While Maja is presently exploring Bhutan, Tibet, and Nepal, I've been tasked with entertaining myself in Poland. With that in mind, Maja's Uncle, Józef, was kind enough to spend his Saturday a few weekends ago showing me villages near his hometown of Poławy. This began with a visit to Kazimierz Dolny, a beautiful art village on the banks of the Wisła river. I had been to Kazimierz once before, in early June, and my intention was to return and photograph the ruins overlooking the town. During that earlier visit the town was desolate, cold, and quite stunning. I wanted to photograph it then, but by the time we returned from hiking the surrounding forests it rather late, raining, and time to return to Lublin. This time, it was packed with tourists, and brutally hot. Between the crowds and the bright noon sun, photography was near impossible. So we spent the first half the day leisurely seeing the sights, and then ferried across the Wisła to another small village called Janowiec, which Józef promised would be less crowded - He wasn't kidding! Janowiec was exactly what I had been looking for in Poland. An old farming village, a non-touristy castle, and lush fields. Janowiec is incredible, and far less crowded than Kazimierz. The castle was stunning, we arrived a little early for photos outside (still too much contrast with the afternoon sun), so I explored inside the building where movers where cleaning up after a music festival. Following that, Józef took me to the fields below the castle where he hunts in the winter and walks his dog during the summer mornings.
I was particularly taken by the agriculture surrounding Janowiec. In Poland, every field contains several different types of produce, in tight clusters. This is in stark contrast to the US, where one will see huge expanses of a single crop. In a single hectare I spotted rows wheat, beans, corn, cabbage, hops, and a few other crops I didn't recognize. And these patterns repeat for several square kilometers. Between these fields and the banks of the surrounding water-lands, I spent the evening shooting away. I greatly enjoyed my trip to Janowiec and highly recommend a visit if you're in the area.