Today, May 19, marks my seventh day in Poland, and my third day in Poznań.
We started our day by walking to the University after eating the breakfast buffet in the hotel dining room. We arrived back at the Collegium Iuridicum Novum and worked on our projects with our groups. Our other group member, Marta was able to attend today, so we met her and got to know her a little. Viktoria suggested that we go outside to brainstorm, so we went out on the grass outside the college and worked for about an hour. After much deliberation, our group decided to research marketing Patagonia-brand products throughout Poland. We returned inside and received approval for our topic, and then headed down the hall to attend the open lectures from the two Appalachian professors, Dr. Vannoy and Dr. Harris. Dr. Vannoy spoke on the good and bad of growing social media, and Dr. Harris spoke on cybercrime, specifically phishing.
Our group then traveled back to the hotel for a brief rest, and headed over to the Collegium Minusa for a late lunch with the vice-rector of Adam Mickiewitz University, Prof. Dr. Jacek Witkoś. He spoke flawless British English, and had an excellent sense of humor. When he heard that we were trying to find American products to market in Poland, he immediately assumed one of us would market semi-automatic weapons. Our lunch consisted of a tomato-bisque soup with croutons, herb-crusted pork (which according to Dr. Witkoś was 1/3 the size of a normal American pork chop, but only 1/4 the size of a normal Texas pork chop), a salad with corn and tomatoes, boiled potatoes, and fruit pastries for dessert.
After lunch, we immediately boarded a university bus to travel to Kórnik, a town in the countryside outside of Poznań. There, we visited Zamek Kórnicki, which is a castle constructed in the 14th century. Some of the artifacts in the castle dated back over 2,000 years. The history of that region dates back to around 966 AD. The castle was an incredible experience. The artifacts, library, architecture, and other aspects of the castle were fascinating. I don’t believe I had ever been to a building with that many historic artifacts that were all as old as they were. As we toured the castle, one of the young Polish professors of international relations translated as the castle curator gave us a tour.
Following our visit to Kórnik castle, we journeyed through the countryside to a cathedral constructed in the 10th century in a location known as “Cathedral Island”. This, like the other churches we visited, was astonishingly beautiful. It’s official name is Bazylika Archikatedralna Świętych Apostołów Piotra I Pawła, or the Archcathedral Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul. This was by far the largest church we have visited, and had the largest variety of architecture within it. There were many tombs within the church of Poland’s ancient kings and of several saints. The woodwork was especially beautiful.
After the cathedral, we took a short walk down the street to visit the first university building ever established in Poland, dating back to the 1500’s. That university was the foundation of what is today known as Adam Mickiewitz University and several other universities in Poznań that have broken off over the years, mainly due to mid-20th century Soviet demands to keep education small and separated.
We departed from the island and headed to the new Kampus of Adam Mickiewitz University. We took a walk through a the middle of their campus, which reminded me of the new engineering campus at NC State, but with a Bauhaus architectural style with yellow brick. We entered the Collegium Biology and toured the main floor of that building. It was exquisitely nice, and the entire building was a microclimate so they could grow various plants that normally couldn’t thrive in Poland’s harsh winters. Inside, they even grew banana trees that produce fruit the students may eat for free! We also entered their sports complex and toured their basketball gym, swimming pool, workout rooms, and game rooms. It was all very nice, and reminded me (other than the building design) of the SRC at Appalachian.
After dinner, we returned to our hotel and headed out for dinner. Poznań is well known for it’s beef, so we went to an American style tavern called Whiskey in the Jar to try Polish-style hamburgers. I ordered a burger with spicy jalepeńo (ń=ñ in Polish) barbecue sauce. It was delicious, and the meat was exceptional. We returned to the hotel and worked on our project for a few hours before heading to bed. It was a wonderful but tiring day, and I look forward to seeing what tomorrow has in store.