Torun in Poland tourism destinationsWords: Ambica Gulati

Ida_PosterTomorrow is the last day of the second edition of the Kinoteka Polish Film Festival at Delhi. And the movie being screened is Ida which has been nominated for next year’s Oscars in the Best Foreign Language Film category. Based in the Poland of 1962, the movie revolves around the story of 18-year-old Anna. She is all prepared to become a nun in the convent where she was raised. But before taking her vows, decides to visit her mother’s sister Wanda. And then the two women discover each other and Anna finds out that her birth name is Ida… the rest you have to watch at Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre, Lodi Road, Delhi at 7 pm.

ImagineThough I won’t have time to go for this, but I did go for the opening movie, Imagine directed by Andrezj Jakimowski. This was about blind children and adults living in a clinic in Lisbon and their new instructor Ian who is also blind. But this instructor is teaching them to cross the boundaries of blindness and leave the stick and understand the world around through sound. The movie was an amazing sensitive way of understanding the world of challenges, the necessity of the human heart, mind and spirit to overcome this, find its own space and live of their choice. It doesn’t matter how you think out of the box, unfortunately, truth is always different for all of us and Ian could not accomplish what he set out to do because not everyone is designed to break boundaries.

The movie tingled a yearning to see what Poland has to offer and on the web I found some amazing places. But I’ll share just five that I think I would like to put in my wish basket:

Wawel Castle: The castle itself was first built in the 14th century, at the command of Polish monarch Casimir III t

wawel castlehe Great. The Gothic castle is home to the only preserved piece of the Polish Crown Jewels, the legendary sword Szczerbiec coronation sword. Decorated with symbols and floral patterns, the blade is notched to hold a small shield, giving the sword its nickname, the Jagged Sword.

nazi campAuschwitz-Birkenau: The immense size of the infamous Nazi concentration camp is the first thing to strike visitors as they approach the entrance to the memorial and museum in Oswiecim, Poland. Devoted to the memory of the murders in the camps during World War II, Auschwitz-Birkenau has been visited by more than 25 million people.

lakeland Masurian Lakeland: Located in an area that encompasses the lower Vistula River to the Lithuania border, the Masurian Lake District contains more than 2,000 lakes connected by an extensive system of canals and rivers. The Masurian Lakeland is the most popular tourist destination of Europe’s lake districts. Hotels, guest houses and camp sites are plentiful in the villages that surround the lakes, and visitors often travel by bicycle or boat to tour the scenic area.

forestBialowieza Forest: The Bialowieza Forest is a large remnant of the primeval forests that once covered much of Europe. The forest straddles the border between Poland and the Republic of Belarus, and there are border crossings for tourists on foot or on bicycles. The Bialowieza Forest is home to around 800 wisent, a protected species of European bison. While the wisent is kept within fenced areas, guided tours are available either on foot or in horse-drawn carriages.

warsaw old market placeWarsaw Old Market Place: Founded in the late 13th century, Warsaw and the city’s central marketplace were the heart of Polish culture for five centuries. The original Old Town Market Place was destroyed in World War II but was carefully reconstructed almost immediately after the war ended. The market square features a bronze sculpture of the Warsaw mermaid, the symbol of Poland’s capital.