Sunday, November 15, 2009

Let's go on a pottery run to POLAND!

Welcome to Poland- Bolestaweic, Poland to be exact. Where the ceramika flows freely like the water at Multnomah Falls. Myself and 9 other co-workers road-tripped to Poland early Saturday morning to purchase some of the best pottery in Europe. (And I do mean early-- we left town at 7am!)
We made a weekend of it and stayed at the Villa Ambasada hotel. So far, it was the most gorgeous hotel I have stayed at in Europe. Between the ten of us we rented an entire floor of rooms and were able to secure a cheaper than average rate! Each room with a king-sized bed, heated bathroom floor, vintage-antique decorations, cushy, captains chairs, and flat screen TVs (with a few English channels) was worth the 55 Euro per night. (55 Euro for this quality of accomodation is dirt cheap as far as European hotels go...). The in-hotel restaurant was wonderful... great food and the company I was with couldn't have been better! We ate, drank wine, shared supberb desserts and talked for hours into the evening... But the hotel was only the beginning of the exquisite weekend.
The above pottery pieces were from the actual factory that makes the pottery. But you can find these large decorations all throughout the town...
Here is a sampling of the pottery pieces I purchased for myself. I was really excited to find these small bowls and olive plates for serving dips, oil & vinegar, or Tamari for sushi dipping! You wouldn't believe the designs they have... I am of course attracted to the floral prints. And all the blues match my kitchen really well. Not pictured above, I also purchased a large mug for tea and hot chocolate- very important now that the winter is settling in. My second favorite purchase was two soup bowls that can be heated in the oven- perfect for French Onion soup with melted Swiss to warm up a cold evening or also useful for a steamy bowl of oatmeal with brown sugar and bananas! Yum!
This is my favorite piece though. It is a deep casserole dish- perfect for enchiladas or roasting a chicken and vegetables. I love the combination of the blue roses across the bottom and the red flowers on the side.

All the Pottery is of a quality rated 1-6. Quality 1 & 2 can be heated in the oven. In fact, you can put the pottery cold from the fridge straight into the oven and it is not supposed to crack. Quality 3 & 4 is durable, kitchen-ware but not to be heated. (I bought a small cheese and cracker tray that is quality 4, as well as a large salad bowl.) Quality 5 & 6 is decorative ware and although not useful it is incredibly beautiful. Depending on the store you are browsing (and there are like 10-15 individual stores in this town) you can find certain patterns, sets, mis-matched pieces and some stores even have rooms with pottery that is 30-40% off... This is where I found my new butter dish! The best part about this pottery run is that the Polish zloty is 4.1 to 1 euro... so everything you buy is super inexpensive for incredibly beautiful pottery! I am increasingly amazed at how every countries currency and exchange rate is so different.

It was both an adventure and a relaxing weekend in Poland. After only a few wrong turns on crazy Polish highways we made it to Poland and in plenty of time for shopping. Today, on our return drive, we drove through Poland to Dresden, Germany then through Northern Czech Republic to Prague. It was a beautiful drive- sun shining, blue skies, with lots of fall colors through three very different country-sides. I am grateful to have these opportunities to travel outside the Czech Republic and experience new things. Next up, (before I fly home in December) is a weekend to Austria for the Vienna Christmas Markets... looking forward to it!
Love you all-- Nikki

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