On the morning of September 7, Pawel picked this up again to take us on the pilgrimage to see the Black Madonna of Częstochowa. I’m not a very religious man, and I don’t believe in coincidences. As I mentioned earlier, my maternal grandmother was the very reason why I was so interested in Poland and my Polish ancestry. Our date to take our pilgrimage was not set in stone and decided last-minute. September 7 was the 30th anniversary of my maternal grandmother’s passing. How appropriate that our pilgrimage occurred on this date! This weighed heavily on me as we toured the Jasna Gora monastery grounds. Taking a tour of the church and seeing the opening and closing of the Black Madonna was an incredible experience.
After a tour in Częstochowa, Paul mentioned that there were numerous ruined castles on our way back towards Kraków. He took the alternate route so we could see these amazing sites. One castle in particular Zamek Bobolice was privately owned, and had been renovated. We were told the first two floors were for tours, and the third floor was the private “summer home” residence of the owner.
There was an Inn and restaurant located right nearby, The Bobolice Inn, with a beautiful view of the castle behind it. We stopped for lunch at the restaurant. It was here that I had something called Kings Pierogi. They were made with wild boar and veil. It was also here that I experienced my first hot beer! It was completely unfiltered and had things floating around in it. It was served extremely hot and with a straw. I can tell you it’s unlike anything that I have ever had before.