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Mielno Now and Then

by Agata WoŸniak from NKJO Radom

Some time ago, I took a trip down memory lane remembering my childhood holidays in Mielno. I noticed that year after year my family and I went there for shorter periods of time, starting with five weeks and ending with ten days. Then, we suddenly stopped. After a break of five years I realized I missed it, so I went there together with my closest friends. What I saw was a new Mielno so different from the one I had left behind but at the same time with its unique recognisable features.

MIELNO

 

THEN

NOW

JOURNEY

Getting to the seaside either by train or by Fiat 125p. It was a bit cheaper to go by train than by car but there was a lot of luggage and little leg room in both of them.

Trains are still crowded and those who go by car usually take friends with them to chip in for fuel.

ACCOMMODATION

Camp sites and guest houses were common. Although renting rooms in buildings was more expensive than tents, living conditions were not quite satisfactory there.

It’s much cheaper to live in a tent but also more dangerous. Guest houses, though expensive, are far better than they used to be.

FOOD

Fried food stands every 10 or 15 metres, delicious waffles with mixed cream and fruit, white Bambino ice-creams with chocolate coating.

Fried fish still popular but the space of 10/15 metres now filled with cafés, bars and restaurants offering various cuisines. Waffles not as fine as they used to be, despite wider range of toppings.

PEOPLE AND THEIR BEHAVIOUR ON THE BEACH

Women with hairy legs, either in swimming costumes or underwear, men in briefs and handkerchiefs on their heads tied at 4 corners, arriving on the beach as white as a sheet and leaving it with a maroon tan, peeling the skin off each other’s backs, eating home-made sandwiches or dinner on the big family blanket.

Smooth and slim bodies, already tanned in sunbeds before going to the beach. The only hairy troglodytes happen to be men and grandparents. People eat ice-creams and hot meals from beach bars located at almost every entrance to the beach.

ENTERTAINMENT

During the day: playing badminton or volleyball on the beach, building sandcastles, buying souvenirs from stalls near promenades, such as necklaces made from shells or bracelets with ”Love or Dump” engraved on them.

In the evenings: playing the guitar by the fire, adults drinking beer or vodka.

During the day: water sports more and more popular; water skiing, windsurfing, volleyball still played on the sand, water slides for children on the beaches, something to jump on or rather fly on – huge inflatables, a lot of beach concerts for all age groups, souvenirs considered tacky.

Flourishing night life: discos under enormous tents and enticing pavement cafés.

Follow-up Task

Using your own personal experience or by interviewing parents or grandparents, compile a similar table showing how holidays have changed in Poland. Consider the following:

  • hiking in the mountains
  • lake and water sports holidays
  • visiting places of historic and cultural interest
  • religious pilgrimages
  • or any other you can think of.

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