Archive for the ‘Traveling Central Europe’ Category

My work as a tour guide in the Sanok Skansen. Interview with Maria Grabowska.

Friday, February 12th, 2021

This is the second part of the article which was originally published in “Rodziny” – The Journal of the Polish Genealogical Society of America, issued in winter 2021.


My interlocutor is Maria Grabowska, who has been working as a guide in the open-air museum in Sanok for many years. She is an ethnographer, regonalist, a fantastic personality who very often guides our guests in the Sanok museum.


Maria Grabowska guiding in Sanok during Galicia Tour.


What Open-Air Museums Can Teach You about the Life of Your Ancestors?

Thursday, February 11th, 2021


This article was originally published in “Rodziny” – The Journal of the Polish Genealogical Society of America, issued in winter 2021.


As a tour and research manager in PolishOrigins, one of my main tasks is to create itineraries
for our guests. I am an ethnologist and ethnographer by education, so for years I have been recommending everyone to visit open-air museums during their stay in Poland. In this article I seek to convince the readers of Rodziny, descendants of Polish emigrants, to do the same.

I remember the first time I visited an open-air museum; it was on a school trip when I was a kid.


The Museum of the Masovian Countryside in Sierpc.



PolishOrigins and PGSA Galicia Tour, Sept. 22 – Oct. 3 2019

Tuesday, November 19th, 2019

Phyllis Zych Budka, Editor

Fifteen people met in Krakow to start on a PolishOrigins / Polish Genealogical Society of America Galicia Tour September 22 – October 3, 2019.  Reflecting Galicia’s complex history, some ancestors identified as Polish, others as Ukrainian.  The group included a mix of people at the start of their genealogy quest as well as others filling in some missing details.  Below are short summaries of our 12 day trip experience which we share to encourage others to follow in our path.


In front of the State Archive in Sanok


We will take you ANYWHERE in Central Europe.

Monday, December 17th, 2018


In the correspondence with our future guests, a few questions and doubts repeat frequently. Let me answer to some of them today:

“Do you travel to Ukraine?”

“Do you do tours in Vilnius?”

“My grandfather emigrated from Silesia, will you travel there with me?”

We are based in Kraków, so I understand your doubts. But: We will take you ANYWHERE in Central Europe on the tailor-made genealogy tours. By Central Europe I mean: the whole territory of today’s  Poland and our neighboring countries: Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania. Those are the most popular destinations, where we organize trips regularly.



10 great books about Poland that will give you the new perspective.

Tuesday, March 27th, 2018


Are you planning to travel to Poland?  If yes, you would most certainly want to get the most out of your visit.  Do you wish to really immerse yourself in the ambiance of the country and to understand its history, culture and traditions? To also gain an insider’s perspective?

This is exactly what we are trying to achieve during our tours. But, before you arrive, there are so many things that you can do on your own! One of the best is to get to know some Polish literature. Do not stop at reading some of the travel guides, like Rick Steeves books or Lonely Planet…




Country Party in old good style!

Friday, March 24th, 2017


Since 2013 our guests participating in Galicia Tour are hosted by the Cultural Center in Strzyżów and “Kłosowianie” folk group. These country parties became the tours highlights! Watch some of the best moments from 2016.



More details about the tour:




Kingdom of Poland Tour – 2016 upgrade.

Monday, February 15th, 2016


2015 was the first season of our Kingdom of Poland Tour. Months of preparations resulted in one ‘debut’ trip.

Winter is always a time for improvement, because after each touring season, we analyse our guests’ feedback, and focus on every single detail of the finished tours, to strive for excellence! We want you to be immersed deeper into the atmosphere of the country, and have the chance to better understand the stories behind the places that you are visiting.  During the organization process of each of our tours, we also put a lot of effort into building a good, long lasting relationship with the hotels, restaurants, local guides and all of the people that  are cooperating with us. We believe that it has a strong influence on the ambiance of our Tours.

2015-06-30 10.33.50

Tykocin, an important residence of Polish and Lithuanian kings since medieval times.

This year We made several improvements in the itinerary, to make it even more attractive for you. See below what we have changed.


Bobbin Lace Festival in Bobowa

Monday, December 21st, 2015

There is a little town named Bobowa in Poland. It is situated in Old Galicia, south-east of Krakow. There is not much more than a few streets, two churches, an old synagogue and a main square. But there is also something that you do not see at a first sight – the old tradition of bobbin lace making. It is  not widely known today, but this beautiful handicraft art is still practiced there.

The most tireless bobbin lacemaker in Bobowa :) She works regardless of the weather, the seasons and time of day or night

The most tireless bobbin lacemaker in Bobowa 🙂 She works regardless of the weather, the seasons and time of day or night


What My Ancestors Ate and Drank in Middle Ages?

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

If you ask a contemporary Pole what are traditional Polish dishes, certainly, among others, he will mention ‘schabowy’ (pork chops) with potatoes or ‘bigos’. But only a few know that both dishes are quite new to Polish cuisine.

Potatoes were brought to Europe from America, initially as ornamental plants. Their culinary advantages had not been noticed until the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. In Poland, potatoes became widespread by the end of nineteenth century, which was slightly more than 100 years ago. ‘Kotlet schabowy’ became popular in the PRL period (Communist Poland 1945 – 1989), and it is a copy of the Austrian Viennese style schnitzel (not Wiener Schnitzel which is made from veal). ‘Bigos’ was already known in the sixteenth century, but, in fact, it was rather similar to contemporary ‘goulash’ just pieces of chopped meat. It did not evolve into the contemporary form dishes made of cabbage and meat until the eighteenth century.

Polish Cuisine. Picture source:


Bobbin Lace Making Workshop

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

According to the legend, the first lace was woven by a spider on looms left by the weaver.

The woman was delighted when she saw the subtle weaves and wanted to make the same shape. To make her happy, her beloved made for her some bobbins.

And that was the beginning 🙂

bobbin lace z Etnomanii