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Wrocław Pt. II – The Pictures

December 2, 2012

Well, I have failed at my attempt to craft some kind of narrative out of my trip to Wrocław.   There’s either a plot or there isn’t; you can’t fake it.  All we did was wander around and look at stuff.  So I’ll just throw a bunch of pictures up, picking up where we left off last time, which was wandering out of the train station.

↑ I think we can safely say that Poland is now a capitalist country.

↑ I like sketchy alleyways.

↑ This was in the PRL Bar, a communist kitsch joint.

↑ I have no idea what this odd expression of mine means.

↑ Tanner, Danger, Helen, Rachel.

↑ Once again, I am posing very oddly for who knows what reason.

↑ Christmas Merriment Under Construction.  STAY BACK.

↑ Every city and village in Poland has it own seal or whatever you call it.

↑ The Christmas market is going to be huge.

↑ He looks like a local.  I’ll follow him and see where he goes.

↑ I was very excited to find a VANS store.  My favorite sneakers in the world.

↑ Ambling about without the least purpose or plan. My kind of travelers.




↑ Widdop’s food spells “food.”

↑ Tiny Rachel eats like a boatload of Vikings.

↑ Tanner digs into some traditional Polish fare at the university canteen that Widdop found.


↑ Widdop & I take the exact same kind of pictures.

↑ Don’t fall in.

Cultural Artifact… STAY BACK.


↑ Ten?  Ten what?

↑ I love bestiary decor.  If that’s a thing.


↑ Widdop started piecing together this broken crockery by the river.

↑ Strangely, it stank horribly.

↑ My friends are cool.  If you ask me.




↑ The mystery canister.  No idea what this things is or was.

↑ But we began to treat it as thought it was the Holy Grail.

↑ Wow! A… thing?

↑ And then, street comedy gold.  Other people saw us fawning over the mystery canister and THEY began to take pictures of it.  Social engineering at its most pointless.

↑ There are millions of gnomes all over the place.  This guy totally looks like a Symbionese Liberation Gnome.

↑ Worst dog icon of the trip. It looks like a desk with a boot shoved on the corner.  It’s as though that red line is saying, “This is not a picture of a dog.”

↑ BEST dog icon of the trip.  This dog is so well-rendered that a butler is offering it espresso on a silver tray.  “You, sir, are a king among canine iconography.  Shall I release the cat from the dryer?”  “Not yet, Jeeves.  That will be all for now.”


↑”In hoc signo vinces!” (…) As soon as we’ve completed a few touchups to the facade…


↑ Polish matrons emerging from Mass.  Or, wait… have they only been shopping?


↑ The grim face of Slavic patriarchy.

↑ Alas, our brief trip ended so soon. Back to the train station already.

↑ Sigh.  A Confederate flag?  I traveled halfway around the world to get away from that southern American bullshit.

↑ Tanner prepares for the heist.

↑ Open… closed… something like that.

↑ We met a professor of linguistics on the train. He was an amiable fellow and very generously shared a bottle of more-than-passable Scotch with 6 strangers.

↑ Every time I see Danger, he winds up on the floor.  A lovable man.

And speaking of the floor… after enough Scotch, I begin to think that the floor would be a fascinating thing to photograph. But you have to admit, it’s an awfully glittery train floor. Right? Am I right?

↑ This is my train stop.

↑ I do not understand what this is trying to tell me.

↑ And this is the street where I live.  I crawled into bed tired and happy.

UPDATE: An astute reader asked what happened to my bicycle.  I left it at the Rybnik train station for several days, taking a bus midweek to fetch it and riding back to Żory.  I believe rates of bicycle (and other vehicle) theft are much lower here than in America.  See, there was a plot after all.

UP-UPDATE: Added a few photos that got cut by mistake.

UP-UP-UPDATE: There is no Up-Up-Update.  That would be ridiculous.  Now I’m going to press the button that says Update.

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. Diana permalink
    December 2, 2012 7:37 pm

    Funny you. Like very much, esp the glittery floor ! 🙂

  2. December 3, 2012 11:28 am

    Widdop spelled “Food” in his food? Funny.

    What happened to your bike. I may have misunderstood, but didn’t you bike to the train station? How long is that ride?

    • December 3, 2012 1:33 pm

      Yes, I left it at the station in Rybnik on Saturday and returned to Zory by train Sunday evening. I took a bus to Rybnik several days later and got it. (Things get stolen rather less here than In America.) Good job following the plot!

  3. Julie Bratton permalink
    December 3, 2012 10:42 pm

    Your pictures make me happy.

  4. December 4, 2012 3:01 am

    Wandering around looking at stuff is important business. Somebody’s gotta do it, or all the stuff won’t get looked at.

  5. December 4, 2012 11:47 am

    I think I might have had the same pigeon in my garden a few days ago, I gave it some bird seed. If you see it again, try giving it some seed, if it eats it then it’s probably the same bird.

    I see the Confederate flag here every now and then too. We foreigners don’t seem to associate it with the same things that you natives do, we just think it’s a piece of Americana to decorate our clothing with. It must seem pretty tasteless to you.

    • December 4, 2012 12:43 pm

      I can’t think what the trans-Atlantic equivalent of the Confederate flag might be. Perhaps because, as an American, I am woefully ignorant of European history and should probably just stifle.

      Another thing I like about pigeons… they never get upset when you confuse them with other pigeons.

      Glad to see you’re still sucking air. LJ ain’t the same without you.

      • December 4, 2012 12:55 pm

        I’m attempting to work my way back down into the warm sands of Livejournal as we speak. It’s taking forever though, I wish people would have the decency to put their entire lives on hold according to my whims, it would make things much easier.

        Having sat through all 11 hours of Ken Burns’ Civil War documentary series, I have a vague sense of what the flag means, so I can understand your distaste.

      • December 4, 2012 12:57 pm

        Maybe a swastika is somewhat comparable to a Confederate flag? Slavery is hard to compare to extermination, though. It is a shame that ancient Eastern mystical symbol got so tainted with horribleness. The entrance to Kern Place in El Paso used to be covered with swastikas before it was quietly taken down in the ’50s: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kern_Place#The_Kern_Place_Gate

      • December 4, 2012 1:06 pm

        I saw them all over western Sichuan province, which is actually eastern Tibet. Looking at my China blog, I realize that two and half years later, I still haven’t gotten around to posting pictures from that leg of the trip. I really need to finish that.

      • December 4, 2012 1:10 pm

        There’s an old swastika type design carved into a rock at a place near where I live. It was probably carved by a Roman soldier stationed nearby during the occupation. I think it’s the only swastika ever found in my country so far.

  6. December 12, 2012 7:13 am

    Somebody should create a religion around that sign with all the weird symbols on it.

    Have you seen any of the “czarny punkt” (black spot!) signs on the highways? They really freaked me out when I saw them at first. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1489604632495&set=a.1489599512367.65404.1005354065&type=3&theater

  7. December 12, 2012 8:52 am

    I’m rarely on the highway, so I hadn’t noticed those. I have seen the word punkt, though, and wondered what it meant.

    The sign with the symbols apparently has something to do with the waterworks. A friend posted a question about it on quora but it hasn’t received an answer yet. You should be on quora, btw; it’s made for you.

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