Today, May 18, marks my sixth day in Poland, and my second in Poznań.
Before our departure this morning, we ate breakfast at the hotel’s complimentary breakfast buffet. Though it was not nearly as large as the buffet in the previous hotel, it was still very delicious. I was impressed with their large selection of pig meats.
After breakfast, we departed for the Collegium Iuridicum Novum to the Faculty (Department in American speak) of Law and Administration. After a brisk 20 minute walk, we arrived at our destination and were greeted warmly with a gift bag. We entered lecture hall beta and received a lecture on the history of the Poznań education system leading up to the naming of Adam Mickiewitz University in 1955 (which was a long, but very interesting story). Our Polish student counterparts entered the room and were seated in the lecture hall. Only one member of our group, Viktoria, was able to make it today. Because of Facebook, she immediately recognized me and came to sit with me. We then split into our groups and were allotted time to get to know each other and introduce one another in front of the room. After receiving our project assignments, we were given the rest of the day to use however we wished. Most of the students, including Viktoria, were scheduled to work for the rest of the day, so we decided to wait to work on our project and instead go explore the city a bit more.
After our meeting concluded, our group partner walked us back to our hotel, where we split for the day. A large group of us decided to walk to a mall called Strary Browar, or Old Brewery Mall. It was a magnificent mall, with a wide variety of stores and a beautiful façade, as it is a repurposed industrial brewery made of red brick. We ate lunch at the mall, which was good as far as mall food is concerned. I got gnocchi, chicken meatballs, a salad, and broccoli pierogis. Afterward, we explored the mall for several hours. I was very impressed with the stores there. I found that even though they stocked small quantities compared to American stores, their selection was much more refined. There were several stores from which I would have worn every article of clothing, which would constitute a small miracle in America. Our group finished at the mall and headed outside to a food stand to buy water and smoothies. There was a sizable park that bordered the backside of the mall, so we relaxed for a while and sipped our drinks in an attempt to cool down from the intensity of the mall.
After we had rested a while, we walked through one of the shopping districts in the city. I stopped to get Lody, which is swirled vanilla and dark chocolate ice cream. We continued to walk through the city and explore for a couple more hours. We saw a variety of impressive street performers, including a cellist using a loop pedal, and a classical violinist who was exceptionally skilled. Our most significant stop was Fara Poznańska, which is the St. Stanislaus (the Bishop) Church. This Jesuit church was by far the most beautiful architecture we have thus far visited in Poland. Our entire group fell silent in awe as we entered.
After our visit to the church, we began to search for a place to eat dinner. We found an authentic Italian restaurant called Pizzeria de Luigi across from a pub we visited yesterday, so we decided to stop there for dinner. I ordered tortellini with pancetta, which was excellent. After stopping by a few more shops, we finally returned to the hotel and began to relax for the evening. A few of the Polish students visited our hotel, so we socialized with them in lobby for a while and then called it an evening.