Friday, October 17, 2008

In the House of Nuns

Day 220
So there are two hostels here. One of them is actually part of a convent and one of them has a lockout and a curfew. The one run by nuns doesn't have a curfew. So, for the first time ever I slept beneath a picture of the virgin. The young nun who had checked me in did not know if there was room for me the next night. She suggested I wake up early and ask her fellow nun at 8am if there was space. There was, I paid and I went back to sleep.

When I got myself together I headed out to explore the old town. It's really quite beautiful in that sort of decaying eloquence way. It was not heavily bombed, it just wasn't always very well taken care of.

My first stop of the day was Lublin Castle. This had been used as a Nazi fort and prison. It's not the most attractive castle I have seen, but it was a must see in my guidebook.

It started with a lot of folk art, both old and modern. There is a particular type of Christ statue that shows him standing wounded and looking sad called Christ as the man of sorrows. These are all over Europe. For some reason the ones here all showed him sitting instead of standing. Nearby a saint gnashed his teeth at me.

The Trinity Chapel, the reason this is must see, is only opened for 30 minutes at a time. I had to share my time with a class of about 40 high school kids. It's quite small, but is entirely coated in frescoes, albeit kinda cartoonish ones. All of it is painted in the Byzantine style. Over the years a lot of restoration work has been done, not all of it positive. Currently they are working on cleaning parts of it.

The rest of the museum wasn't all that interesting. There were weapons, knickknacks and coins, plus a display on a guy who traveled round the world with a brick. And I think my pack is heavy sometimes. Unfortunately photography wasn't allowed so I can't share the things I liked best.

My next stop was a bit of a waste of time. It was the old town history museum. No pictures here either. Nothing was in English, in fact, I think they only had about three dozen things to even look at.

I had saved the best for last, the Archdiocesan Museum. Here pictures were allowed. This place had a lot of really old statues that had once been in churches. Music was playing with chanting monks. This mixed with the decaying statues and poor lighting made it a bit of an eerie place. An angel hid on a window sill, three others peered down at me from a nook in the wall. There must have been about 200 statues here.

The top floor was really scary, with the music and the wind and the cold coming in all directions I was afraid I would blow away. I didn't stay up there long.

I thought about going to a movie, but wasn't really in the mood. Instead I went to an internet cafe and spent some time with blog. I then found a supermarket and picked up some dinner. It was raining at this point and I didn't know if I was going to make it to Anne's bar or not. I hate going out in the rain.

Luckily it stopped around 8 and I headed out. Anne had off but was there to chat with her boyfriend behind the bar. He did his best to make me try all sorts of Polish drinks, but I only stuck to beer. I had a long ride the next day. I did let him to convince me to try the hot beer and strawberry mix though. It was shockingly good.

When I got back to the hostel I quickly fell asleep.


1 comment:

Anna said...

I found today with Wojtek a new, little street in the old town. It`s beautiful, wery old wery hard to found :) Or founded ? I love English grammatic - too many times like for me :P ;)

How You`re doing a hot beer :

-Beer to the pot
-Heat up
-In the same time You must put into the pot some part of orange, 50 ml juice (strawberry, ginger or raspberry) and spieces for warm beer (you can buy it on internet or big shops, like Tesco or sth like that).
-Drink and be happy :)