Elizabeth and Barbara (Genealogy Tour)

My sister Barbara & I loved our tour. While we hope to return to Poland in 3 or 4 years, this was truly a once in a lifetime trip.

It was really worthwhile to have you start researching records prior to our arrival. There some names and addresses to work with. We were blessed with very kind people in the records offices where our grandparents and their ancestors lived. MAGDA worked her charm and even one cranky lady went out of her way to help us. We were further blessed by having so many records that were still in good condition. We obtained additional names and some more recent addresses.

We met many cousins from both our grandfather’s family and our grandmother’s family. We were greeted warmly and welcomed as if known all our lives by these good people. Our guide MAGDA was patient and kind to all, most especially to the older folks. Every place we went she would draw a little family tree to show the family connection. We even added an extra day, returning to Kolbuszowa area, to visit more family members. A family reunion is being planned at SKANSEN during our next trip.

We cannot say enough good things about MAGDA. She advised us, early on, that you don’t always find family members. She had a wonderful was with people on the records office. She went out of her way to be kind to both new friends and family members. She was flexible when we wanted to head back and visit more relatives. We almost feel like she is one of our cousins.

Our other guides, JAMES and RENATA, were really good.

JAMES was very accommodating when we chose to make a few changes to original plans. He helped us find a pharmacy and hair salon. He suggested some less strenuous, but beautiful alternatives. Krakow, having hot chocolate, on a museum terrace that overlooked the Old Town Square. We heard & saw the bugler. It was a beautiful view and will stay in our memories forever. JAMES answered our many questions. We met a cousin on the Jewish Old Town. JAMES stayed with us until he was sure her English was good enough for us to communicate with her. We enjoyed the location and food at the hotel in the Jewish Old Town. The food was very good & there were other English speaking guests. JAMES was thoughtful, informative & fun.

The salt mine was fantastic. We did have shaky legs during this.

The mountains were beautiful. Castles & gardens were impressive. Museums were informative.

I would say we liked everything we did. Slowing the pace with a coffee by a lake or hot chocolate on a roof terrace only made it more beautiful.

Barbara and I have been talking about this trip for years. My husband said, ‘If not now when’? Bless him for that push. Thank you (Aga) and Zenon for making this such a wonderful trip. We truly hope we will be able to do it again in 3 or 4 years.


Elizabeth Smith