A year ago, I had Zenon from PolishOrigins.com do some research for me as well a Virtual Tour at the recommendation of a friend from my local Genealogy Society and as most pleased. Following that, an opportunity arose for me to visit Poland this year (2008) with little time for preparation on my part so, of course, I contacted Zenon with the hope that he would be able to escort us and he was.
Zenon met us in Krakow in early July, 2008 and took us to the Tarnow/Radgoszcz area where my father’s maternal family was from (surname SPERBER). Because these ancestors were all Jewish, I knew their shtetls were all but obliterated during the war so I did not anticipate meeting any relatives but I mainly wanted to visit the ancestral towns. We also visited Kolbuszowa, Sokolow MLP, Trzebos and Rzeszow (surname BIER) with Zenon making arrangements for overnight stays at tourist farmhouses in convenient places at our request prior to our visit.
Zenon was extremely reliable, flexible and did a great job of choosing places that were very nice and comfortable and at affordable prices. His driving was wonderful and safe and he was knowledgeable about the places we visited and called ahead to make sure everything was in order while we were on the road. We spent one day in the Rzeszow Archives with the books that needed searching prearranged and ready for us when we arrived. No request was ignored.
He also did things for us that were above and beyond the call of duty, in fact, despite the fact that he lives a 40 minute train ride outside of Warsaw and our train to Germany was to leave from the somewhat confusing train station there at 7:25AM on a Saturday morning, he graciously insisted on coming back to Warsaw to assist us in carrying our luggage to the station (our very nice hotel, The Polonia Palace, was about 2 blocks away?a long two blocks with heavy bags!) and making sure our tickets were in order and that we were on the correct platform and space for our train. What a feeling of comfort and security that was since we speak NO Polish!
All in all, I can’t say enough about the wonderful time we had, how exceptional Zenon was in every way not only during the time we were with him, but in the pre-planning and post-trip follow up and I couldn’t recommend him more highly and I now consider him a very dear friend!
If anyone would like to contact me personally about Zenon and/or our trip, I will be glad to receive your email at mbwilson(at)jhu.edu.