Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Weekend away: The Masurian Lake District


This was our easiest stay with Kids in a hotel. We were looking into a weekend getaway from Warsaw with kids and we found this family oriented Hotel with a large Indoor Waterpark, an indoor and outdoor Playground, a bowling alley, riding horses, ice-skating rink and all the equipment for kids you can think of. There is also a nice spa area for adults. Perfect for Winter and a Summer stay. My report is from a fall stay but one of my Polish friends highly recommends it for summer as well.
Hotel Gołębiewski Mikołajki is located in the town of Mikołajki (Northeastern Poland), the booking has to be made with time in advance since it is a popular destination for Polish and foreigners during all seasons. The hotel has 689 rooms. All the rooms have balcony, bath-room with shower and WC, SAT-TV, telephone, hairdryer and data port. Some of the rooms offer a wonderful lake view, totally recommend and not that much difference in price. They also offer family and Studio rooms.
 
The most amazing thing about the hotel is the Indoor Water Park called “Tropikana”  with many water slides and swimming pools. The water park is open from 8am to 9pm and admission is free for hotel guests. As you come in, the staff provides you with a key for a locker and a large size towel. Suggestion: bring comfortable clothes that you can wear on top of your bathing suit to walk from your room to the water park located on the first floor.
 
When booking your hotel you would have the option to purchase it with breakfast, half-board or full-board. We chose only breakfast. It is a buffet with a nice variety of products including cold meats, eggs, salads etc… For the rest of the meals we explored the restaurants in Mikolajki and other nearby towns. Spizarnia Restaurant was an excellent choice with delicious soups, outstanding baked trout and yummy pasta for children. Reservations recommended. It offers a cozy and warm environment and a small toy corner for children. http://www.spizarnia.mazury.pl/ .  
 
When you arrive you can unload you car at the hotel entrance and then proceed to the free parking spots (if available) or to the private parking that costs 20zl per day.
There is not much going on in town during fall and winter time since it is mainly a sailing town, but there are a few interesting places to visit such us Hitler’s larger bunker during World War II (Wolf’s Lair) and great bike and walk trails throughout amazing forests.
 
Hotel Gołębiewski Mikołajki/ 11-730 Mikołajki, ul. Mrągowska 34
+48 87/ 42 90 700 or e-mail: rez.mik@golebiewski.pl
 

Mobile Massage at Your Home and Office



MOBILE MASSAGE AT YOUR HOME OR OFFICE


The mobile massage service, visiting your home or office in Warsaw, allowing you to experience the benefits of massage therapies at times and places that suits you.


Find the best massage for you.


60 min       90 min

Swedish Massage                                     120 zl    170 zl

Relaxing Massage                                    120 zl    170 zl

Deep Tissue Massage                               150 zl    200 zl

Aromatherapy Massage                          120 zl    170 zl

Sports Massage                                        150 zł    200 zł

Lymphatic drainage                                120 zł    170 zł

Prenatal Massage                                    120 zł    170 zł

Anti-Cellulite Massage                           150 zł    200 zł

Ice Massage Theraphy                           150 zł -

Chair/WorkSite Massage                       to be negotiated
(at your office)



Phone: +48 606-278-851



Monday, April 10, 2017

The Most Incredible Castles in Poland (Malbork, Wawel, Gniew, Niedzica, Ogrodzieniec, Moszna, Krasiczyn, Ciechanow)

Malbork Castle
The Malbork Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997 and this makes perfect sense since this exquisite building is actually the largest brick building in Europe. Built by the Teutonic Knights in 1406, this incredible landmark now houses a remarkable weapons collection as well as an amber exhibition. After World War II, when Malbork City and its castle became a part of Poland once more, the castle was the focus of a major reconstruction process, and it is now one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country.

Wawel Royal Castle
The magnificent Wawel Castle can be found in Krakow and was built by Casimir III The Great. Over the centuries, the castle became a symbol of Poland’s royalty and the official seat of the kings of Poland, but now it serves a much more domestic purpose as a renowned museum. Guests can visit the burial sites of numerous Polish kings or feast their eyes on the remarkable exhibitions within the museum. Alternatively, there nearby Dragon’s Den also deserves a personal visit. 

Gniew Castle
Also built by the Teutonic Order, the superb Gniew Castle can be found on the west bank of the Vistula River. Due to its outstanding architecture and rich historical heritage, the landmark is a popular site for weddings, but it is also famous for its vast corridors, massive rooms and remarkable underground restaurant. The castle was built between the 13th and 14th centuries and was restored multiple times during the 19th century.

 Niedzica Castle
 The Niedzica Castle can be found in the southernmost part of Poland and was built between 1320 and 1326 on an elevated position at 1,800 feet. As such, the landmark flaunts exceptional views of its surrounding environment, but one of its main attractions comes in the form of an organized “Medieval Feast” that takes place at the local restaurant. During the feast, guests are required to wear monk’s robes and eat using only their hands or wooden spoons. This allows visitors to experience the life of a monk to a certain degree while admiring authentic dancing and combat shows for a few hours.

 Ogrodzieniec Castle
The town of Ogrodzieniec in Zawiercie. Poland contains the ruins of a spectacular medieval castle that was built during the 14th century by the Sulimczyk family. The castle remains were strengthened after World War II in order to prevent a complete collapse, and the ruins are now available for visitation. Due to its splendid appearance, the castle is a highly appreciated filming location. For example, Ogrodzieniec castle was showcased by Iron Maiden in 1984 as part of the band’s “Behind the Iron Curtain” video.
Moszna Castle
 Moszna Castle is one of the most famous castles within the western side of Upper Silesia. The castle was built following the principles of gothic and baroque architecture, which is why it features a distinct “Disney”-like appearance. Massive in scale, the landmark boasts 365 rooms as well as 99 towers. Furthermore, the castle is surrounded by a majestic garden that features an endless array of gorgeous flowers and plants.
Krasiczyn Castle
Built in 1631, the Krasiczyn Castle can be found within the village of the same name, on the right bank of the San River. As one of the most appreciated tourist destinations in the region, a part of the castle houses an exceptional hotel that stands ready to ensure great accommodations options. Moreover, the castle is also quite a popular destination for weddings.

Ciechanów Castle
The town of Ciechanów in Poland includes a magnificent 14th century castle that used to belong to the Mazovian Dukes. The predominant architectural style of the castle is the Gothic one, but one of its owners eventually added a Renaissance-style wing. Even though it now lies in ruins, the castle is still often visited by tourists, and it ensures breathtaking panoramas of the Świętokrzyskie Mountains.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Volunteer Opportunities

Warsaw Volunteer Mission
This organization helps families in crisis, and has project-based needs as well as volunteers who help regularly with receiving and sorting donations. 


The White Star Foundation
This is the umbrella company for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Poland, Family for Family, and Katalyst Engineering.  They have specific needs for:  donation volunteers, donation drive volunteer groups, research volunteers, and social media content volunteers. 

Dare to Dream
This foundation aims to bring opportunities to residents of Polish children’s homes.  They seek mentors who can devote time to coach and provide guidance on life and work skills. 

International Preschool of Warsaw

If you like children and would like to volunteer to read books or help with activities, please contact the director at ipw@ipws.edu.pl 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Vacation Report: Strama Ski School, Nosal, Zakopane 2017

If you’re looking for a week-long winter break ski school, we had a great experience this year in Zakopane at the Strama Ski School, located at the Nosal ski area about a mile from the town center. Our daughters (ages 4 and 7) were almost total beginners and by the end of the week were confident on skis! The 6-day ski school offers 2-3 hours a day of ski instruction for kids ages 3-14, plus some optional evening events like a sleigh ride, magic show, etc. On the last day, there is a timed competition for the kids who want to participate, and everyone gets a diploma and a medal at the finish of the race. Many of the children were complete beginners, but there were more intermediate/advanced groups too, and a separate program for snowboarders. The program was quite large, but very well organized; they divided the kids into color-coded small groups (between 5-10 kids) by age and experience level. Although most of the children were Polish, there were several international families and the school easily catered to English speakers -- the instructors in our kids’ groups spoke English well. 

The Nosal area is a collection of bunny hills that is good for beginners. During the ski classes, some parents skied and others watched the action on the slopes (many with younger siblings in strollers), either from the bottom of the hill or from one of the two log-cabin cafes which served hot drinks and filling lunches.

We stayed across the street at the Nosalowy Dwor hotel, which had ski storage rooms, optional half board and an indoor pool, but there are also a number of apartments in the area and many families also stayed in town and drove to the ski slopes each morning.

The cost of the school was 580 PLN per child (with discounts for siblings)
Ski rental (including helmets) is available for a weekly fee of around 175 PLN
Lift tickets are timed or pay-as-you-go (2 PLN per ride) and ski/snowboard rental and instruction is also available for adults.

The school offers other children’s programs as well, including shorter weekend and New Years Holiday courses. The general website is: http://strama-szkola.pl/en/
We registered through our hotel, but you can register using the information on their website as well!

Here is the hotel information: http://www.nosalowy-dwor.eu

Friday, February 3, 2017

Places to visit near Zakopane

TATRA NATIONAL PARK – most often visited among
Polish national parks. Its highlights are mountain lakes,
with the largest and most beautiful among them,
Morskie Oko, a popular tourist destination. It is also
worth to take the funicular to Kasprowy Wierch or go for
a walk to Dolina Koscieliska or Dolina Chocholowska

CHOCHOLOW – a village situated 15km from
Zakopane, known for its historical wooden huts, traditions
and highlanders’ folklore. It is sometimes called
a “live museum”

NIEDZICA CASTLE – a 15th-century knights’ castle, built
on a high rock, on the right bank of River Dunajec

DEBNO PODHALANSKIE – a 15th-century wooden
church entered on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

ZUBRZYCA GORNA – an old Orawa region village with

the Orawski Ethnographic Park