Thursday, April 12, 2018

Krakow Pilgrimage- Day Nine- Tyniec

I went to Mass this morning again over at St. Mary's. After Mass I grabbed a bite to eat on the Market Square and then made my way over to the Vistula River to see about getting a boat ride to Tyniec. Tyniec is the oldest established monastery in Poland, supposedly founded around the turn of the millennium. So its historic importance to Catholicism in Poland is important. I found out unfortunately the boats only run occasionally on Saturday's this time of year and they do not run regularly until May. So I quickly decided to make this trip the old fashioned way, by foot. The lady at the boat dock kind of smirked when I said I was going to walk it. I thought no problem its only like 10 kilometers, no worries here. I love to walk. My first mistake was not taking any water. Today was a warm sunny day, I felt like I was on a forced endless march. I decided to offer it up as penance. So I prayed the Rosary interspersed with the Divine Mercy chaplet all the way to the monastery.

I decided to take the Vistula River basin trail, which was even longer. It took almost 2.5 hours to get there, over 8 miles. I as I wound around the river looking for the monastery it seemed I was never going to get there. Occasionally I would see some old Polish guy or lady and I would just say, "Tyniec?" They would look at me and point down the river nodding with a smile. Onward I went praying. First I saw a monastery up on the hill, I was hopeful, but it happened to be the Camaldese monastery on the other side of the river. Onward I went. I traveled though a couple of towns. The path changed from pavement to a grass covered path. I saw another old guy, I asked, "Tyneic?" He pointed down the river and nodded, onward I went. After close to a nine mile trek I finally saw the monastery on the left on the large rock face. Of course I was then greeted by a steep staircase up the side of the rock face, finally reaching my destination.

Excited as I left the boat dock along the Vistula

On the move along the river.

Passing villages.
Nothing in sight.

The Camaldese Monastery on the other side of the river. 
I think its to the right.

Where did the pavement go? Are we there yet? 
Ok, Its gotta be close, "Tyniec?" 

Really? Did I pass it? 
Oh wait, is it really there, or a mirage? 
I've arrived!

Oh man! Really? 
The monastery is a Benedictine monastery that has undergone many changes over the years. It was in ruins after the Austrians took possession of southern Poland. It was in shambles during world war II and the Germans did not even pay much attention to the monks living there. Finally, after the war it began to be rebuilt and was only completed in the 2000s to what it looks like today. The monks now use the tourism to sustain the monastery, and there are two gift shops, a cafe and a restaurant on site. There is also a small museum where the library used to be ages ago. They also have a guest house wing where visitors can stay overnight.

I was able to get an English tour guide to take me through the monastery who explained the history of it. I had a small snack, some water, went through the gift shops and then after going into the church again, I headed back out. I decided however to get the bus on the way back since it was already past 2PM and I was all penanced out. I got back to Krakow after 3PM so I took a rest back at the hotel before going out to grab some food at the Bierhalle in Old Town. I ended the day with a pint of beer and a potato pancake stuffed with beer goulash, pork and veggies. A fitting end to an adventurous day! Below are pictures that I took at the monastery, enjoy!

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