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Warsaw: The Most "American" City in Europe?

Warsaw Old Town Barbican
Chuck Mon, 2016-04-04 07:00
We have some catching-up to do. But as tempting as it is to glaze over our travels the last month and a half, I just can’t bring myself to do it. We had such great experiences in some of these places that it just doesn’t seem right. But before I get to today’s topic, Warsaw, I will provide a bullet-train speed summary of our travels since we left the hospitality of rural Southeastern Poland. Our last day in rural Poland we spent exploring the town of Przemyśl: their John Paul II square, churches (both Catholic and orthodox), and climbing their bell tower museum for splendid views of the...

A Place for our Stuff

Lori Sat, 2016-04-02 07:00
How Do You Pack for Seven Months? One of the first questions we’re asked when people find out that we’re traveling for seven months (or all the time, as Chuck likes to put it) is, “How do you pack for that?” Well, it is an ongoing and evolving process. We travel with a medium sized suitcase for each of us plus our backpacks with our electronic work gadgetry. We also have a smaller duffle bag for toiletries and such. We’ve learned that the four-wheel hard-sided suitcases work best for us, we just have to be careful not to overload them. We used to travel with smaller cases, but we just needed...

Hangin' With Our Poles

Zamek Krasickich, Poland
Chuck Thu, 2016-03-03 07:00
About a year ago I wanted to learn a lot more about a technology I was interested in, so I posted a project on guru.com offering to pay someone to mentor me (reading books and following tutorials only gets you so far). One of the responses was from a guy in Poland who offered to collaborate with me for free; the result is actually the current edition of this blog site. That mentoring project grew into a full-fledged friendship and I’ve found other projects (the paying variety) for him 1 . So last year when we decided we’d concentrate on Central Europe for this 7-month travel stint, there was...

Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp

Chuck Tue, 2016-03-01 07:00
I’ve been staring at a blank page trying to think of where to start on this blog. Or whether I should even write it. I’ve started, erased, and restarted it numerous times. It’s hard to relay what we saw—and the emotion we felt—at Auschwitz. Let’s start with why we went. We don’t travel because we’re on vacation. We’re not. We travel because we have an insatiable curiosity about the world, its people, their cultures. Travel is far and away a learning experience for us. The impact of seeing where history was made is indescribably different than just reading about it or hearing a lecture on it...

Poland's Wieliczka Salt Mine

Wieliczka Salt Mine, Poland
Chuck Sun, 2016-02-28 07:00
Poles have been digging up precious metals and gems for centuries. Theirs is a mining country. In the 13 th century, they discovered salt in the town of Wieliczka (veal-LETS-kuh), just to the east of Krakow. For centuries it would make the region one of the richest in all of Europe. Today, with a package of table salt costing us pennies, it’s hard to imagine the worth of salt to medieval Europeans. People then didn’t value salt as a seasoning; its real value was as a preservative. Without refrigeration, salt was the primary way to preserve foods. At some points throughout history, salt’s...