. Some children then went to the swimming pool and some stayed to write the letters to our parents
Józefina, Olga, Tymon, Julia, Laura
Thursday – day 4th
The action was non-stop as we reached our second to last day of our trip. This morning, some of us went and joined Ms. Bogusia for morning running training at 6:30 am on the track. Afterwards, we had a nice breakfast before embarking on our journey to Fort Srebrna Góra. The sunny weather was ideal as we marched our way to the top of the fort and had a beautiful view of the rolling landscapes nearby.
We were met by two medieval characters who put us into two countries: Prussia and France (designated by the blue and green face painting). As we elected our king, secretary, and even reporter, we had a tournament of games and tasks as we battled for coins. Games included “simon says” with commands about marching, group wooden ski race, and even tug-o-war. We then had a tour of the fort as we learned about the living conditions of the soldiers back in the day including how they slept, what they ate, how the protected the castle, and even how they were punished for not having proper uniforms. We finished our tour with a shooting of the canon by the lawn and were rewarded for our hardwork with a krowka.
Our next journey took us to the Nowa Ruda Coal Mine where we learned about the history, industry, and working conditions of the coal mines. After a quick history lesson, we put on our hard hats and entered the dark and muggy coal mines where the mine monster scared us during our talk. We saw different machines that were used in the coal mines, the working conditions, and finally had a chance to ride on the coal mine trolley. The trip ended with a nice stop to the gift shop where we were able to buy some souvenirs to remember this trip.
Once back at the hotel, we had a quick change and went to the race track for the 1st Great Owl Race. The sun set as the boys and girls separately did their best and competed in the 1km race. We had an awards ceremony where the winners received a great owl trophy along with a book while everyone else received a souvenir magnet for participating and not giving up during the race. We finished the evening getting pizza ordered to the track where we talked and celebrated.
Tomorrow is our final day. While we we are sad the trip is coming to an end, we are also excited to come home and see our families!
Friday – 5th day
We started today’s day earlier than usual. Even before breakfast, we packed the luggage in the bus. After breakfast, we went to the first of two attractions planned for today – Grodno Castle in the nearby Zagórze Śląskie. A steep road led to the castle, which we followed, curious about the place and its history. The guide turned out to be passionate about the place where he spent his whole life. He joked and amused the group, telling about the medieval history of the castle. The castle tour ended with a visit to the lookout tower, from which there was a beautiful view.
The second place we visited before returning to Warsaw was Książ Castle. Our visit there was slightly prolonged. The castle delighted us with its size and rich interior finish. We also learned a lot about the history of this place from the Piasts to World War II. Unfortunately, during the war, part of the original finish was destroyed, preparing the castle for Hitler’s quarters. Interesting was also the story of Princess Daisy – the last lady in Książ and her seven-meter necklace.
WMS & WMMS Students