Mark Twain Quote

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

Mark Twain

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Old wooden Slavonic church

Old wooden Slavonic church

At Bardejovske Kupele they have a Skanzen, a historic village, where traditional buildings from villages in the area where brought and function as an open air juseum. This region is famous for its Unesco protected wooden churches

Church on an Autumn lake

Church on an Autumn lake

This evening I drove around Lake Domasa on the way home. Due to the early onset of night now, the light wasn’t the best but I still felt mesmerised by the colours of the Fall trees and their reflection on the water of the lake. This little church is one of a couple which sit on the banks of the lake and it looks both ghostly and serene, alone as it is. I love that I can still be hypnotised by a scene, enough to make me stop my car and just look for a while. It’s important to absorb fleeting beauty as it reminds us we are alive and that the world can still please and amaze.

Pope John Paul the Second statue, Krosno, Poland

Pope John Paul the Second statue, Krosno, Poland

Today we went to the town of Krosno in South east Poland to do some shopping. Years back, the large open air market there was the only place locally to buy clothes, cheap food and ¬†other stuff, even though it’s in a different country. In return, the Poles from that area would come to Svidnik in North East Slovakia to buy alcohol and cigarettes. Now with globalisation and Internet shopping, everything’s changed and the market is just endless stalls all selling the same clothes and foot ware at the same prices.

I remember the overwhelming emotion in Poland when Pope John Paul the Second died. The entire country went into mourning.

A day of thought

A day of thought

It’s probably the hottest day of the year, with a clear blue sky, but instead of being out in the forest I’m wearing a black woolen mourning suit, shirt and tie. Funerals here are very ritualistic and formal, with at least an hour’s standing in front of the open coffin, then the service and burial, and then the wake.

The man was a close member of my wife’s family and I knew him years back when he was in his prime. He wasn’t the best, nor the worst of men, but he truly lived his life. He took risks and lived each and every moment. He went to his grave knowing he hadn’t wasted the short few years we get on Earth. His funeral makes me think about what’s important and what isn’t. ¬†Much meditation, then living, ahead