Poland 2010

Day 15 - Warsaw - Chicago

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Had breakfast and left the house at 8:45 AM for Chopin Airport for a 12:10 PM flight. The flight was a little over 10 hours. The time on the return flight did not seem to go by as quickly. We proceeded through customs which can be frustrating after you have been on a plane for 10 hours. Anyway, it was good to be back in Chicago.

To view some of the photos for Day 15 click here.

Day 14 - Kolaczyce - Krakow - Warsaw

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The next 2 days will be spent traveling. We drive this morning about 2 hours to Krakow and drop off the rental car. Then to the Krakow train station for a 3 hour train ride to Warsaw. We will spend the night at Mirek's sister and brother-in-law's home. Wednesday it is off to Chopin Airport for the 10 hour flight to Chicago.

Also, updated photos for Thursday, Day 9 to include the party we attended for the hotel guests. To view the photos for Thursday click here or scroll down to the Day 9 section.

Just arrived by train into Warsaw. Mirek's brother-in-law and nephew met us at the Warsaw train station. Then it was back to their home for dinner and our last night in Poland.

To view some of the photos for Day 14 click here.

Day 13 - Szczawnica - Kolaczyce

Monday, September 6, 2010

Today we begin with another meeting with Father Bondek. Spent a couple of hours with him and we were able to trace back further on the Salamon tree. This time we recorded the entire meeting so we can listen to it later in case we missed anything. Then packed up and checked out of the hotel. Did a little shopping and hit the road to start the journey back home. We will spend the night at Mirek's mothers house in Kolaczyce.

To view some of the photos for Day 13 click here.

Day 12 - Szczawnica

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Finally some time to update the website. Went to Sunday mass at St. Wojciecha. This is the Church that Busia and her family attended. We stopped for a cup of tea, then its back to Busia's House and the Weglarz house.

To view some of the photos for Day 12 click here.

Day 11 - Szczawnica

Saturday, September 4, 2010

On Saturday we were off to meet with a gentleman the that we talked to on Thursday. We were told that he had a family emergency and could not make it, but there was another gentleman that verified what we had heard the day before about the Weglarz house. During WWII he was 15 years and he was a messenger. He carried notes on the inside of his belt so the Germans did not suspect anything. He told us that the Weglarz family had meat from one of their pigs and they were caught by the Germans. Any meat had to be turned over to the Germans to feed the troops. The Weglarz father was taken by the Germans and killed a few days later. The women were sent to Oswiecim (Auschwitz). So, there are a lot of stories and we will continue to find more information while we are here and when we return to Chicago. After that it was on to the "lift". It takes you up to one of the mountains where you can enjoy the views, go on a toboggan run and have a bite to eat. We then had another visit with the Salamon family, the time at Jan's house. Then it was on to a remote, unique club in the middle of nowhere. Famous European artists are building homes in the area and they may come to this small club to perform. It was not the case when we were there, but we met the owner and his wife and may plan an evening there for the next trip. Lastly, it was off to the late night club.

To view some of the photos for Day 11 click here.

Day 10 - Szczawnica

Friday, September 3, 2010

Started the day with a meeting at the Museum. Barbara and Marta were very impressed with the documentation we had. Then it was back to City Hall. They were able to tell us where the land owned by the Weglarz family was located. Then it was off to the cemetery. The land is located across Glowna (Main) Street from the cemetery. In the cemetery we were able to find the grave of Busia's brother, Aloysius and his wife, Teresa. Then we started walking around where the Weglarz house was located. We talked to an woman that lived there, but she was not able to provide us with much information. Then we spoke with Jan Malinowski and his daughter. Jan is 90 years old and has a great memory. The media here talks to him when they need to verify events and dates. He told us that in fact the Weglarz house was located here. On September 28, 1932 there was a fire that destroyed as many as 10 houses. The Weglarz house was one of them. The picture from the other day is the still standing "barn" for the original Weglarz house. The land closest to the street was sold and the Weglarz family built another house on the back of the land.

To view some of the photos for the day click here.

Day 9 - Szczawnica

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Some more digging around today. Went to what we believe to be is the old Weglarz house. We are working to verify this. With the help of some new friends from the Chicago area, we are meeting with the older gentleman in the booth photo on Saturday morning. He knows of the house and Weglarz family and he is going to check things out. We are also meeting with the curator of the Szczawnica Museum (who happens to be a Weglarz) tomorrow. Then back to City Hall. We are also updating our records for a follow-up meeting with the priest on Monday morning before we begin our way back.

To view some of the photos for the day click here.

Day 8 - Szczawnica

September 1, 2010

The day started out by walking to City Hall in the cold and rain. Spent a couple of hours without much luck. Then it was on to the appointment with the priest, Franciszek Bondek at St. Wojciecha. Within minutes we knew we had found Busia's church. With the assistance of Father Bondek we were able to track family members forward and backward, although it was tough trying to keep up with him. We had a short dinner, then it was on to Fryderyk Salamon's home where we were enthusiastically welcomed. We knew were on the right track, but when they showed us a letter they had from Anna Salamon Majerczak indicating that Rose Salamon lived at 5155 S Bishop in Chicago, we were all elated. The house that you see in the photos is next door to Fryderyk's and it is the Salamon home. Busia and her brothers and sisters were born and lived there. It is still owned by a Salamon family member, Josef Salamon. He is ill and was not available when we were there. We all had a good time drinking Polish vodka and telling stories.

There is a new format for the photos. Just click on a photo to enlarge it and you can scroll through them. Click on Thumbnails to go back and then Back to Home page.

To view some of the photos for the day click here.

Day 7 - Kolaczyce - Szczawnica

August 31, 2010

Another rainy day, but we are on the most important part of this trip; to the town of Szczawnica and the family roots. It is about 2.5 hours by car through the countryside of of southern Poland.

To view some of the photos for the day click here.

Day 6 - Kolaczyce

August 30, 2010

Spent the day walking through Mirek's home city of Kolaczyce visiting all the "hot spots". At the Library we tried to connect to the Internet. Had plenty of delicious home cooked Polish meals from Mirek's Mom,Teresa.

To view some of the photos for the day click here.

Day 5 - Krakow Riding Tour, Wawel Castle - Kolaczyce

August 29, 2010

Went to Sunday Mass at Mariacki Church on the town square. Then took a riding tour of Krakow. The tour included Kazimierz (the Jewish section), Ghetto (the section where the Germans held the Jews during WWII and Old Town (the area surrounding the town square). Later went to Wawel Castle. Then it was on to Kolaczyce, Mirek's home city, about 2 hours east of Krakow by car.

To view some of the photos for the day click here.

Day 4 - Krakow, Wieliczka Salt Mine, Auschwitz-Birkenau

August 28, 2010

On and off rain all day Saturday. In the morning went to Wieliczka Salt Mine about 20 minutes from Krakow. The mine was started in the 13th century and ceased operation just a few years ago. Virtually everything: walls, floors, statues are made or carved from salt. For more information on the Wieliczka Salt Mine click here.

In afternoon went to Auschwitz about 1 hour from Krakow. Difficult to put into words the feeling there. Not a lot of pictures were taken as it is a very solemn place and not a place to take pictures. For more information on Auschwitz-Birkenau click here.

To view some of the photos for the day click here.

NOTE: Will not be posting for a couple of days as we head to the Polish countryside and will not have Internet access.

Day 3 - Krakow

August 27, 2010

Dzien Dobry...Left in the afternoon for a short flight to Krakow. After just a few minutes in Krakow you can tell that Warsaw and Krakow are like night and day. Dinner was at a restaurant on the town square which is the largest in Europe.

To view some of the photos for the day click here.

Day 2 - Warsaw

August 27, 2010

Went to the recently opened Warsaw Rising Museum. The vacant, destroyed building you will see in the photos is still some of the remnants of World War II and was the headquarters for the group. Dinner was at an old, traditional style Polish restaurant in the Saska Kepa section of Warsaw.

To view the website for the museum click here.
(Make sure to click on "English")

To view some of the photos for the day click here.

Day 1 - Warsaw

August 26, 2010

Arrived in Warsaw Tuesday afternoon. Long flight, but not that bad. On Wednesday rode the subway to Old Town in Warsaw. Took walking tour to see the history of the city and the effects of World War II. To view some of the photos click here.


St. Wojciecha

Birthplace of Rose Salamon

Birthplace of Rose Salamon



Dunajec River

At the Cemetery


Hotel Solar Spa

Zdrojowa Street

Weglarz House

I'm a Highlander


Adam Mickiewicz Monument