Here at The Rev, we love all things travel related, AND here in Memphis we love all things Memphis in May related ;). So from BBQ to music, to the honorary country, we like to celebrate. This year, the Memphis in May country is Poland. The International Salute to Poland was May 4th – 9th and Memphis even hosted folk ballet dancers who have traveled all the way from Poland just to perform. Amidst this, we have had Beale St. Music Fest, BBQ Fest, and the Grand Finale Performance of the Sunset Symphony is set to perform on May 23rd. In light of all this, because we are now dreaming of traveling to Poland to visit castles, and taste golambki (authentic cabbage rolls), pierogi (essentially Polish Ravioli), and pazcki (a jam filled donut like pastry), we put together a list of Top 5 places to go in Poland. Here they are:
1. Wawel Castle : Kraków, Poland
Built in the 14th century this castle is home to original Polish Crown Jewels. The sword Szczerbiec coronation sword, which is decorated with floral patterns. The blade is notched to hold a small shield, giving the sword its nickname, the Jagged Sword. Historically, it was said that a dragon lived outside the castle, and a young man named Scuba had to slay the dragon in order to marry the princess.
2. Auschwitz – Birkenau: Oswiecim, Poland
Obviously famous for its historical significance, the concentration camp’s immense size is the first thing to strike visitors as they approach the entrance to the memorial and museum in Oswiecim, Poland. To date it has been visited by more than 25 million people.
3. Masurian Lakeland: Masuria, Poland
The Masurian Lake District holds more than 2,000 lakes connected by an extensive system of canals and rivers on the Lithuania border. The Masurian Lakeland is the most popular tourist destination of Europe’s lake districts. The area is populated with hotels and campsite and often visitors are able to ride bikes or take boats to tour the area.
4. Wieliczka Salt Mine: Wieliczka, Poland
Since the 13th century, salt has been mined from this site. It is home to an underground city including a chapel that is said to have the best acoustics of any structure in Europe, all carved out of the rock salt, and it is located in southern Poland, on the outskirts of Kraków. The Wieliczka Salt Mine is considered one of the oldest companies in the world. There is a mixture of ancient sculptures and new sculptures created by contemporary artists.
5. Main Market Square: Kraków, Poland
Kraków’s Main Market Square dates back to the 13th century and is the largest medieval town square in Europe. The square is surrounded by historical townhouses, historic buildings, palaces and churches. The center of the square is dominated by the Cloth Hall, rebuilt in 1555 in the Renaissance style, topped by a beautiful attic. There is also a legend of a famous trumpeter from Kraków. Legend says that the trumpeter risked his life to sound the alarm during an attack on the city, climbing up to one of the towers of the cathedrals. He was killed by an arrow during the sounding of the alarm. To this day, the same tune is played, and in honor of the trumpeter of Kraków, the music is cut off at the same place it was when he was shot that day in history.