Visiting Friends and Teutonic Knights

The month of November finds me back in Poland, having scrapped the plan of staying in Westford. Without a job or schoolwork to occupy our time I often wonder: How can two people with nothing to do possibly be so busy? It is the life of a 1950’s housewife. For us food shopping is a daily, perhaps twice or dare I say thrice! daily occurrence. And of course each food item must be procured from a specific shop designed for that purpose. (And let me tell you, the cheese lady is no party). Shopping for various sundries, cooking and entertaining take up any time left after that. We are basically the social coordinators of our circles, hosting dinner parties that would make Martha Stewart proud.

Of course in Poland every good dinner deserves another so soon enough it was time for us to hit the road and attend some reciprocal parties. We even managed to fit in a little sightseeing since I am such a Polish history buff. (If I can’t learn the language I owe them something, right?)

Right then, on to Malbork Castle…Surely when they arrived as land grabbing conquerors the positive architectural legacy that the Teutonic Knights would leave in Poland was hardly considered. But now that they are long gone, their medieval castles are a touristic boon for northern Poland.

Malbork was their capital and the Poles take such great care of it that you’re hard pressed to remember that this was enemy territory. This is a constant theme of touristic sites in Poland. Anyway, this is the real deal: swords, suits of armor, kings with crowns and scepters, maidens in gauzy dresses.

Crossing the moat via drawbridge, we headed back up to the tri-cities for a night on the town with some friends. It felt like the height of winter in Gdynia so I dressed in everything I brought for a walk to the harbor, a frozen tundra version of Santa Monica beach. But in Poland your courage for braving the cold is always rewarded with a warm candlelit tavern serving many very tasty Polish beers.

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