What I cherish most about my current trip to Poland is not only the fact that I get to reunite with my family, which is usually the primary purpose of coming here during the summer, but also to visit magical places I haven’t had a chance to see before. Prior to this visit, I promised myself I will stick to a goal I’ve made: treat this as an adventure like no other. Why don’t you take some time and actually tour famous sites in your home country before touring Italy like you always wanted, I thought to myself. It seemed like a good idea, but it was even better.
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A few days after an emotional reunion with my loving relatives, I wanted to carefully tour Warsaw, the capital of Poland. After a four-hour drive two of my older cousins and I first saw Åazienki. I learned about them in Polish school; it’s the place where King August Poniatowski used to come every Thursday and have “intellectual lunches” with his friends. I, being a history fanatic, was thrilled to be walking on the same dirt of the ivory palace grounds as Poniatowski. Believe it or not, I thought it was even better than seeing the Harry Potter cast on the red carpet. Plus, the fact that there were no people because it was seven AM in the morning made my visit even more real and special.
To keep up my historic hype, Ewelina, Partyk, and I went to see the Stare Miasto. This is a part of Warsaw that has not been transformed into modern buildings but has been kept and preserved just as it was many years ago. However, don’t get the impression it’s just for tourists and site seeing. People actually live there! (A good comparison is Venice-ancient buildings occupied by residents.) At around eight AM the castle was more beautiful than ever: no crowds of people and its elegant red color was radiating below the vibrant morning sun. We simply couldn’t have picked a better time to visit. The tour within the castle made me melt inside and became so real to me when the tour guide illustrated the history of the palace. Sadly, my cousins didn’t find this extremely exciting (probably because they’ve been here before) but that sure didn’t stop me from enjoying myself.
After an intense sightseeing trip, we stepped into a mini café for some ice cream. Poland’s is simply the best in the world! Yes, this statement is very bias because I’ve only tasted American ice cream other than Poland’s. However, being there with my cousins I felt like I’m home: in my homeland, on an extraordinary adventure, simply bringing back the days of when I actually lived here as a little girl. And though this isn’t as exciting as walking on the same road as Poniatowski, this is where I realized that I’ve been missing out on many gifts life can bring. Here’s where I created another goal: appreciate the things sent from above, more than I have ever before.
Only three weeks since my arrival and not a day wasted. However, this vacation still has many adventures in store for me (like touring Lithuania and Tatry) since I’m here until the end of summer. Not only did I reunite with my family, but also created an opportunity for myself to learn more about my native country, with the people I love by my side.
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