Travel Companion for Women 50+ who don't like traveling alone
Eyewitness Travel Poland Books in Review
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Eyewitness Travel Poland
Dorling Kindersley
ISBN 978-0-75666-130-4
Published January 2007 - Softcover - 386 pages - $25.00

I've always wanted to go to Poland, the biggest reason being that for some unfathomable reason, I've always been fascinated by the Holocaust.  I don't know why.  I've visited Dachau in Germany, and of late have read and heard much about other concentration camps, in particular Auschwitz, which is in Poland (as is Birkenau and was Treblinka).  Not a typical "holiday destination" as such, but one I would very much like to see as there is much else to be enjoyed in this country.  This gorgeously laid out Eyewitness Guide on Poland is a very useful resource to consider studying before making a trip.  Apart from the usual (great maps, beautiful photo illustrations, history, eating, shopping, sightseeing, etc.), they also offer pronunciations and phonetic explanations should you want to try your Polish out on the locals.  Discovering Poland takes you through the nine regions (color-coded), some small (Gdansk, Cracow) and some large, each with their own distinct attributes (architecture, food, sights, customs, etc.) to discover.  The Old Towns are picture postcard pretty as are the many cathedrals and churches.  There is much to learn about this historical country as it dates back to the 10th century (only becoming a fully democratic nation in 1989!) and has undergone not only political changes, but district renovations in many cities that were ruined during WWII.  There is also an abundance of wildlife and flora to be found in this diverse country, and those looking for birds, animals, or plants will be rewarded.  I love how the different architectural styles are explained (Gothic, Romanesque, Renaisssance, Baroque, Neo-Classic, etc.) with photo examples so you can immediately see the differences.  Very useful.  I love the 3D maps with the highlights indicated—understanding one's trip is so meaningful, especially when you have a language barrier to contend with.  If you want to ski, Poland's "winter home" at Zakapone is where to go.  You can visit Zelazowa Wola where Chopin was born, or Torún as the birthplace of Nicolaus Copernicus, or even visit the Kashubia region in Pomerania, the Kashubians of whom are their own distinctive ethnic group complete with their own language and culture.  Centrally located in Eastern Europe is Prague, capital of the Czech Republic, so a combined trip sounds like a good idea.  As with any travel, be vigilant and careful.
Conclusion - Inspirational and definitely alluring.  Makes you want to book a trip immediately.

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