After a very nice time in Wroclaw on I headed off by Polski Bus on a 2 hour drive South to Katowice to take up an offer made to two Polish Ladies I met on "The Tandem House language" course to come and pay them a visit and let them be my local guide.
I was met by Monika at the Bus station and driven to her flat in a Town 8 Kms away called Mikalow, where I would spend the next 5 nights and would meet up with her friend Katya later in the week.
The first outing was to a local Park with a Palace / Hunting Lodge set in the grounds in a place called Pszczyna the photos show the interior however picture taking of the grounds were curtailed due to rain.
The Grand Entrance Hall was manned by Liveried butlers in the day, now you can get an audio guide or bring your own ( Monika ) as I did.
The Dukes wife was an English woman who brought a touch of class to the place with her private suite of rooms, tapestries adorned the walls.
In case I didn't mention it, the Duke was a keen huntsman and his trophies not only hung on the walls but you may see more adorning most of the rooms throughout the tour.
The trophies seemed to take up every spare inch of room on the walls and around the walls The Duke was certainly an excellent shot, but I found it strange in one room amongst all the remains was an original copy of a famous Christian bible ( I can't remember the name ) and I wondered if he used it to read the last rites to all the animals shot !!!
Further along the tour In a separate wing were more drawing rooms and a room of mirrors which was actually two enormous mirrors positioned at each end of the room to make it even larger - formally a banquet Hall but now set up for music recitals. This would have been used to entertain royalty as well as other guests. There was even a room kept for the queen if she ever decided to call in which she did often.
The Duchess kept the trophies out of the main parts of the house where she had dominion and there were some fabulous Chandeliers and Mirrors to reflect the light. The bathroom was very modern for the day with a fire in the corner to keep the room warm. And what about the four poster bed to retire to after your bath - Yes it is Gold.
After all the hard work my guide had put in showing me around this opulent palace there could be only one reward so after a short walk we found a coffee shop where we could shelter from the rain and from the size of the coffee and cake Monika knew we were in for a downpour.
Tomorrow at my request we will head off for me to view first hand a reminder of the horrors that took place close to this beautiful part of Poland during WW2 - The Auschwitz - Birkenau Museum.