Monday, June 22, 2015

Happy midsommer - Szczęśliwej nocy swiętojańskej

Midsummer is upon us, so celebrate with flowers and fun. Traditionally the women would make wianki (floral wreaths) from wild flowers. Other traditions include bonfires, which you dance around and jump over to give wishes. For the unmarried womenfolk their wreaths would be floated on a river, often with a candle in the centre. If the wreaths went quickly it meant you would be married soon if they bumped into another wreath this was also a positive sign.

Barszcz with the family.

then wreath making

The flowers were collected from our own łąka (meadow) which is normally harvested for hay for the animals.



some local pixies

all the inhabitants were interested


I do love the colours of Polish wildflowers, and the best thing is that they even pop up in town.


everyone gets involved



Bacchus visited



I declare, wreaths for all.


Then it is always important to round off any celebrations with a firm drink. A mixture of ginger ale, lemon balm, mint, lime and dark rum hit the spot.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Marathon Mazury

Well, what should you do in the middle of June in Poland? How about the Mazury Marathon? After doing my first marathon a month and a half ago I was keen for more action, and what better than a trail marathon I thought.... well it was easily the hardest thing I have ever done. I fell over two and a half times, I ate a lot of bananas and vegan cola gummi snakes, and drank until I could drink no more. It took 3hours and 46 minutes to cover the 42.2 kms and it was painful. As I write this now I can feel the throbbing from my toes whose nails won't be there for much longer. But the feeling of finishing was the greatest thing in the world.
Before the race, people had too much time and energy on their hands.

My Warsaw International Triathlon Club team members, all finished and all did me proud

This is Ryszard, he started running in 1997 and did his first marathon, he has now run 200 of them! I take my hat off to him.
An amazing man, people who say "I can't run a marathon" really just don't want to at the end of the day. Which is fine.

Many proud athletes finished.

Head down to the finish is sometimes the best option

Or maybe getting some family support is a good thing too!

Some will do a dance in the last few miles
Just getting to the end is worth a thumbs up.

Local fire truck, the straż were amazing and clapped every finisher!

Support is really important to a runner, if you ever go past a marathon, even just on a day out in town, stop off and give a cheer to a few people, it really means the world to a runner. Even run alongside them and support them. It is an amazing feeling.


Many locals will watch you run past and support you too.


After all of that you get a medal, it isn't gold and it really doesn't matter.
You also get to reward yourself eating guilt free, as you have burned somewhere between 3000-5000calories. Depending on your speed and size. From the size of this I burned a lot!
Mazury is known as the lake district of Poland. It is the capital's playground sitting between 2 and 3 hours from Warsaw. It is a very popular place for people to have summer houses and for school trips and the like. It is beautiful, sparsely populated and you are never far from a lake. In Polish it is called the Kraina Tysiąca Jezior and in German as Land der Tausend Seen, meaning "land of a thousand lakes", this kind of gives it away a little.
As Mazury is the lake district you must visit a lake or two.


After the run, rest your feet.


It is so quiet and still, barely a sound other than wildlife.





Then it is time to cruise home.

Me on Google+