The Gnome's Feb. 16-29, 2008 Business Trip
Paul and our intrepid Gnome returned to Europe the last two weeks of February, 2008 for another extended business trip. The Gnome has gained fans amongst Paul's European co-workers, and they now insist he accompany Paul on every trip.
The following chronicles their trip to Luka and Piestany, Slovakia, Krakow, Poland, Montecchio, Italy, and Leese, Germany.
A word on the Gnome's name: his friends he's spent time with insist that he needs a name more than just "the Gnome". Based on their suggestions, he now has two names:
The first is from our friends Aleksander and Alicja; being from Poland, they and I thought that "Fryderyk", after the famous Polish composer Chopin, fit him well.
Our friends Peter and Elke, (you'll meet Peter later on), thought the name of a German folk character that lives in the woods named "De Heinzelmann" was perfect due to his likeness of the character.
So, the Gnome is officially Fryderyk De Heinzelmann.
The return trip to Piestany, Slovakia, was to conduct a special 4 day training session at the Coca-Cola water plant in nearby Luka. As has become his habit, Fryderyk likes to window shop.
Fryderyk with Paul and his co-worker, Aleksander, returned to the local "Jazz Restaurant" in the town square. (visited by them last fall's trip).
Fryderyk found enjoyment with many of the items displayed in the restaurant.
Quite an eclectic mix.
Back to window shopping. He's been in search of his own kind since his trip last fall.
He thought this reminded him of "The Christmas Story".
Here he is at the Coca-Cola plant where they produce a natural water brand for Coke called Bonaqua.
He and Paul couldn't wait to show this picture to Linda!
From left to right: Vladimir, our Slovak interpreter for the training, Fryderyk, and Alexander.
Pictures in and around the town of Piestany.
The next few shots show a resort located in the center of town famous for its mineral springs with healing powers.
Quite a large campus with two hotels in addition to the healing springs buildings.
Along the bank of the river running through town.
On to Wrorclaw, Poland, located in the western part of the country. The stop here was just an overnight stay on our way to audit a new system at a small glass plant in the town of Wymiarki.
Aleksander posed this photo, inspired by Michal Jackson.
Hiding on the tounge of the bear statue.
Paul with his friend.
The next few are inside a very unique bar; it has a huge amount of the former communists' propaganda photos promoting the Proletariet working hand in hand for the good of the State.
Darker days of a now much brighter Poland!
(Fryderyk was very nervous in this bar, he's a devout capitalist.)
The caption reads: "What did you do to fulfill the plan?"
He found a like friend!
More window shopping. Beautiful antiques.
A woodsman Gnome! Support for our German friend's suggestion to name him "De Heinzelmann".
These Gnome statues were all over the town square.
After a long week, returning to Aleksander's home with his wife Alicja, (and Fryderyk), to watch one of the Krakow home soccer team matches.
Window shopping isn't his only passion...
On to the Krakow town square on a clear, cold Feb. morning for the weekend.
Look closely at the knight's hand...
One of many very old churches throughout Poland.
Climbing an interesting gate.
Aleks and Alicja took Paul and Fryderyk on a tour through the salt mines in Krakow. Very interesting; this was a working salt mine until fairly recently.
ALL carved out of salt!
Colorfully lit salt Gnomes!
This is a huge salt cathedral carved entirely out of salt. The room did not exist, this was carved over decades. (Over 7 if Aleksander and Paul remember correctly.)
Again, all salt.
Standing in the cathedral. (Sorry for the horizontal view; Didn't want to re-load the picture.)
One of the old building fronts still remaining. All of Krakow looked like this prior to the fall of the communist government.
In a relaxing underground bar in Krakow.
The long column to the Gnome's right is a beer!
Later on, to a coffee house for coffee and live music.
Same apology for the orientation.
The band wasn't using the piano.
Aleksander thought says he has another passion, no?
Paul and Aleksander.
Alicja and Fryderyk.
In the town square of Neinburg, Germany, near our Service office in Leese.
He liked the rental.
A WWI memorial in a small town near Leese.
Onto Montecchio, Italy, and an evening tour through the town after midnight.
Near the end of a long trip.
With Paul's and Linda's friend Peter, ( Elke, his wife is not shown), outside of Munich. Peter came up with the name De Heinzelmann.
In their beautiful home.
Looking out from the upstairs window of Peter and Elke's home.
Fryderyk is always watching the political scene; he particularly liked this one.
Stay tuned; he's currently on another trip to Eastern Europe. More to come.
Paul and Fryderyk