Dale and Mary (Genealogy Tour)

Your choice of guides for our trip was excellent. They were passionate about their subjects and very knowledgeable. Your choice of Zbigniew was particularly good. Being around someone for most of the day for 15 days could be trying or a nightmare, but Zbigniew made our trip particularly enjoyable.

This trip was probably the most pleasurable trip we’ve evertaken. Zbigniew worked hard for long hours every day to find as much information as he could about Mary’s heritage and where her ancestors lived. He and Mary found many new names for her family tree, and where he could. Zbigniew took us to the places where her ancestors lived. We visited the churches where her ancestors attended church and where they were baptized, married and buried. He also located distant living relatives with whom we visited. He also located a manor where Mary’s great grandfather served as security and her great grandmother served as a maid. They were able to walk the grounds of this manor to see where her ancestors worked.

During the days, Zbigniew was very courteous, helped us with any language difficulties and also tried to help us improve what little Polish we knew. When were located from one place to another he helped us deal with our heavy bags. When he and Mary were working on Mary’s genealogy I would wander around the area with my binoculars looking for birds. Zbigniew helped me get a SIM card for my phone so that we could communicate when separated.

Zbigniew gave us loads of information about Polish history and heritage, and also showed us several historically significant sites. The local guides Adam and Lukasz overwhelmed us with local historical information and amazing city sights in Poznan and Gdansk. I hope we can retain a fraction of what we heard. We are going to read the Norman Davies books about Poland.

I enjoyed my time with Jakub. He speaks English very well and is an excellent tutor on Polish birds. Sebastian did not speak much English, but Zbigniew went a long and translated. Sebastian showed us the great cormorant colony and gave us information about maintaining the colony, yet preserving the forest.

In Bialowieza, Arek lead Zbigniew and I to several areas to successfully see many target birds. With help of the guides I was able to see 54 birds new to me and 104 total species. Zbigniew said he didn’t know Poland had so many birds.
All the guides were excellent, but Zbigniew became more a friend, than just a guide.

Thanks for arranging our first wonderful trip to Poland.

Dale and Mary
Georgia, USA