Saturday, 31 August 2013


I have been travelling recently to new countries, meeting new friends. Finally, the time has come to move with my human family for their well deserved vacation break. This year I will show you the Polish seaside. The main keyword will be "ligthouse".


Our first stop will be Ustka, a nice little town in the middle of the coast of the Baltic Sea. It is a popular summer resort with a nice, wide beach.

The Baltic sea is rather calm and not very salty. It is also very cold. Some people still bathe there but as you can see, just a few.

The others build some nice sand castles.

Or just enjoy the breeze in the fancy "beach baskets". And yes, normally the grid is open so that people can sit comfortably. You just need to pay the rent first.

If you would like to get closer to the sea without wetting your feet you can take this little pier. But do not go too far - the last part is reserved to seagulls.

On a day like this you are likely to meet most of the tourists on the promenade that passes next to the coast. It is full of shops and little stalls when you can buy all these useless things you could not live without during summer holiday.

Next to the promenade in Ustka you can have a chat with a smiling lady. This is one of the best Polish acresses, Irena Kwiatkowska.

Finally, we arrive to the lighthouse.


I really like the architechture so I will show it to you also from another angle. 

My family was too lazy to go on the top. What a disappointment. In order to make it up to you a bit, I invite you to take this virtual tour. I promiss next time they will improve.

Next to the lighthouse, you will find of course the harbour.

The white house is the seat of the Harbour Master (or Harbour Captain as they call him here).

In the harbour in Ustka you can spot many types of ships - those of fishermen and the ones that take tourists to cruises. But you will also meet some ships on public duty, like this one of the coast guards. 

 There will be for sure also military ships - Ustka houses a Naval Training Center of the Polish Navy.

And yes my friends, this ship in not small ...

... and surely it is not unprotected.

Finally, you can spot also the white ships of the Search and rescue forces.

I hope that you have enjoyed your first day on the Polish coast of the Baltic Sea. Watch out for some new stories (and new lighthouses of course)!

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Summer in BUW Garden

Some time ago I have shown you the Garden of the Library of the Warsaw University. It was late autumn, dark and gloomy, with hardly any leaves. I have promissed then to go back there to show it to you in full beauty. So here it comes.

The green building of the Libray looks in my view much better when it is surounded by deep green grass.

The little river is covered by nice yellow flowers and water lillies.

The strange-shaped structures that I have shown you last time are still odd. But at least they are partly covered with plants which makes them less scary.

In winter the part of the garden that is located on the roof is closed. This time we will be lucky to enjoy it as well. The stairs are not as high as they seem.

Of course the garen will offer us many new flowers there.

But what is far more amazing, we will be able to look inside the Library itself. First of all, the roof is made out of glass.

Then also in the walls there are special windows that allow to admire the inside.

Of course, some of the walls are even completely made out of windows. In the end it is a library, it requires lots of light for the students to read and study.

From the rooof of the Library we can admire the panorama of the Vistula river and some of the surrounding buildings. I am sure I do not have to introduce you to the round-shaped building with white and red stripes.

The river is calm though definitely not blue. I would not dare to take a bath there.

The brown building is the Copernicus Science Center. I have never been there so far - the queue is normally enormous. But I still hope to visit it one day.

Let's get a final look at the garden down stairs.

Now let's move down - I will show you the Library itself. The most characteristic item are the pink bookshelves next to the entry. Do not ask me why they are pink. All I can tell you is that luckily with time the pink becomes less vibrant. You can only imagine what it looked like ten years ago ...

The main entry will not surprise you - green glass and green leaves everywhere.

The entrance to the main part where books are stored is guarded by four gentlemen.

Obviously these are not bodyguards. They are four famous Polish philosophers of the twentieth century - Kazimierz Twardowski, Jan Łukasiewicz, Alfred Tarski and Stanisław Leśniewski 

Here comes the cataloges (of course, there is an on-line version as well, we are not in the Middle Ages).

The books are more or less everywhere. You can literally seen between them.

And finally - up close to the ceiling you can see the round-shaped windows through which we were peeking inside the Library just a moment ago. Wave to the visitors and smile!

Saturday, 17 August 2013


Since we were already in the capital of Finland, we decided with Ola to make a little tour around Helsinki. Helsinki is located on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, so you will not be surprised that we will start the visit in the harbour.

Then we start ticking off the major tourist attractions. Those of you who have ever received a postcard from Finland are likely to know this one.

This is of course the Helsinki Cathedral, belonging to the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran church. It is well known for its green domes.

Next to the Cathedral we saw the City Hall.

Then we move on to the Supreme Court of Finland.

In the nineteenth century Finland was part of the Russian Empire. Helsinki still has a Russian minority. You will then not be surprised to see a majestic orthodox church, the Uspenski Cathedral.

The domes are green again, though they are more cones than domes in fact. If you remember the architecture of orthodox churches in Ukraine that I have shown you recently, this one is pretty different.

Of course Finns are not only about religion and politics. Helsinki has a fantastic Olympic Stadium that housed the 1952 Olympic Games.
The tower includes an observation deck but we did not have time to queue so we only watched it from the outside.

 Here comes the stadium in its full beauty.

You can also find in Helsinki many shopping spots. These can be both huge shopping like Stockmann that is over 150 years old ...

... and smaller but very popular shops like Marimekko, offering unique Finnish design.

You probably wonder whether there are any famous people associated with Helsinki. Of course yes. Just to name two of them - Aleksis Kivi was the first writer to write a novel in the Finnish language. Do not be surprised it happened only in the middle of the nineteenth century. Finland was part of the Kingdom of Sweden staring from the twelfth century.

The second man commemorated in the city is the famous composer, Jean Sibelius. His monument is really huge. I mean it - it weighs 24 tons!

I must say I liked it. But don't ask what is exactly meant by this monument. I've heard it is supposed to represent the essence of the music of Sibelius. And here comes the master himself. He does not seem happy to be honest.

Finally, we went to one more church. It is unique because it was carved in stone. It is the Temppeliaukio Church. 

Inside it is full of light, thanks to the glass dome.

That was a long and exciting walk. Time to sit and have a good lunch. What could be better than a nice piece of salmon.

* * *

My human secretary was insisting so that she can say "I've seen it all ...". Well, she did: Uspenski Cathedral, Protestant Cathedral, Sibelius Monument, Church of the Rock and the harbour. All those who do not believe Postcrossing is a means of visiting the world have now a firm proof of it.