Welcome Home – Bialystok

20170525_164849I am almost embarrassed to say that it has taken me 14 years (eek!) to return to my homeland and the city where I was born, Bialystok. It also feels like it has taken me ages to write this blog post. In my defense, I wanted to do justice to a beautiful city that shaped my childhood and my initial outlook on the world.

I poured through almost 300 photos knowing I could only share a glimpse of my three week visit. Many of the photos were very personal as I met with family (thank you Agata for being an amazing host and cousin!!) and old school friends who made me feel like I never left (I can’t wait to continue these friendships for years to come!). I ate the most incredible food, practiced my language skills (not as bad as I thought) and even caught up on this summer’s best movie, Wonder Woman! The weather was incredible as I explored the city mostly on foot, stopping more often than not for a daily dose of ice cream. I cannot believe I didn’t gain weight ;). I hope you enjoy my adventure!

The historic and colourful city of Bialystok, situated in northeastern Poland, received town rights in 1692 but there is documentation that in 1437 the area was identified for settlement and gifted by the Duke of Lithuania to local nobility. In the intervening 5 centuries, it has undergone many changes that reflected the evolution of world history and politics. And even the last 14 years have created a city that is making its mark as a wonderful place to live and a new travel destination, especially for eco adventurers. I am very proud of what the city has become and look forward to many more visits.20170525_164739 (2)20170525_164729 (2)20170529_134123 (3)20170603_185746 (2)20170603_180912 (2)20170525_165120 (2)        20170525_164744 (2)  20170525_164843 (2)20170529_134132 (2)20170529_134356 (2)20170529_133115 (2)20170605_175408 (2)20170605_175014 (2)20170609_145025 (2)20170609_144734 (2)        20170609_144918 (2)  20170606_120146 (2)20170606_120313 (2)        20170606_120532 (2)20170606_120205 (2)20170526_130438 (2)20170603_181653 (2)       20170606_115453 (2)20170606_120752 (2)20170606_120757 (2)        20170606_120809 (2)  20170606_122237 (2)20170609_141202 (2)20170606_122451 (2)20170606_121714_HDR (2)        20170607_163042 (2)20170607_163422 (2)20170525_164804 (2)20170529_135514 (2)   20170529_141626 (2)        IMG_20170529_135745 (2)20170607_151231 (2)20170607_151303 (2)20170607_150951 (2)        20170607_144525 (2)20170606_151239 (2)20170606_151456 (2)20170606_151310 (2)        20170606_154431 (2)20170606_151509 (2)20170609_212320 (2)20170609_212326 (2)20170609_212659 (2)20170609_212536 (2)20170610_212651 (2)I hope that you enjoyed this brief introduction to my home city. There is so much to do and see in this beautiful part of Poland. I invite you to take on the adventure and visit a place that is not often on the tourist radar.

While in Poland, I took a brief trip to the old town of Vilnius in Lithuania. In an upcoming post, I will introduce you to a city that had played a major role in the history of my country. It was my first visit and one of the most pleasant surprises of my vacation.