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038: Kompleks Osowka + Swidnica etc. 2012/6/8

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[美麗山中度假小屋照片在文末。]

Waking up in Greg’s parents place somewhere in the “Owl Mountains” in Rosciszów is nice – trees, grass, some flowers in the garden, and all the fresh hair, even though again I woke up too early and was consequently sleepy for a big part of the day.

After breakfast (which has basically exactly the same thing as for dinner last night, and this time I finally can enjoy a bit of the cake Greg’s step-mom Maria made so well) we set out for Osówka, one of the six or seven places where Nazi Germans enslaved people to dig up some underground city.  There are two kinds of tours: one normal, the other more “adventurous,” namely involving boating in the cave and so on, and I was glad we took the shorter tour — the temperature inside the cave is as low as seven degrees, and after seeing some very common-place tunnel construction (for a Taiwanese who’s probably too used to all the mountain tunnels that posed fiendishly difficult architectural challenges) and having my stomach churning a bit, when Greg started to whisper, “Well, I think this is a bit boring,” I burst out, “Finally! Someone [says it]! Thank you!”

No one knows exactly why the underground cities (as Germans’ “Reise” (i.e., giant) Project were built, since all the useful things were taken away and related documents destroyed, so basically it as a walk (that involves a lot of head-bumping) in a plain-looking place whose purpose no-one knows. Voila.

We then drove to Greg’s aunt’s place – she and her husband were happy to see each one of us, and while it was the first time she saw me, this 68-year-old lady even hugged me with strong arms and all.  Obviously she’s so considerate that she even voluntarily said (in Polish) to Greg that, if she had known (that I am Asian), she would have prepared rice instead of potato, for she thinks I might prefer the former to the latter.  Greg said that his aunt is the best cook he knows, and he wasn’t exaggerating – as far as Polish cooking goes (yes, as far as it does go), it’s likely the best I have had, bar maybe the zeppeline-like thing Max treated me near Bialystok.  The food came in big portions, but even so both of the elderly couple either gestured me to have more or questioned Greg whether he’s sure that I had enough food.  Oh, and then there was a gigantic cake – again I got a humongous piece –, which features mainly gelatins.  Well, I don’t care for gelatins, but as far as it goes in the gelatin world, the cake is very nicely done, especially with the blueberry-flavor layer.

(Towards the end of the lunch Pawel left to have a date.  A date here! But then it’s a city of probably 300,000 people.)

After the lunch I told Greg that I would retreat to the adjacent little living room for a nap.  After all, it was some more Polish speaking time, and in any case it’s a good thing that Greg and T catch up with their family – if they do translate a lot for me, which is going to be difficult anyway, it’ll slow down way too many things.

It was after 5pm when we were to leave, and all our stomachs were still very full.  Greg drove back to his parents place to drop Tom for him to watch the UEFA match, and we went to another thing on my list: Świdnica.

The tiny flyer given by Świdnica’s tourist information claimed that the town is dubbed “the small Krakow.”  I find that to be rather preposterous, at least if no-one makes more efforts on renovating the couple of historical buildings it has.

When we reached the wooden church, which has the UNESCO recognition, it was already too late – the (again short) opening hours were over.  We sat for a while, enjoyed the moment, and then walked back to the car before the rain came down.  The streets were very quiet, since everyone was staying at home (or at least at a bar) watching the match between Poland and Greece.  Someone shouted in Polish from inside a house “Penises!” Well, that’s what the football fans’ devotion is about…

On our way back we took a detour to pick up the cake Greg’s aunt forgot to ask him bring with him.  I thought we were to pick up the rest of the gelatin cake, but no – on a big tray was three different kinds of more-or-less sponge cakes.

Luckily we would not have dinner for this night.

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