Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sunday, December 21 2014

Yesterday, Saturday, we had to go do some shopping.  Grocery shopping.  Actually, first, we went to the post office to mail a letter.  It was very busy as you might imagine, but we persevered and finished our task after about 15 minutes in line.

Then, we had to go to the grocery store.  We went to the nearest one which is E. Leclerc next to downtown.  This place was a madhouse on the Saturday before Christmas.  They had their tank set up and were selling the traditional carp for Christmas eve dinner.  There was a huge line of people waiting to buy their carp.  The tradition here is to buy the carp live and take it/them home and put in the bathtub to be kept live until Christmas eve day.  Two years ago, when I was here, Alicja did that and, then, gave me the privilege of butchering and cleaning the fish.

We are not doing that this year.

Carp sales at E. Leclerc:

Busy shopping day:

After buying what we needed, we decided to have lunch downtown.  We went to the little cafeteria in the mall, Galeria Malborska.  Each day they have a special and the food is homemade, really good and very inexpensive.  Yesterday, it was a pork cutlet rolled and stuffed, potato dumplings with sauce, sauerkraut and a noodle soup.  I had a beer and Alicja had a bottle of grape juice.  The total bill was 31 PLN, or about $8.90 for both of us.

(an older pic, not from yesterday, but you get the idea)

In other news.................

We have a Christmas trip planned.

Alicja and I talked and decided we did not want to go to all the trouble of hosting Christmas.  Here in Poland, it is a BIG event.  Christmas is a two-day holiday.  It begins Christmas eve with the traditional family dinner.  That dinner is a big tradition and is usually comprised of a dinner of carp.  Christmas of 2012, when I was here, we bought the carp (two of them) - live - two days before.  They were kept live in the bathtub until December 24th, at which time ONE OF US (guess who) had to kill and clean and butcher the carp. The carp made up the traditional Christmas even dinner along with a ton of side dishes.  It was interesting and fun, but I prefer ham or turkey myself.

Anyway, we decided hosting the Christmas festivities would be a lot of work we did not want to do.  So, we talked to her family and we all decided to go somewhere for the Christmas holiday.  We decided on going to the Hotel Krasicki in Lidzbark Warminski.

The town of Lidzbark Warminski is east and a bit north of us here in Malbork.  It is about about a two-hour drive from here and lies about 20 km (12.5 miles) from the border with the Russian province of Kaliningrad.  But, regardless, it is a quaint little town.  Within the town is an old, old castle - Warmian Bishop’s Castle.  It was built between 1350 and 1401.  Obviously, it is historic.  Plus, in the early 1500s, Nicolaus Copernicus worked in the castle and did his initial work on his theory of the heliocentric universe.  There is, in the museum there, a book in Copernicus’ handwriting of his astronomical observations and calculations.

A part of the castle has now been converted into the Hotel Krasicki.  Alicja and I stayed there in August of 2012 while on a road trip.  The hotel is actually quite nice.  The rooms are modern with all the amenities.  But, they are built in an old part of the castle.  There is a restaurant, bar, swimming pool and spa.  And, the museum is only yards away.  Our Christmas package includes three nights at the hotel, breakfast each morning, two suppers, including the Christmas Eve supper and lunch the last day, a caroling concert, cooking exhibition, an evening outdoor kielbase cookout (weenie roast for us Okies) and an evening of music and dancing with a DJ.  Should be interesting.

Alicja’s parents and brother will also be staying at the hotel for all of this.  We are pleased with this decision and are looking forward to the trip.  Not only do we not have to cook and entertain, but we get to enjoy an outing to an historic place.  We arrive on the 23rd and check out on the 26th.  We are hoping for a fun and relaxing trip.

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