September 7, 2015 – Rzeszow to Lublin, Poland.

After a pleasant breakfast the next morning, we left for our first excursion of the day – on foot. We walked near and through the town square of Rzeszow, observing Jewish monuments; a synagogue, which is now an art museum and city archives; and the site of a former graveyard, which now is a park without any tombstones. The Rzeszow town square is very pretty, having a town hall with a date of 1897 engraved on the pediment.

We did a lot of driving today, much of it on pretty bumpy roads. We mentioned to Dariusz that the villages we were driving through seemed generally prosperous, the houses very attractive and substantial-looking. He explained that Poles spend all the money they get on their houses, rather than on other material comforts or foreign travel. About the crops along the way: we saw field upon field of tobacco, frequently people harvesting the huge leaves; corn was still growing; there were many, many fields with rows of berries, these also being harvested.

After what seemed like a very long drive, part of the time next to a railroad track (from now on, seeing a train line running through forest will carry heavy meaning for me), we arrived at Zamość. First, we looked at the outside of a beautifully restored Sephardic synagogue; then we walked another block to the town square. It was charming, with beautiful colored facades, arcades, and an imposing town hall with an impressive spiral staircase leading up to the front door from ground level. Since it was time for lunch, we tourists found a restaurant below street level and enjoyed another meal together.

Our next stop was a town named Izbica. All we did here was walk up a steep, narrow path to a former Jewish cemetery on the top of a hill. This town once was inhabited by thousands of Jews, but they were all murdered, and no Jews live here today.

When we arrived in Lublin, we drove around town a little, visited a synagogue, and made our way to the Grand Hotel Lublinianka, where later in the evening we had a lovely farewell dinner because this was our last night with our group. About our hotel: the name was not misleading. It’s an old building but very well appointed, with high ceilings, grand staircases, plenty of light, traditional furnishings, no musty smell, large rooms. Best of all, our room was in the front of the hotel, with two large windows overlooking the bustling main streets of Lublin.

Jewish Cemetery near Rzeszow

Jewish Cemetery near Rzeszow

Former Synagogue in Rzeszow, Now City Art Museum and Archives

Former Synagogue in Rzeszow, Now City Art Museum and Archives

Main Plaza of Zamosc

Main Plaza of Zamosc

Building Façade Made of Tombstones in Izbica

Building Façade Made of Tombstones in Izbica

School and Synagogue in Lublin

School and Synagogue in Lublin

Interior of Synagogue in Lublin

Interior of Synagogue in Lublin

 

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