We are safely back in Alberta after a long day of travelling and a few minor delays. Our exciting European adventure (so named after the amazing Asian adventure we had last year) was a wonderful time in every way possible. Mel and Tyler were great hosts, Edward and Linda were fun to travel with and we experienced so many new things. It was good to sleep in our own bed last night but we were both wide awake at 5:30 a.m. this morning! I guess it will take a few days to adjust.
I still have lots to write about and many pictures to share so I'll carry on with the travel entries for awhile longer, if you don't mind!
On our last morning, Andrzjei (Mel and Tyler's landlord)took us on a walking tour of Ligota, the suburb of Katowice that he's lived in all of his life. It's a busy little community of about 70,000, especially in the mornings when everyone's going to the market or heading to work.
This little flower shop just up the street had lovely outside displays.
I love this gentle portrayal of the patron saint of the abbey and the attached hospital.
The local cemetery is across the street from the church. It is so colorful, with nearly every grave having candles burning and flowers blooming. You could always see people visiting, praying and tidying up. Maria's parents are buried here. Many of the family plots have 1 headstone with several names on it, as over the years burials are added.
We were so surprised to find this family name!! It would be so interesting to trace and see if Jonathan's family has any connections here.
This part of the cemetery is where nuns from the local abbey are buried. All the graves had these bright marigolds blooming around them.
The outside of the local basilica - it's so huge!! First established in 1902, this building was completed in 1959 and is part of the Franciscan order. There is a monastery attached to it. There are several more churches, just as big as this one, in the city of Katowice.
The main altar is a beautiful open carved wood structure. During Advent and Christmas, this is covered with an elegant and intricate Nativity scene that is visited by busloads of people.
This little chapel was painted the most amazing blue color! This a replica of the Black Madonna, a famous icon that is in another Polish city.
The roof line of the church gives you a little glimpse of the chapels and nooks you would see inside.
A 7 metre high statue stands on one dome of the church.
The church property includes several acres of parkland and many quiet places to reflect and pray. The fall colors were beautiful and it was very serene - except for one spot where the wild boars had been rooting around the night before. Bob complains about mole hills in the fields here but that problem is mild compared to the damage the boars did while rooting around for food!
People have flowers growing in every little garden nook and from their balconies so these little garden shops are on many street corners.
This morning was a 'behind the scenes', local look at the community that Mel and Tyler call home. We are thankful Andrzjei and Maria have adopted them as their own family and they have such a pleasant place to call home.
And now, I'm off to restock the fridge! It's very bare and we are getting a little hungry!!