And then there is Przemyśl – May 21-22

Last year on a very rainy day we stopped for a few hours in Przemyśl – this was during that madcap 22 day research trip. By the time we got to Przemyśl we were all exhausted and hungry and we just wanted to eat and get to our next hotel (I don’t remember where that next stop was). I was captivated by this city with all the churches, and eagerly awaited an opportunity to return.  We were in Jawornik Polski and were told in the office of the civil archives that the records we wanted would be in Przemyśl so Marek, our client and I took off for Przemyśl.

Of course, the weather was still rainy.  It has rained every day since we got here. The grass is green, the flowers beautiful, and there is nothing to beat slipping and sliding on cobblestones or cemeteries. I’m really ready for some sun.

Przemyśl really is a beautiful city. Our hotel however, felt like it was in old Ukraine, not Poland. Not at all pleasant. On the positive side, it was clean and the internet worked. The food was definitely on the bad side of acceptable and even the coffee at breakfast was bad. It’s difficult to describe why I felt like it was Ukraine, except that the only other times I’ve stayed in places like this was last year in Kovel, and previously in Zhitomir.  The three places were interchangeable.

We headed off yesterday morning for the cathedral where their archives should hold the records for which we are searching.DSC05726

The priest and nun that we met with were very nice and helpful and even tried to communicate in English as much as possible.  Marek of course carried the conversation since he was the only one among us who spoke Polish.  We were not allowed near the record books but a researcher in the reading room did the searches and provided images of the records – not the whole page just the section of the page he was allowed to give us. We appreciated all the help, it’s just sort of difficult to comprehend the harm in sharing copies of records that are well over 100 years old – in some cases close to 150 years old.


That was yesterday, an uneventful day except for the research in the archives which was very exciting. Today, Marek went off to another archive to do research while J and I toured various parts of the city – Roman Catholic and Greek Catholic churches, catacombs, a thousand year old castle and more. We managed to be inside whenever it rained, which was a welcome change.

My experience with churches could be labeled as minimal and that would probably give me too much credit, so this was fascinating.  The castle was truly wonderful – not the largest castle, nor the most ornate, but wonderful.

The castle is at the highest point of the city so the views were spectacular.

After a pretty discouraging dinner last night at the hotel, we went back to town for dinner at the amazing Cuda Wianka. I had what was called a “Bowl” – it was felafel, hummus, salad, sweet potatoes. We decided on ice cream for dessert and went in search of it. The ice cream shops were closed but the coffee shops were still open and we found one with gorgeous cakes AND ice cream. I settled on a piece of szarlotka – a wonderful pastry wit thin sliced apples, and refusing to forego ice cream, topped it with chocolate. Yum.DSC05809DSC05810

Tomorrow, back to Jawornik Polski and the surrounding area – on schedule visiting the civil records office to clarify a date, Greek Catholic parish offices, Roman Catholic cemetery behind the civil records office and more.

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