19. Shellie’s Tour to Ancestral Places. The last day.

Our last day in the village.

The night before we left, we stopped by Jozef’s bell foundry to say goodbye.  He was not home, but his wife Maria promised to give him our best regards and thanks for a wonderful visit. We also stopped by his mother’s house to bid farewell to his parents.  Mama Kulawiak said that we would probably never see one another again, but told her I would always remember her in my heart!  I really wish I could have gone back far enough in our family tree to find a relationship with her family!

We also took a few more drives around the area so I could get more photos. Odrowaz is on hilly land, and the main village sits in the center of an area surrounded by 7 hills.  Odrowaz has been called the Rome of the Podhale region of Poland because Rome was also build near 7 hills: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_hills_of_Rome
Although I looked at Odrowaz on the map before my trip, now that I have seen the land with my own eyes, the map now has more meaning to me.  When I look at a satellite image of Odrowaz, I can now see the 7 hills surrounding it.  Amost all of the hills have a dark green area where the trees cover the hill top and I can see the farms running along the valleys inside.

Odrowąż on google map (click to enlarge).

Odrowąż on google map (click to enlarge).

On our last day, Victor took us to see where the Kulawiak house once stood.  The Kulawiak home stood in an area just a little to the north west of the center of the village.   The site was on a slope and overlooked a small valley and hills nearby.  Victor sold the land several years ago. As we approached the site, Victor pointed out 2 barns and said there were once 2 houses (one little, one bigger) near where the barns now stood.  The houses were torn down many years ago and all that remains is a cellar, now covered by corrugated tin.  Victor and I then dug up some land for me to save and we spent some time taking photos and talking about the land until we were chased off by an old woman with a hay rake!

Original home stood near these barns

Original home stood near these barns

Old buidling near homesite

Old buidling near homesite

Kulawiak home site was left of this barn

Kulawiak home site was left of this barn

Kulawiak earth

Kulawiak earth

Our visit ended to quickly, but we know that we will see Victor again, maybe in Chicago.  We gave him a bottle of vodka to remember us by and soon headed off to Krakow for the rest of our trip.

Time to say goodbye

Time to say goodbye

A last look at Odrowaz

A last look at Odrowaz

Zenon dropped us off in the historic part of Krakow, where we reserved an apartment for a week.  After hugs and promises to update him on my genealogy efforts, Zenon headed back to his family in Warsaw.  My blog ends here but my journey continues.  I can’t wait to share all of my photos and memories with my family in the US.  If anyone reading this blog is considering a Forefathers Traces Tour with Zenon, you will not regret it.  This trip was so exciting and rewarding for me and I could not have had a better guide during this wondrous journey to my ancestral home.  Thank you Zenon!

Shellie

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5 Responses to “19. Shellie’s Tour to Ancestral Places. The last day.”

  1. Lisa says:

    Your blog has been wonderful! I’ve enjoyed following your trip and looking at all the amazing pictures. The area looks very old but very beautiful.

    I hope you got lots of information regarding your Polish roots. It sounds like you met some wonderful people (except for the cranky priest and the old woman with the hay rake LOL!)

    Enjoy the rest of your trip. Thanks for sharing!

    Best Regards,

    Lisa : )

  2. Zenon says:

    Shellie,

    It was not only marvelous adventure and pleasure to assist you in your ancestral trip but also great and satisfying learning experience. The best reward for me was seeing your happiness and excitement when we were gradually uncovering your roots in Odrowaz and especially when we found Wiktor in Załuczne :-)))).

    Thank you and let us know when you meet in Chicago or Atlanta (or anywhere else) with your newly found family!

    Best wishes

    Zenon

  3. Shellie says:

    Thank You so much Zenon! I miss Poland and can’t wait to go back! My tour was amazing and thank you for making it happen for me!

  4. Brandy Piotrowski Dowen says:

    Shellie:
    I have enjoyed reading your family adventure in Poland while crying tears of joy for you and your family. I wish you many more blessing during your ancestral hunt. Zenon-you are so wonderful for helping so many people. Shellie-I am at the beginning stages of taking my search to Poland now and I will remember you and Zenon during my journey.

    Many Blessings,
    Brandy Piotrowski Dowen

  5. Shellie says:

    Brandy,
    Thank you for the kind words. I would love to hear about your Poland journey. Please let me know all about it! Shellie

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