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and life along the winding road

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Shopping Trip - Poland - Three

By late morning we were arriving at the German/Polish border. The German border guards came on board and checked our passports and conversed with the drivers(mostly by gesturing). We were comparing notes on Polish Pottery and I was excited to see the beautiful blue and white patterns in the shops and warehouses of Boleslawiec. We pulled to the Polish check point and then the excited chatter stopped. The women looked furtively at each other and I wondered if this was such a good idea. You can buy Polish Pottery on E-Bay for heaven's sake, why were we driving into a territory that seemed unstable? Two armed guards boarded the bus and tried to converse with the drivers who only spoke Italian and apparently the guards only spoke Polish with a smidgen of English. At the back of the bus, they spoke to two women and escorted them from the vehicle. One of the ladies followed them and was gone for some time. There was little more than low mumbling on the bus and I wondered if turning around and spending the day in Germany would be an option. After thirty minutes, one of the ladies came back on the bus. The two girls detained were Turkish (married to U.S. Air Force men) and when they were questioned admitted to being Muslim. They were both denied entry to Poland. After some deliberation it was decided that they would wait at the facility on the German border for us to return. With heavy hearts we left the two ladies behind safe in the protective area of the German border and headed to Boleslawiec.
The day was chilly but the sun was shining and we stopped at fifteen ceramic stores in all. The Italian drivers had now figured out that they needed to take turns sleeping. We stopped at a small restaurant for dinner while a few of the ladies continued shopping. Arriving back at the Polish border we picked up the two Turkish ladies. They had spent the day walking between the Polish and German border. The German soldiers had taken them to a truck stop to get something to eat. They were relieved to get back on the bus. Apparently the problem had been that when they were first escorted from the bus the Polish Polizia inadvertently stamped their passports and it was thought that they had tried to enter a second time without permission. The luggage compartments were full of purchases, we were excited to be heading home and began driving through Germany toward Dresden where we would stop for something to eat and refuel the bus, but our stop in Dresden ended up being more than a few minutes or even a few hours . . .


Joanne said...

this is quite a trip. I never knew you went to Poland. Glad I read your blog. What a hoot!

Helen Ginger said...

Okay, I'd love to travel, but I'm not envious of this trip!

Straight From Hel

Menopausal musing said...

Great post, but you are mistress of the art of leaving us danling at the end.......... looking forward to the next one.... :O)

K9friend said...

Great experiences, but undoubtedly some scarey moments here. It's unnerving to know that someone can simply detain you on whim!