Travel in Poland: The Darling Dwarfs of Wroclaw

Welcome to the wonderful city of Wroclaw! 😀DSC_5254This city is a hidden gem in Western Poland that I only recently discovered, thanks to Pinterest. 🙂
DSC_5341 You see, I was on Pinterest one day looking up beautiful sites in Poland, and came across this rather adorable looking town.DSC_5255A town, in fact, that has been taken over by some rather teeny townsmen. ❤DSC_5278This anomaly, some may call an a-GNOME-aly. 😂😂

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maybe watching The Smurfs 📺 😜

Since then, I knew I wanted to visit this place and meet these little guys for myself. 😀DSC_5266So if you like darling dwarfs and fun-size folk, then this is the place for you!30270653662_623508ce89_o

Now when I first got to Wroclaw, the first thing I learned was how to pronounce the city’s name. 😛

You see, I was calling it rock-CLAW, when in fact, in Polish, w=v, c=tz, and l=w, so Wroclaw is pronounced VRAT-suave. Now when you visit, you’ll sound like a pro. 👍DSC_5255Next, I learned how this gnome craze all began. DSC_5258To find that out, I took a free walking tour with my man, Karlov. This Wroclaw local did his PhD in Polish history; however, since education is free in Poland, many people here have the same degree, so getting a job in his field was rather difficult. As such, to earn a living, he is a tour guide during the day and a bartender at night. He jokingly added, that going out drinking in Poland can be rather educational, considering most bartenders here have their doctorate. 🍻 📚DSC_5334Anyway, Karlov told me that this gnome obsession began in the ’80s, when an anti-communist group called Orange Alternative began painting dwarf graffiti across many of the city’s government signs.

This group’s humorous antics showed a non-violent way to oppose Communist rule, and their following began to spread across Poland like wildfire. At one point, in 1988, 10,000 Polish people marched through town dressed in orange dwarf hats. 😛DSC_5363For their impact, the organization is credited with helping to defeat Communist rule, and in 2001, a gnome statue was placed in the center of Wroclaw, to commemorate this spunky and successful society.DSC_5313Since then, dwarf statues have been popping up around town by the dozens. Some say Wroclaw now has over 500 resident gnomes!

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dwarf making some rather tiny transactions at the mini bank ATM 😉

With so many dwarfs, there is even an app you can download on your phone like Pokémon Go. Gnomes…you’ve gotta catch ’em all! 😛

Well, with only 24 hours in Wroclaw, I found a respectable 45 small-scale citizens, and it was hard not to fall in love with each and every one of them! 😍😍DSC_5253I didn’t use an app either, since it was more exciting for me to just wander around and hopefully find one. I felt like a little kid on Easter morning, looking around for colorful eggs. 😀snoopy-easter-beagle-egg-hunt-decoration-signThe only problem is that these gnomes blend in with their surroundings, and finding them is not an easy task.🤔🤔

I kept mistaking a dark pigeon on the ground for a gnome, and at one point, I eagerly ran up to a dark blob on the sidewalk, only to find out it was an empty beer bottle. I looked like a crazy person! 😂😂

flat,550x550,075,f.u2Anyway, not only are these pint-sized people utterly adorable, each one has a name and a story behind them.DSC_5370For example, this is one of the oldest gnomes, a butcher, standing in the former meat market in Old Town Wroclaw.DSC_5348There is a livestock memorial on this street as well. 🙂DSC_5349Now, in many cases, the gnomes reflect the businesses that created them. Here are just a few marvelous munchkins, trying to help out the local community. 😉

Warning: there are A LOT of adorable pictures ahead. 😀

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sharing a scoop at the local ice cream shop ❤
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helping to make medications outside the pharmacy
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spackling on some drywall
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taking care of business outside the rotary club
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recycling paper goods
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delivering the newspaper
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tending bar outside the local tavern
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fighting fires…most likely, very small ones 🔥
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operating the ATM for the bank
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working for the Wroclaw Lions Club
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planting bulbs at the botanical garden
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preaching the good word near the church
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reading a few books at the university library
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carrying a pail of water
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pushing carts at the local grocery store ❤

Now don’t get the wrong idea, it’s not all hard work for these diligent dwarfs. 🙂

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manual labor for munchkins

They get to have some fun too!

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jamming out to some tunes 🎶

Naughty by Nature (revised lyrics): “You down with OPP? Yeah, you GNOME!” 😂😂

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partying at the club
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having some ‘za and a nice Chianti at the local pizzeria 🍕
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throwing back a pint or two

And some may have had a little too much fun! 😮DSC_5350

And while some enjoy partying on their time off, others prefer a little rest and relaxation. 🙂

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taking coffee at a quaint cafe ☕
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drinking a milkshake at the local sweet shop
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going for a little joy ride
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taking a little siesta 😉

Now, what I enjoyed most about these gnomes, is how each one looks so unique, facial features and all!

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tough and grumpy old man
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cheerful mom and her teensy toddler
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kind man giving a friendly wave

This one reminded me of my dad, since he likes gathering rocks to landscape our yard. 🙂DSC_5383And hey, this one looks like me, with my map and camera, standing outside the local tourist office. 😀DSC_5328This one might of been me, but who I am kidding, I have way more luggage than that! Hah! 😂😂

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outside the local hotel

Now other than gnomes, Wroclaw has a lot of other things to offer too. ❤DSC_5241It’s a unique Polish city, since it only became a part of Poland after WWII. Before then, it was part of Germany.

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glazed Polish pączkis glistening in the bakery window, with a sweet sugary aroma lingering in the air ❤

Since WWII, the building architecture has been completely renovated, and the city is full of relatively new Polish residents. DSC_5336In fact, it was named the 2016 European Capital of Culture, which helps to promote community development and cultural expression. The city now has many interesting art sculptures around town, and with this new award, the museums will not be charging an entrance fee. 😀DSC_5375DSC_5373Anyway, hopefully this post will inspire you to make a visit there too! 😀DSC_5299Well, I didn’t have long in this town, but it was gnometastic while it lasted. 😛

Stayed tuned to hear all about my next destination, Krakow. Until then. 🙂

Getting There

From Berlin to Wroclaw, I took PolskiBus, which cost 8 USD and took 5 hours.

Accommodation 

I stayed at Cinnamon Hostel, which had impeccably clean showers and a full kitchen. It felt so cozy, like staying in a friend’s apartment.3-bazylia_2-740x420The hostel had complimentary breakfast as well, with toast, coffee, fruit and cereal. I sat with a nice Polish girl there, and chatted with her about her PhD studies in theater. Part of her current role is in theater recruitment, and at the time, she was trying to find 50-year-old performers willing to stand on stage in the nude for their next show. Definitely not an easy sell! 😮

Cost: 10 USD per night

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