The Choreographer for the Mazowsze Polish Folk Song and Dance Ensemble left his car double parked in front of the hotel, as he rushed in to greet us. A bouquet of flowers for my Mother, a turquoise shawl for me. “What kind of tour is this that you are already leaving Warsaw?” he asked.
Accustomed to traveling around Poland on my own, a guided tour was a concession made for my Mother, who had never been to this country before. Together with a pleasant group of travelers, we visited all the popular sites, including the Wieliczka Salt Mines, with it’s carved statues and chapels; Jasna Góra, home of the Black Madonna – Our Lady of Częstochowa; Mariacki church in Kraków, with it’s golden altar; and Zakopane, where we took a cable-car up the mountains.
There, in a local karczma (tavern), we were entertained by a Góralski kapela (Highlander band), whom I immediately recognized as Andrzej Obrochty-Bartuś, my favorite !! In fact, I had just that day purchased a couple of their CD’s, so I asked for their autographs. I am sure they were surprised that an American even knew who they were.