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A whistle-stop tour of Poland and Ukraine
Alic Keplicz_PA Images
A festival in Warsaw
Singer Bar, Kazimierz, Kraków, Poland
We guarantee this will be one of the strangest bars you'll ever set foot in. There may well be plenty of raucous singing but this small Kraków drinking hole is actually named after the Singer sewing machines found here, which double up as tables.
The owner - an avid Singer fan - will happily regale you with stories about his family's love of the machines while serving up some of Poland's finest dark ales.
Częstochowa, southern Poland
Located on the Warta river, this historic town is the home to the Pauline monastery of Jasna Góra, which contains the Black Madonna painting, a revered icon of the Virgin Mary and one of the most visited shrines in Poland.
The town itself is stunning, with clusters of medieval churches and more bizarrely, a museum of matches, which celebrates the town's role as a producer of matches since 1882.
Vilkovo village, Odessa, Ukraine
Commonly referred to as the Ukrainian Venice, Vilkovo village is located at the spot where the Danube flows into the Black Sea.
The river's many channels have transformed the village: boats are the main form of transport and traditional Ukrainian dwellings hug the river banks. The area is also a haven for wildlife, with over 265 species of birds, and is famous for its salted herring - said to be the tastiest in the Ukraine.
Auschwitz Birkenau, Poland
A visit to Auschwitz Birkenau may well lack the feel-good factor boasted by some of the other sites listed here, but it's a must-see nonetheless. Auschwitz was Nazi Germany's largest concentration camp, and today visitors can tour the gas chambers, prisoners' blocks and crematorium. There are also several fascinating exhibitions which provide a unique insight into one of the darkest periods of Europe's history.
Wieliczka salt mine, Wieliczka, Poland
Wieliczka salt mine
Poland has no less than 13 Unesco world heritage sites, and the Wieliczka salt mine is one the most famous. The mine is spread over nine levels and salt was first extracted here in the 13th century.
Today visitors can explore over 180 miles of underground galleries housing sculptures and altars carved from salt by the miners who worked here. You'll never look at a salt shaker in the same way again.
Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra, Kiev, Ukraine
Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra, also known as the Kiev Monastery of Caves, is a historic Orthodox Christian monastery in Kiev that dates back to 1051.
While the monastery's grandiose bell tower is one of Kiev skyline's more notable features, it's what lies beneath the monastery that's really impressive: extensive underground cave systems that are rumoured to reach as far as Moscow and are home to underground chapels and even an underground museum. Not one for claustrophobics.
Communism tour guides
Communism tour of Kraków, Poland
You'll have a cracking time in Kraków, Poland's second largest city, whatever you do, but to really get under the city's surface why not go on a Communist tour? The tours take place in a vintage Trebant (a Polish Fiat 125 or Soviet Lada are also available) and include a visit to a traditional restaurant in the communist district of Nowa Huta and a visit to a genuine, unchanged communist-era apartment.
A bar in Krakow
Pervomaysk strategic missile base, Pervomaysk, Ukraine
Visitors to this former Soviet missile base, located 186 miles south of Kiev, can check out the SS-18 "Satan" Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, visit the 12-storey underground command post and sit in the very seat in which Soviet officers sat during the cold war.
You can even press the button that would have deployed the SS-22 missiles (and started an international catastrophe) 18 years ago.
Chernobyl tour, Ukraine
It's still possible to tour the site of the famous nuclear disaster - you just have to book well in advance. Highlights include a brief (emphasis on brief) stop near the famous reactor 4, a visit to the ghost town of Pripyat with its deserted hotels and rusted Ferris wheel, and a drive through the Red Forest, one of the most contaminated places on Earth and home to thee-headed squirrels. Probably.
Kraków farm tour, Poland
To really scratch beneath the surface of this area of Poland, why not visit one of the many farms that surround Kraków? A farm-themed excursion organised by Krakow Tours allow those taking part to visit working farms, meet the animals and learn how to bake bread like the locals. The tour finishes with a traditional Polish meal washed down with local beer and homemade vodka. Cheers! (Or Noo davaytee, as they apparently say in Poland.)
Białowieża national park, eastern Poland
Fancy a trip back in time? The head for Bałowieża national park, eastern Poland, the last remaining remnant of a primeval forest that once stretched all the way across the continent. The park is home to a huge variety of animals, ranging from wild boar to wolves, lynxes, elk and even bison - the largest European land mammal. The park is 160 miles to the east of Warsaw and the nearby town of the same name - Białowieża - is the perfect base for those wishing to explore the park.
Tatra mountains, Poland
The Tatra mountain range forms a natural border between Poland and Slovakia, and is made up of the highest mountains within the Carpathian range.
In winter the Tatras attract skiers from all over Poland while the town of Zakopane is known for its traditional restaurants - try the mead or smoked sheep's cheese. Also worth checking out is the town of Poprad, with its medieval buildings and stunning old town (Spišská Sobota).
Fryderyk Chopin museum, Warsaw, Poland
You don't have to be an avid tinkler of the ivories to appreciate this fascinating museum, which was established in the 1930s and houses a huge collection of the Polish composer's original manuscripts, along with sculptures and original photographs of the man himself.
The museum stages regular piano recitals but be warned - it's one of Poland's most popular attractions so it's best to book your ticket well in advance.
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look up Bloody Euro on youtube.
Documentary by Volodymyr Ariev, Ivan Kravchyshyn and Kateryna Filipenko
it wont let me share the link so search it yourselves and see what all football supporters are contributing to. Shun the Euro!
, r1844,,,,,ive done my share of work and served my country. more than you have i suppose, i dont have to sign on either.if you love these people so much why dont you go and live with them. oh and by the way ,you dont have to apoligize to the world for me as ive nothing to be ashamed of
When I have planned to visit Gdansk in Poland short before the Euro 2012 to see the beautiful new football field I wanted to save as much as possible, mainly on travel and accommodation. I chose Eurolines coach, and I paid for a return ticket only ￡89. A few weeks before I read about a new low-cost connection from London to Poland at www.europebus.co.uk was happy, but I was thinking that this is a new low-coast airline. First, I did not take this option into consideration, but after checking the prices of flights I decided for the coach. My first thought: 24 hours in a coach is not for me, but now I know that there are regular stops, ferry crossing where to buy something or eat, and few stops along the way to Poland. It wasn’t bad for ￡89, but movies only in Polish, you can ask for subtitles. ￡89 - unthinkable for people who want to go to London for the Olympics. Currently, all the cheap flights between Poland and the UK are more than £ 150, of course if people are travelling with luggage.
the english racist defence league will feel right at home here with the other neo ****s
Barbra, you must have a short memory, i think you'll find the the Englund knuckle draggers are just as bad,
However I do think they will be no match for the home Countries