Swedish Day in Starkowo

Blog post August 24, 2019

Yesterday, Friday, 23 August, we completed our successful time in Slupsk time with portrait no. 70, and were moving towards Starkowo

Swedishday in Sarkowo

On the way there is a very interesting museum, which consists of several buildings and farms in half-timbered architecture. We got an Audio Guide and could enjoy the lovingly restored houses from the late 19th and early 20th century.

Museum in Swolowo (1)
Museum in Swolowo (4)

Museum in Swolowo (2)
Museum in Swolowo (3)

We invited Joanna, who speaks very good English to participate in Face Europe. She was excited and promised to organize a full day for Face Europe on Wednesday. 

Within good spirits and full of confidence we drove 4 km to Starkowo where Maciek was already waiting for us. He led us in his private garden, where the father of his friend, Wieslaw, sat at the table and was busy with a wrotten smelling fermented herring from a can. We should taste and say what we thought of it. Wilfried said, not even the chicken, which he had swallowed in Portugal, was equally disgusting. I found with potato, onion, pickles and cream the fish was edible. But as a culinary delight, I would definitely not classify it. Maciek could approach the table only by hiding his nose in the T-shirt neckline.

Maciek-smells the fish

Wieslaw then visited us in Big Fredi. He hosted today’s feast and campaigned great for Face Europe. Right at noon, Marcin, a teacher, who had already spotted us in Slupsk in front of the City Hall reported in. He also offered a fermenting workshop and invited me.

fermenting-workshop on the herringfarm in Starkowo
Fermenting-Workshop the Herringfarm in Starkowo – Result

Two other people who were very interested at first, did not appear at the scheduled time .So it remained to be only one portrait for Saturday.

Face Europe no. 71 – Marcin telling us about his life
Face Europe no 71-Marcin-after 100 min
Face Europe no. 71 – Marcin

After 6 graphite pictures it became  a charcoal portrait for a change. 

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Slupsk is a hit

Blog post August 16, 2019

A wonderful holiday week with our friends in Kaliningrad made for relaxation and fun.

The week flew by and when leaving we were 5.5 hours on the border with Poland. Call of duty. Felt like 100 times: Open all doors and hatches in our Big Fredi, astonishment or simply “straight faces” among officials whose wearing the oversized caps would already justify a special allowance in salary. 

Finally, after the last window to passport control it meant also driving through the x-Ray. I wanted to know what they were looking for and it was clarified, they searched for hidden animals and humans. What a shock: We have our bear family on board and certainly a few mosquitoes of Russian origin. Thank God they could hide well and we continued our journey until Frombork, in German „Frauenburg“. On a quiet street we stayed one night. In the morning we had breakfast with our English neighbor Nicholas. Wilfried helped him with his car repair. While I amused myself with a sweet little baby kitten, taming it with some milk, Wilfried worked in the car of Nicholas. In gratitude, he invited us to eat with him in Portugal. Yes, such is the community of the traveling people!

It would have been possible to arrive Smoldzino on the same day, but we preferred to stay one more night on a beautiful natural lake surrounded by a forest before we finally reached our friend Michael in Smoldzino July 26.

What a wonderful garden he invited us to! Another 2 weeks without a successful Face-Europe search.

Although Michael had already prepared the village, no one wanted to be portrayed. So we took advantage of the time with beach visits and a great trip with our folding paddling boat on the Łupawa river.

On Thursday, 8 August, everything changed. A trip to Słupsk ended in an invitation to stand in front of the town hall and to lead our project further to success. Even for the night Dariusz, cultural events manager, reserved a place in the cultural center for us. The Cultural Center is a video-controlled leisure area in a park within  the city center. Water and electricity as well as a toilet are on site. Dariusz knew immediately what is involved in our project and supports us greatly. The cafeteria and the toilet in the town hall are always accessible during the day for us.

This makes our life here immensely comfortable and we can turn to the essential things to us here: Face Europe got the 9th Polish face today. 8 of these have then been created in Slupsk.

click on the picture to get to the TV feature

Dariusz established contact to the local TV: since Wednesday we are represented with a comprehensive video there. Similarly, the City Journal and the local newspaper have mentioned us.

On Wednesday, I wanted to buy a piece of cloth. Michael had given us an ancient folding chair which I wanted to renew. Since I have my sewing machine on board, it is possible for me to sew larger projects. The saleswoman, Beata and her daughter Kalina are now also in the project. The piece of fabric for the chair I got on top of it as a gift. The chair is now freshly made with a fabric that will still be good in 100 years. It will always remind us of Slupsk. 

Between Monday and Friday 8 portraits have been created and inquiries are still continuing.

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Poland in Giant steps

Blog post July 14 2019

On Thursday, July 11, 2019 at 18 o’clock after three months stopover in Austria, we finally set the ball rolling to the north.

What took us so long? The upgrading of  Big Fredi from a light truck up to 3.5 tonnes to an RV with a total gross weight of 5 tons. Our old Sir got new strong springs built in. Moreover Wilfried had to Go through the truck driver’s license Procedere along with annoying exams. The cost for this fun was enormous. For this we are now probably one of a few legal vehicles in the motorhome area on the road, which is not overloaded. Driving pleasure with the new springs has increased dramatically. The rocking is over. Big Fredi drives as if on rails. Also while the car is standing the rocking motion as before is history.

So we chugged since Thursday in small tranches up to the north of Poland. On Tuesday we are expected from our friends in Kaliningrad, where we will take a week off. After the long three months in Austria, the holiday will be good for us.

We are in the middle of a wooded area near Pruski, about 180 km from the border with Kaliningrad. It is very quiet here. During the day many people in the car or on bikes have passed the gravel road next to our place. Now it’s quiet again. Nothing can be heard or seen. The blueberries, which were left behind by the pickers are very small and dry. Taste is not exciting. It’s not really worth it to bend down for hours for a few berries. Perhaps our next pitch on a lake is a better choice.

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