While traveling, maintain your strength!

People have asked me how do I maintain my strength and ability to fish, hunt, hike, scuba dive, work out, play sports, etc. as I’m traveling? It’s not hard but it requires discipline of having a regular workout, sleep, and meal schedule. So while I was traveling in Poland, I made sure to go find a gym or book a hotel that had a gym as well as find great food to eat but at the same time eat proportionally so as to not turn into raging hungry pig mode and eat too much to where I can’t workout because I am too full.

Polish ribs

Looks good doesn’t it? Tasty polish ribs where the meat comes easily off the bone.

pato carne Ente bueno tasty duck meat poland cuisine

Potatoes, salad, and duck meat cut into medallions. I couldn’t even tell if the duck was wild or farm-raised because it was cooked that well.

Polish sirloin steak meat done well bisteck cut food meats

Looks like a volcano, doesn’t it? It’s actually mushrooms on top of a sirloin steak that is on top of greens and mashed potatoes.

pescado lago agua dulce pez peces carne polonia cena almuerzo comida polaca polaco polish meal food

I’ve caught Zander in England before but I never ate any of them as I practiced catch-and-release on them. But this Zander was local and it was cooked well and served with an egg tortilla and greens. But the key is that I ate enough (not too little and not too much) to fuel my workouts.

So you need to set yourself through your own personal method of motivation that you WILL maintain discipline in your own life for YOUR own benefit. You have to remember that no one will do it for you. You have to do it for yourself! I mean, if you think about it: What is the standard operation procedure for anything? Especially when you are traveling? Do nothing. So it’s best to break down that invisible wall and not eat stupid or inject stupid into you. Unless you don’t care and you plan on guzzling down all the food and booze that you can get your hands on.

There is nothing wrong with that but however, I don’t have any plans on being a regular consuming tourist. For me, I have goals, a life mission to execute upon and accomplish rather than go through way wanderlessly with no aim or end goal in sight. So that’s why it’s best to have goals and write them down so that way you know what you are going for. For example, I’m big on fishing so I make sure that I workout so that I can fight, reel in, and catch fish much better than other people. I’ve seen other people lose fish because they were not physically strong enough to handle the extra girth and ferocity of a bigger fish which might have been a once-in-lifetime monster! That’s why when that shark in Spain took my bait, I was ready for it. And landed it!

So it’s imperative to understand that if you really want it, then you have to force yourself to get better.

old feudal lord home now hotel renovated present nice simpatico bonito hotel en el campo de Polonia

While going through Poland, I stayed at this nice old estate hotel which probably belonged to a Polish feudal lord. The owner converted the stables into hotel buildings and completely renovated the main building to make it really nice.

gimnasio Fitnessstudio im Polen gym in Poland polonia pequeno en el campo

One of the stables was converted into a physical training/recovery building where there was a swimming pool, sauna, massage therapy room, manicure room, and of course, a gym. I only used the gym as it wasn’t the best in the world but at the same time, not the worst in the world. The key, however, was using the gym to maintain myself rather than do the standard procedure of “letting myself go.” I can eat the great meals in moderation and then workout to burn the calories.

Get fat and lazy? Me? No.

I got plans to catch more fish and hunt more and scuba dive more and whatever else out there that I must do. You must be a rationalization fly that thinks, “Do I land on poop? Or do I work harder to land on my goals?”

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Wroclaw, former capital of the defunct kingdom of Silesia

Wroclaw, pronounced “Vrotswaf” is a fairly big city in Poland with a lot of history as it used to be the capital of Silesia, an old country which changed hands with many countries/empires such as the Holy Roman Empire, Bohemia, and even Germany which saw its name changed, probably for easier pronunciation, “Breslau.” The city had a significant German/Austrian population but however, after World War II, the majority of the German-speakers were forced out leaving it mostly Polish, despite its history (and architecture) having deep German, Austrian, Bohemian (Czech), and even some Soviet influences.

Old town hall built from the 13th to 16th centuries, now housing the Museum of Bourgeois Art Muzeum Sztuki Mieszczańskej Stary Ratusz

At the old town square, there is a building that stands out which used to be the old town hall but now, it’s being as a local museum.

 Market Square Rynek we Wrocławiu wroclaw silesia

Plenty of things to see and much more to eat!

Katedra Kościoła Polskokatolickiego pw św. Marii Magdaleny

There is a grand catholic cathedral in the area and it just sticks out at you.

The place looks more colorful during the day due to all the artistic colors used on the buildings that give it a more lively appearance but night time is also a nice time to check out the city with all of its bars and restaurants offering delectable delights of the Polish cuisine or even imported ones or perhaps a fusion of Polish and international foods.

old town square stary rynek wroclaw

It’s definitely a different look during the night compared to the day.

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Poznan – an underrated city in Poland

The city of Poznan… likely to be completely unknown to the common tourist/traveler since they probably think of Poland and the first cities that come to mind are Warsaw, Krakow, Gdansk, etc. Auschwitz Prison is probably another possibility as well. However, Poznan is one of Poland’s oldest cities and used to change hands frequently in history between various smaller countries back then. Nowadays, it’s one of Poland’s bigger cities where commerce, education, and many fairs take place in. So it’s been having a cultural revival in that city in addition to the old parts of the city which still remain such as the churches, buildings, and old town square.

square poznan poland polish college campus university

This here is Adam Mickiewicz Square which is between the Adam Mickiewicz University and the Imperial Castle which featured in this picture.

Poznań 1956 uprising, Poznań June or Polish Revolution of 1956

While at the square, you can see the crosses in the background which are the Crosses Commemorating The 1956 Protests. This was the result of people holding massive strikes throughout Poland against the communist government since Stalin passed away and revolts started to fest with his absence.

poznan church train tram public transportation transporte

You can see the mix of the old and new in Poznan as tram cars operate near churches like this one.

Poznan Catholic Church red white rojo blanco iglesia colores

Here’s the Poznan Catholic Church, probably the most decorative and colorful of them all.

old town square city poznan poland la plaza

It’s kind of odd, but at first glance, the old square doesn’t look like much…

polish plaza with church in middle mitte kirche religion order plaza

Once you’re in the Old Town Square (Stary Rynek), you can see old buildings (some which have great restaurants!) which surround this church in the middle.

One interesting thing that happened when I was there which was a fire broke out in one of the buildings in Stary Rynek which is in the old town square. The building’s open windows were smoking in black fumes heavily and I also  remember the firefighters got there promptly while one guy showed up tried to force his way into the building. I presumed that guy was the owner of the building and very upset that his building and all the possessions inside were either on fire or damaged or would be damaged by smoke, fire, or water that going to be sprayed in there. Outside of that fire, the food is great in this city due to all these restaurants competing for tourist and local money. So if there are no fires during your visit, then go to the restaurants at least!

fire at old building of Stary Rynek fuego flame old town square

FIRE! The firefighters showed up to save the day considering the buildings are basically right next to each other so putting them is highly required so the blaze does not spread.

periodistas en la accion journalist news reporters camera cameraman poland polish polaco

Even the news crews were out to tape something for its evening news in a sleepy town like this.

bomberos fire fighters department hose water manguera agua

The ladder is up and firefighters were spraying to control the fire and prevent further damage.

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Hertha BSC vs RB Leipzig in Olympiastadion, Berlin, Germany

This was a clash between two of the better teams in the German football league, Bundesliga, so it’s better to get tickets prior to the game even though Olympiastadion has one of the most seats in a stadium in Europe. I still think that going to this stadium is still more enjoyable than the other parts of Berlin although it is nice to go see the Berlin Wall (the remnants of it) and Checkpoint Charlie.

bright lights at night stadium game football soccer eastern germany derby east est este alemania noche nacht

Back to Olympiastadion in Berlin! In time for a night game of Hertha BSC vs RB Leipzig.

Unlike the last time that I went to a RB Leipzig game, there was a bit less police this time around which was nice to see. I think diehard German football fans have slowly and begrudgingly have accepted Leipzig as a mainstay within Bundesliga despite the team’s connections to the Red Bull company through its colors, name, logos, etc. But the team has done well to separate itself from the energy drink that it promotes as FIFA (governing football association) allowed RB Salzburg to play against RB Leipzig one time in the Europa League. Someone in a funny way called it Red Bull Lite (the RB team in Salzburg, Austria) vs Red Bull Normal (Leipzig) because Leipzig ended up winning the game. I’m sure the shareholders and owners of Red Bull didn’t care who won since it was a win or win scenario for them.

rb leipzig red bull redbull fans aficionados hinchas en Berlin Alemania viajados al estadion

Like in all Bundesliga games, even the opposing team fans have their own section that they can sit in. It makes it for obvious security reasons but to also be loud and proud. They were a lot louder than what the Hertha fans could muster.

 

But in Berlin, it was a different story as the Blues (Hertha BSC) and the Reds (RB Leipzig, not Union Berlin which is another football team) went head to head with each other in a sort of East Germany Derby since no one other team in East Germany is in the first league. The stadium was quite packed probably because both teams were still in the chase to make it as a top 4 or 5 Bundesliga team in order to qualify for Champions League or Europa League, which means more games, more ticket and concessions sales, more TV showings, more prestige, and overall more money for the club to spend on. That’s why even if the team doesn’t win the League Championship, it’s still important to get a top 4-5 finish because it sets the club up for next year. For example, Atletico Madrid finished third place in La Liga in Spain but still played and won the Europa League trophy. They ended up playing against the Champions League winners, Real Madrid, for the European Super Cup in the following season and Atletico won the trophy. So it meant that their season, which only begun, was already a success because they won a major trophy.

That’s why it’s a critical juncture in the season right now as we’ll see who are the pretenders and who are for real as we’ll see on the standings who is good and who is not. The reason why I say this is because I’ve seen teams do well in the beginning of the season and then falter as the season goes as well as teams that struggle in the beginning but slowly regain their form to win the league, kind of like what Bayern Munich did in the 2017-18 season. Well, in this case, it was clear cut who the better team was: RB Leipzig. They easily had more possession, control, dictated the majority of the game, and most importantly, had 3 goals to none against Hertha BSC.

rb leipzig fussball futbol marco un gol scored a goal celebration celebracion festejar despues party

Their best player in my opinion, Timo Werner, scores the first goal of the game to open up the scoring for RB Leipzig.

Timo geht zu fuss im Stadion walking confidently after goal in form

After celebrating with his teammates, Timo Werner does his slow confidence walk which was evident because he scored another goal en-route to a RB Leipzig 3-0 win.

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If you’re in Vienna, then go to Bratislava, capital of Slovakia

If you’re in Vienna, then I recommend making the trip and crossing the Danube River to go to Bratislava, capital of Slovakia. It’s quite remarkable that two capital cities are that so close to each other but this is due to certain events in history as the Bratislava did not have a lot of prominence because of Vienna and to a lesser extent, Budapest, both capitals of Austria and Hungary, respectively. At the end of World War I, Czechoslovakia decided to break away from the Austria-Hungary Empire and some of its legions decided to take Pressburg (the area that it was called back then). After annexation of a German/Hungarian-majority city, it was then called Bratislava which then Czechs and Slovaks started to move into the city while the Germans and Hungarians fled. Eventually, after it was said and done, the Czechs and Slovaks decided to divorce for themselves so Slovaks decided on their largest city to become the capital since Prague was the capital of Czechoslovakia but it was in Czechia.

Bratislava city downtown innerstadt old town

There is some modernization of a city tram and roadways but this city is easily traveled on foot.

old style antique buildings edicifios antiguos viejos capital slovakia slovak ciudad city town

This city is not as well developed like in other European capitals so it’s more likely you’ll see more old-style buildings in the city.

cloudy Danuber River day nublado por el río Danube central europe

The long flowing river of Danube. Vienna and Bratislava are only 50 miles / 80 kilometers away. You can even take a catamaran (boat) to travel between the two cities which takes something of an hour or so.

 

slovak food comida slovakia carne steak comer cenar almorzar

One of the highlights on my trip to Bratislava was this great steak covered with cheese.

In all honestly, there is not much to see in this city as Vienna took most of the importance away (as did Prague being the capital of Czechoslovakia) and lastly, Bratislava was bombed and artillery barraged during World War II. It also did not help that when the Soviets captured the city from the Nazis, the Red Army did not do much with the city or country either afterwards during the Communist era. Instead, the communist Soviet bloc basically let it sit around until both the Czechs and Slovaks broke off their communist chains and became independent of communism and of each other.

So if you want to visit and see another country then I recommend making an easy day trip from Vienna to Bratislava. An interesting thing to note is that if you ask the locals if they are old enough to remember the Soviet/Communist days, they said that it was easier to be bilingual in both Czech and Slovak because for example, TV shows had subtitles in the other language if one was being spoken. Nowadays, the younger people have a hard time understanding each other that they sometimes revert to English to communicate with each other. Surprisingly, the Slovaks are pretty good at English as are the Czechs.

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