I pack my things and move on with the wood usage study tour.
Drizzle, mountains grow higher. The rearmost one touches the sky.
I start in Chochołów. It is a street village where kilometers of old style wooden buildings are still being used. A lot of them have tin or stone roofs but some continue to use shingles. The shingles are supposed to be changed every year. There’s also some new and not so pretty architecture but it does not dominate.
Right after the village are logs by the road, longer and thicker than the ones offered for viewing at home. They have cut a lot of forest here. Hopefully not just for burning but for houses or furniture. Some of the house building is unfortunately the tiny and not so cute looking cabins for tourists. Judging after the woodpiles they do heat with wood. Wood for fireplace is also advertised, the modern luxury item. Fuming boxes in the gardens suggest meat smoking. A question of balance.
Poland’s winter capital Zakopane has a different style of architecture, finer, with more wooden lace. “Atma” villa houses the house museum of Karol Szymanowski whom the Polish think of as their second best composer after Chopin. I listen to a sonata and try to figure out what was it in this music that inspired the caricature on the wall where the composer is decapitated. “Pod jedlam” villa can be photographed over the fence. The old church is open, maybe they forgot. Snow drizzle.
To continue with some more atheist architecture I visit a manor house in Łopuszna where I stumble on a Polish language excursion. The guide makes pantomime for the kids and it seems that people in the past lived more or less the same way everywhere.
The Church of St. Michael the Archangel in Dębno Podhalańskie is on the UNESCO list. In locking a place up they have reached a new level here. Even the fence gates are closed and I have to look at the church from the road.
The Church of St. Martin in Grywałd is one of the oldest around here, built in 1490. Locked. Poland will be unlocked on 29th of June.
Visiting churches today seems somewhat peculiar. These represent ideology that has mostly supported picturing women as second class people. Getting flowers one day of the year does not seem a fair price for centuries of mistreatment. Here it feels appropriate to remember that Poland’s draconian abortion rules compete in Europe only with Malta. Even Ireland has understood that a grown up female is able to make rational decisions and it is stupid to prefer philosophical ideas to real people’s life, health and right on one’s own body. In Poland the decisions are made mostly by humans who don’t have any risk of ever getting pregnant – only 28% of the members of parliament are women. Happy Women’s Day!
The road to my new accommodation goes past strict private property signs. At the crossing the mass blares all over the neighborhood, following the example of the Muslims. In a room called “the office” sits Stanislaw who can say “please” and “okay”, was the member of the previous Seim and deals with animal husbandry and breeding. Asks to pay in cash. Gives me some of merchandise eft from last year’s election propaganda: chocolate and honey. This time he did not get into the parliament. His party is mainly opposed to things connected with basic human rights. A sign says that the accommodation building stands with the help of European Union money.