Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Finding Treasure

School starts Wednesday so we decided to get out and do one last family activity.

It ended up being an adventure that involved lots of dark clouds, rocky terrain, , pitch black, cramped spaces, age-old fresh springs in hard-to-get-to basements, thunder, huge, open corridors with dusty red floors, sudden, cold drafts through enormous window openings, and a green, grassy courtyard.

We visited Krzyżtopór castle (an hour away!)and found treasure. There is a legend that treasure is buried somewhere beneath the castle, but we found it everywhere we looked. It was a family adventure that I really will treasure forever. (I reserve the right to be as cheesy as I choose on my personal blog, thankyouverykindly.)

Funny, too, because I'm usually the one who wants to head home as soon as it gets cold or wet, but I could not get enough of the weather. It created the greatest ambiance for castle ruin exploration.

The ruins date from the first half of the 17th century. I was super excited to visit it because this castle features prominently in James Michener's Poland. It has (had) 365 windows, 52 rooms, 12 ballrooms and four towers.

We didn't have flashlights, but next time we go we'll be sure each of the kids has their own. You need them to get through the dark cavernous passageways on the ground floor and below.
Plus, it's easier to see all the ghosts with a flashlight. Or without one. Hmmm.
My favorite spot was in the place shown below. There once hung huge portraits of family members in the openings. Not sure why I loved it so much but I could spend all day there. I just felt so small and it was beautiful.

Everywhere we went we could tell if other explorers (call them tourists if you're boring) spoke English by whether or not they chuckled or stifled a laugh. This was because everywhere we went Aaron repeated phrases such as:

"Mom, we kinda hafta go because daddy's walking now."
"Okay. We have to be really careful in here."
"Be careful. You can't run because you might go. . . and bump your head on a rock."
"It's kinda freaky!"
"Oh my gosh! I LOVE it in here!"
"It's like a ghost in there."

In the car on the way home he said, "You don't what, mom? I love you, but I want some toast." No, that has nothing to do with this post, but I thought it was funny. (He always says, "You don't what?" instead of "you know what?")

He also got tired of us pointing out all the cows, goats, tractors, storks, ponds etc. on the drive and eventually said, "I know mom! I can see EVERYTHING!" Well pardon me, Aaron!

I'm so glad we finally discovered this castle and that it is so close by! Now we can go there every other day.


Barbaloot said...

What a fun time. Old castles are always so fascinating to me. I try and picture the people that built them and lived in them...what they did and what they were like. What a crazy world.

Kazzy said...

And were you guys there alone? That makes it even cooler!

I am a total sucker for castles,and anything old like that.

Heidi said...

Several thoughts: I have missed you! You are such a breath of fresh air! I am totally jealous and insist you take me along next time. I also love the portrait room insanely best. Who needs 12 ballrooms? I never use the two I have!

Erin said...

What gorgeous pictures! I can't believe that is only an hour away and you hadn't discovered it yet. It just shows that there is too much all around you to even take in. Good job recording all of Aaron's darling sayings.

charrette said...

I agree -- Memories like these are priceless! What a great adventure!

Becky said...

Very cool! I'm not of big fan of museums or the like, but I think I would have liked the castle tour.

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

Posts like this, and House Hunters International, make me want to go buy an old abandoned castle and renovate it and live there. This idea, of course, gives my husband hives.

Melanie J said...


Ha, ha. That totally sounds like Grant.

Ewelina said...

well, this post is coll but you didn't use the pics i took !!

but except for that then yeah it was fun and cool and scary and rainy and...

Ewelina said...


i ment COOL not COLL :)

gramalee said...

Tell Ewie to post her own photos. :D You don't what? I especially was intrigued with you long hair Lu. I like it.

Moody said...

So awesome! I've read books describing castles and sometimes it's hard for me to imagine them, so I LOVE the photos. How neat to have it so close. All we've got around here are ancient Giant Sequoias and Gold Rush towns. Oh wait, those are cool too!

Susan said...

Stop it. You know we're trying to work out a time to come visit. You don't need to keep reminding me about all the stuff I'm missing. Tell Aaron to stop growing up till I get there!

Patrick said...


I remember this castle very keenly. This is where we nearly lost Rylee down one of the unmarked pits. Nathan was very impressed with the giant axe byt the main gate. The kids loved it though and were so excited that they could run and explore and imagine knights and princesses.

When we got back to the U.S. Rylee asked me, "Which castle are we going to this weekend Daddy?"

We miss you guys and Poland most keenly.