Sunday, July 17, 2011

From Bydgoszcz to Szczecin to ............

Leaving Bydgoszcz Saturday morning, we started out along typical 2-lane country roads. Traffic was heavy, and we were not making good time.
We came to this intersection and thought, "No big deal! We've been at many train crossings....they don't last for long. Little did we know...
...this was an EXTRA long train. Not only did we have to wait for this train to go by, but 20 minutes later another train coming the opposite direction traveled through this same intersection as we all sat waiting to cross.
And all of this maneuvering was being done by this lady in the orange vest. Talk about power! This was a switching station and she was in charge. The traffic was backed up for kilometers and kilometers.
After 30 minutes, traffic was ready to roll again!
As we rounded a turn, it was 'every man for himself' as we tried to make up for lost time! This is typical on the roads we travel...very fast cars and then very slow trucks (or tractors) carrying heavy loads. It keeps President Nielson awake! Notice this guy is passing around a turn, going over two solid lines, on coming traffic- which he really couldn't see coming around the corner, just make it work. There is only one rule traveling the roads of Poland... just don't hit anyone! Move over and two lanes become three or even four if needed. President will be one terrible driver on the highways back home. He has really picked up some bad habits.

We finally reach the city of Szczecin ('Stettin' in German)...which was the main port for land-locked Berlin until 1945. At that time, the Red Army (Russians) passed through on its way to Berlin and left over half of the city in ruins.

A statue in front of the main train station along the Odra River.

There are many beautiful parts to this city....

It was a hot day and these kids found some real use from the water feature in front of one of the historical buildings.

Szczecin is home to several national museums including this one....the grand Maritime Museum.
It is located on a hill next to the Naval Academy above the waterfront. It is stunning and huge! If you zoom in on this picture, you can see our car parked by the giant light pole. We kept an eye on it because we weren't sure if we were parked legally or not!

The Szczecin Branch. On this day Brother Henryk Stankiewicz was sustained and then set apart as the Branch President. Elder Leimer had been serving in that capacity but its always great to have a local member serve as Branch President. (L toR): Elder Rogers, Lucasz, Investigator, Elder Leimer, Investigator, Kamilla, President Stankiewicz, Grazyna and Stefan.

Here Brother Henryk is preparing for his Sunday School lesson. He is well prepared with scriptures and doctrine. It was a great lesson.

Elder Rogers played a wonderful musical number during sacrament meeting. This is a gifted and talented missionary. It was one of the best musical numbers we have heard while on our mission. This proves that when mothers encourage their children to practice the piano, it pays off. You will use it one day!

Our great Elders in Szczecin- Elders Rogers and Leimer. They are as far away from the mission home and office as you can get, but they are close to our hearts. We love and appreciate all they do.

Sunday afternoon Elders Leimer and Rogers, President and I got in the car and headed for Poznan. We were taking the Elders with us for District Meeting. As always, there were interesting things to see!

As we traveling on one of the three great highways in Poland, we found this unique "animal crossing". This stucture has netting across the highway and goes down to the ground on each side. Small animals or critters can crawl over this walkway on the netting to go from one forest to the other. Pretty ingenious.
What would be a trip without seeing another Great Bridge in Poland. Tell me where in the world you will find such colorful and imaginative bridges. This is part of beautiful Poland. And there are more.....
What more can I say... this was another bridge a few miles down the road.
As was personal favorite for the day. White bridge, white picture! Maybe it's because we don't have too many bridges in Las Vegas, but I am still fascinated with these beautiful structures!

We made it to Poznan that night. The weather was good, only a little rain, the company was great. Check in tomorrow for the Poznan District Meeting!

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