Ground Hog Day “officially ended” this morning in this very, very tiny hotel room (with great black-out curtains). We actually slept in until 8:00 A.M. It was a great nights’ sleep, but both of us were still really sore and aching from yesterdays’ strenuous activities (who is complaining!).
We both got up around the same time and wanted to grab a cup of coffee. Just outside and down the hall from our room was the dining room. We grabbed a cup each and headed to the patio area … it was a beautiful, warm and quiet morning. We fueled up on a lot of coffee and had a very good breakfast … Polish Kielbasa included on the buffet, which Susan went for.
Returning to our room and packing up this very small hotel room was quite funny. We kept bumping into each other to try to be sure we packed everything. I finally decided that as soon as Susan had a bag packed, I immediately toted it off to the car to get it out of the room
Our only Sacred Shrine we had scheduled for today was Gora Swietej Anny – Saint Anne’s Mountain … a Shrine specifically dedicated to St. Anne, the Mother of Our Blessed Virgin Mary and the Grandmother of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. The Statue is considered “Miraculous”. It is claimed to be from the 1600″s.
It took us about 1-1/2 hours to drive from our hotel to this Shrine and the drive, for me, was typical … go fast … go slow … go fast, etc. When we arrived, there was a parking place right in front of the entrance to the Basilica so I took it. There were about 50-60 stairs ascending up to the Basilica so I told Susan that we would walk around and we found a roadway that took us up without the stairs. Starting to feel like I miscalculated my plans once again … I realized that I did. As soon as we walked up to the top of the roadway … there was a large parking lot right there almost in front of the doorway into the Shrine. Ugh!
We went into the Shrine as a Mass was ending. We weren’t sure if there would be another one. As soon as the Mass ended, the Basilica lights were immediately turned off. The Congregation left and no one was around to even ask about the possibility of another Mass. I took some photos, we Prayed and headed off to the Religious Gift Store. The batteries on the camera had gone dead and when I went into my stash … I had 3 … instead of 4 batteries in the case. So much for any more photos. The Gift Store did not sell batteries but Susan and I selected a beautiful memento of St. Anne for our Curio at home.
The Miraculous statue of Saint Anne
The sculpture shows three figures. In the middle in the standing position it is shown an elderly woman who holds in her arms two children. St. Anna, who on her left arm is holding her daughter – the Virgin Mary and on the right shoulder her grandson – the Lord Jesus.
Her hands are shown in a manner typical of the medieval conventions: to show the next degree of kinship. The figure of Mary is lower than the figure of Jesus. Sometimes it is often used to highlight the differences in the importance of the role of Jesus and His Mother.
Mary gives the Baby a golden apple – the symbol of procreation. Using expressions Biblical Mary is the “new Eve”, Christ – “new Adam”. As the apple was given by Eve to Adam in paradise, and the sin and death were born. The apple of the new Eve – Mary, is given to the new Adam – Jesus who brougth into the world grace and life.
This beautiful Shrine is on gorgeous large property. There were Stations of the Cross (Kalwaria/Calvary) and Chapels one can walk and Pray at for miles. Not today for the two of us … we did ourselves in on our last Calvary Walk and are still recuperating with aches and pains.
As we were getting ready to leave this Shrine and disappointed that we had not been able to attend Mass, I suggested to Susan that we return to the Basilica and at least Pray Our Rosary in front of the Miraculous Image. No one was in the Basilica when we returned so we took a spot in the front pew and began our Rosary. We were almost finished when a great amount of people began coming into the Church. We continued on and quietly completed our Rosary.
We were about to leave, figuring that it was another Pilgrim Group who would be receiving a presentation. Right about then, a young Priest began to walk by us and I asked him in “perfect English” when the next Mass was. He answered “At The First Hour”!!!!! HUH? I realized that he meant at 1:00 P.M. which was about 5 minutes from then.
I didn’t want to try to sit in that front pew throughout Mass for fear my back wouldn’t make it. So we moved to the rear of the Basilica and I chose a bench that we could sit on and I would be able to use the kneeler close by if my back cooperated with me.
It was a beautiful and reverent Mass, as usual and it was filled with the group of Pilgrims. After Mass, there was not much left that we would be able to do so we got into the car and began our way to our next destination … Piekary Salaskie where both our hotel for the night and our next Sacred Shrine are located.
After a drive of about 1 1/2 hours through the normal and beautiful Poland roadsides, we arrived at our overnight hotel. As we drove by the front of the hotel which looked very, very old, I realized there was no where to park. I drove down the street, around the corner and finally made our way to the rear of the hotel. I found a hotel parking space in the rear just as another vehicle was leaving … good luck, huh?
I had booked a “Deluxe Room” for tonight to give us more room to roam. As I checked in, I found that our “Deluxe Room” was on the Second Floor … with NO ELEVATOR. By the way … in these hotels, the Main Floor is “Ground Floor 0” … Then the First Floor followed by the Second, etc. I silently begged my back to cooperate with me on our ascent.
Editor’s note: for Europeans this is not a surprise, but for Americans and others, it might be: the ground floor is 0 and then the next floor is 1.
We decided to take the very bare minimum up to the room. No luggage/suitcases tonight. We were going to rough it. So we filled a large bag with grocery items we might need, our “jammies, toiletries, a bottle of vino (of course) and my computer bag … it still seemed to be a lot to carry up the flights of stairs but we got there.
The Deluxe Room was great … it had 2 separate rooms and 2 baths. The rooms had recently been completely renovated and were very nice. We had a full bedroom and a living room/den type of area with a sleeper sofa. Everything was very comfortable … AND THEY EVEN HAD BLACK OUT SHADES.
There wasn’t much for us to organize. Around 5:00 P.M., we went down to the hotel restaurant for a bite to eat. I left Susan outside while I went in to place our order … the staff had to call on the hotel check-in guy to come to help me with ordering our dinner since everything was in Polish and no one spoke English.
I managed to order a fantastic Cabbage Soup, a Mix of Salads, Goulash for Susan and a very tasty Chicken/Broccoli Dish (I thought I had ordered Pork … oh well!). The two of us shared everything, as usual, and it was all fantastic. The restaurant did not carry a wine selection so we accompanied our Polish Dinner with a couple of very good and cold Polish Beers.
I went to pay our tab for dinner and I almost fell over … our entire dinner bill was $10. Did I tell you how much we love Poland?
Back in our room, we did another update on the real estate closing we have been working on. It was not supposed to close until a couple of days after our return, but “In God’s Time”, all went well for our client and our dear friend, Johna, now has her new home as of this writing — 2-1/2 weeks early with plenty of time for her renovations to be completed before her final move into her new home. Congratulations, Johna!
We spent a little more time while I completed the day’s Trip Report and Susan answered some emails, Facebook & WhatsApp Chats. I tried to make a couple of MagicJack phone calls to some friends … it was 2:00 P.M. Florida time and no one was answering their phones … except Corinne and we woke her from a afternoon nap, since she was sick, but rallied and we laughed through most of the conversation. We then watched a small bit of TV before we retired.
Susan ended up sleeping on the fold out sofa bed in the living room. I slept in the “not quite a Queen” bed. We both needed a good night sleep with all of the aches and pains so having two beds tonight was a special treat for us.
We retired around 8:30 P.M. with nothing left to do and nothing …
AND THAT’S ALL I REMEMBER!
God Bless you all;
Susan & Tom