Does Suwalszczyzna really exist? I have some doubts. It’s impossible that there exists such a beautiful phenomenon so empty at the same time.
But, despite of my vague premonitions, Suwalszczyzna exists. Yes, there is a place on the map of Poland, where countless lakes are surrounded by hills, where even in the middle of a vocation season one may find a place and time to be tete-a- tete with one’s thoughts without a problem.
Pole of cold – hot topic.
Suwałki is known as a Polish cold pole. In Poland, where a matter of weather and pressure are always a live topic, one may suspect that it is exactly the reason why crowds do not flock in their thousands there. How come to go for vocation and get cold? No way! Poles must get warmed and it’s understandable.
Because, as I previously said, I’ve grown out of being a slave of good weather. Too many times I got bored in full sunshine and had a good time while raining to subordinate my vocation – be – or – not – to – be to good weather. I am fond of warmth but come on! I may find myself in all kinds of weather which I wish to everyone.
Suwalszczyzna welcomed me with a heavy rain. Despite the fact I went there for two days taking two bikes and strong decision that I’m willing to ride one of them.
Wiżajny, the meeting of cultures, the meeting of borders
We made Wiżajny our base. Village near the border of three countries – Poland, Russia and Lithuania. It was accident – I couldn’t have found an accommodation in any other place. Suwalszczyzna does not spoil tourists with sophisticated accommodation that’s why me and my husband chose a farm tourism, which was, delicately speaking, not photogenic, so mercifully is not present at our photos.
But… How many weekends you are lucky to be with your husband, without children with bikes in their stead in the middle of fabulous landscape?
So – Wiżajny. Far at north and far at east. It is said that first mentions about this village reach to 13th century. Previously inhabited by Jaćwings (it’s a tribe related to Prussians and Lithuanians) it thrived at the turn of 18th and 19th century. But in 1870 there was a sudden degradation and Wiżajny became a village again. It’s interesting because it has a urban town planning. One may state that Wiżajny is a village with urban aspirations. It’s famous of a cheese manufacturing.
Cheese from Wiżajny
A star of all kinds of markets with local food. Rennet cheese. Why this exact one from Wiżajny is so exceptional? It’s not only the matter of recipe but also it’s due to herbs and grass eaten by cows being herded on the hills of Suwalszczyzna not able to be met at the other regions of Poland.
Precisely – it’s due to wild thyme with its scent reminding thyme which, apart from scent, has a lot of curative properties. And all of this – so far at the east and so far at the north. At the pole of cold.
Cycling around Suwalszczyzna.
For the first time we explored Suwalszczyzna by bikes more than 10 years ago, when children were not even planned. Unfortunately this exploration was brutally stopped by bite of something unidentified which made my hand a fake of Papay’s biceps. But before it happened I had managed to experience charm of bike trips enough to miss them for the next ten years. And when my dreams came true everything was perfect – apart from my condition which, during the last ten years, was, frankly speaking, modified. When the road lead uphill I saw Constellation of Unicorn and pictures from my childhood simultaneously before my eyes. It was not a ride uphill. It was dance macabre with whimper becoming crying. One must be tough and I’ve never stated that I like easygoing. It was the same this time and in spite of rain I proudly left my comfort zone.
Do you want to go abroad? No problem – we’ve outcried each other walking in rain to a plate with notice LITHUANIA. It was very funny to enter and leave Lithuania not far from Border Guards who sat in a jeep covered by trees looking to a border order. I must mention that our trip to Suwalszczyzna took place during the World Youth Days what justified those men’s vigilance. And when we lacked the border experience we made a trip to a place where Poland’s, Lithuania’s and Russia’s borders cross.
Suwalszczyzna really exists but it is a place for people with imagination. Sometimes one must imagine that temperature is higher. That sun shines a little more. Besides – only people with imagination may see the secret life of Suwalszczyzna in this seemingly empty space.
Which – for a wonder – really exists.