Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Day 225
I woke up refreshed but definitely later than I would have normally been awake. Stupid Polish guys. Why did they have to go and do that at the end of my stay in Poland? It just puts a damper on the whole country.

I felt like looking for gnomes wasn’t enough, I needed to actually get some culture. I was heading to the Raclawicka Panorama. On the way I found a happy little gnome holding a sunflower. Just around the corner a rather irritated one glared at me.

In Gettysburg there is a panorama of the battle. From what I remember it is really quite well done and I was hoping that this one would be the same. It wasn’t. The audio guide began with a history of Polish panoramas. Yawn. In the late 18th century the Polish and the Russians had a series of battles. Poland lost all but one battle and this panorama is meant to represent this victory. The guide explained different aspects of the painting, but unlike the one in Gettysburg the point of focus wasn’t lit any differently. The guide would say if you look past the third tree on the left, and then past the broken wagon and dead horse you will see a man with a red and blue striped hat, an orange shirt and red boots. It was all very confusing and I never knew just were to look.

My panorama ticket also got me into the National Museum. This was quite good, but I was not able to take pictures. I decided to try and get serious about knowing which saint was which. I was pretty good at the saint guessing game, but I knew that I could get better. I started writing them down and noting what they were holding. Problem was that a lot of them seem to be holding churches or books, confusing. And then they would throw in a random saint like St. Hedwig. All this time I thought that was Harry Potters owl. Eventually I just gave up.

The paintings section was also pretty good, if not rather random. Next to a garden of eden painting was an Egyptian mask. One portrait had cut out eyes, very creepy. In the modern art section one display was of about 20 over sized boots with nails in them. I just don’t get it.

When my stomach began to grumble I decided to leave. I went back to the milk bar just because it is so impossibly cheap. I got the same entrée but managed to get something better for dessert. There weren’t any other museums that I was interested in so I went to the internet café and blogged a bit. I think I was more up to date than ever.

I also looked up the gnomes. No one I asked seemed to be able to tell me how many there were. It turns out that it is just some artists doing and that they keep adding more. I found pictures of a few that I hadn’t found and even some locations. Perhaps this is cheating.

Hidden in an alley the size of my NYC bathroom a gnome checked me out as I passed. Next to Pizza Hut there was one that had had a bit too much for dinner. Down a pedestrian street four gnomes made fun of the passerby’s from the tops of streetlights. That makes 8 gnomes for today and 22 in all. There is one more that I missed that I know of. It is a bit out of the way and it was raining, I couldn’t be bothered. Considering that everyone I asked gave me a number fewer than 20 I think I did pretty well.

At the hostel I made myself some dinner and chatted with the girls in my room. They were both taking two-week classes there. I read for some time before calling it a night.

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