Saturday, 25 July 2015


I am very excited to take you today to yet another country, the last missing in my list in the Scandinavian Peninsula - Sweden. We will visit today a nice little town called Västerås, located in central Sweden, some 100 kilometres from the capital city of Stockholm.

 We will take from the airport a nice highway running next to many lakes.

You will quickly notice that the houses next to the road look all the same - wooden, painted in dark red colour (it even has its own name - faluröd), with white windows.

The buildings in Västerås are also red, but this is because they are mainly made of brick.

There are two major brick-built buildings in town. The first one is the gothic cathedral, dedicated to Virgin Mary and John the Baptist.

The tower is 92 meters, it does not seem to be as high as in some of the gothic cathedrals in the South of Europe.

Inside you could find the tombs of some of the Swedish kings. Unfortunately, we arrived in the evening and the church was closed. So we can only admire saints on the reliefs on the outside walls.

Let's move to the second important building made of brick. We need to cross the river Svartån. Like in Paris and Wrocław, the couples put padlocks as proof of their devotion.

Quickly, we will arrive to a very nice park, located next to a small lake. The building in the back is the Town Hall.

We need to pass next to the town's theater.

Finally here comes the second major building made of brick - the royal castle in Västerås. Actually it does not look like a castle at all. It was built in thirteenth century and rebuilt in sixteenth century. Nowadays it looks like a large residential building.

Those of you who are a bit tired can have some rest on one of these funny benches.

I propose we cross the lake to take a closer look at the Town Hall again.

As we approach the bridge, you will notice that there is a little water tourbine on the river, generating electricity. It is hidden in this nice little house.

Or to be more precise, next to it.

Next to the Town Hall there is a statue of a golden bull located on a high pillar. I have no clue what it represents but it reminds me vaguely of the golden calf that the Jews have made when Moses was getting from God the Ten Commandments.

The Town Hall, just like the cathedral, is distinguished by the tall tower.

I just noticed that in the middle of the lake there is a fountain! In the back you will recognise the theater.

I was at first surprised that this theater is so small but I was later told that the main cultural events take place in a new concert hall.

The truth is however, that Västerås is basically an industrial town. Vasteras is the town where the apparel retailer H&M was founded.

It is also the birthplace of ASEA, a large manufacturing company operating in the electrical industry. Nowadays ASEA is part of the ABB Group, but its Swedish headquarters are still in the historical ASEA building.

Next to the entry, you can even spot a monument of its founder.

But ASEA has given to Västerås one more monument and I must admit that I like it much more. These are the Aseaströmmen, a monument that commemorates thousands of ASEA workers that were coming to work on their bicycles. The name of the monument is a mixture of the name ASEA and strömmen meaning current or flow. This current filled the streets of the city each time the shifts changed at the factory.

I hope that you liked this little tour of Västerås. I propose we take a last and final look at the river Svartån, bordered by houses painted in Falun red.

Saturday, 18 July 2015


Some time ago we have visited together the Biebrza National Park. I will show you today its capital - Goniądz. The name "Goniądz" sounds almost like the Polish word "goniąc", meaning "chasing". The old stories tell that a king has spent a night there while chasing and hunting bears. This is why you will find a bear in the coat of arms of Goniądz.

 Goniądz is a town since 1547, when it received its city charter.

The first building in Goniądz was the church of Saint Agnes, originally founded in 1430. The one you can visit today was built in 1955, as its predecessor was destroyed during World War II.

I must admit these huge white towers without any ornaments are a bit unusual.

Inside, the church is also mainly white, with some delicate paintings in pale colours.

The Market Square in Goniądz resembles a bit the one in Krasnystaw. It is basically a small park.

In the middle you will find an obelisk commemorating the citizens perished in World War I.

The residential buildings around the market square are not really interesting to be honest.

Even the Town Hall looks like any other house. You must rememeber that Goniądz has only two thousand inhabitants, making it one of the smallest towns in Poland. I guess they do not keep the local government excessively busy.

The red structure on the Market Square is a water well. Old-fashioned but still operational.

Do not worry, you will not have to rely on it in case of fire. Goniądz has its own fire station.

In many small towns in Poland the fire station is also the center of cultural and social life. But Goniądz is lucky to have its own community center, a very modern one.

But on warmer days it is pretty empty. The inhabitants prefer to relax on the banks of Biebrza river.

If you look well, you will see a little sandy beach next to the nest of the storks.

In Poland the storks are believed to bring luck - and children! So take your chance or run away, whichever you prefer.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Travelling funfair

I must admit that I am already a bit tired with all these long walks and historical facts about the places that I visit. Therefore, I have decided to spend a lazy afternoon in a travelling funfair. First, we need to get some tickets.

Then we can move on to a rollercoaster.

Those who are scared of mountain railways can always try the less challenging option.

After the trains, we can move to aerial fun.

Let's jump into this yellow aircraft.

I can already hear some of you saying that this one is boring and that you need some more excitement in the air. Well, you can always give a try to this octopus-like monster.

Then come the electric bumper cars.

The pitch is not big, this is probably why the cars crash every 30 seconds.

Look! Horses are present as well!

And here comes my most favourite attraction - the Ferris wheel.

From the top you can see the town.

Luckily, the construction seems rather solid because ...

... the rollercoaster that we took a moment ago looks small and distant.

Alright, I believe that we have deserved some candies for being so brave.

We can eat them on this nice swing ride. It is the first time that I see one with double chairs. We can sit together and enjoy the sunshine.