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.
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!
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.
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!