After the German surrender in May of 1945, General Anders set up his headquarters in the Italian Marche region, with the thought of preparing his Army which had now grown to over 100,000 soldiers to liberate Poland from the Soviets. My father's first station in the region was in the fishing village of Porto San Giorgio, where this beach is located.
Angie took us to an amazing seafood restaurant on the coast, and then we spent the day in Porto San Giorgio, where we found this 91 year old watch repairman who fondly remembers the Polish soldiers in the village as a teen.
At the Ancona train station waiting for the train to Bologna, my father was met with a surprise. Raimondo, who we had dinner with on Monday, prepared for the region newspaper to print a a story about my father's visit, complete with his photo and one of the Polish soldiers liberating Ancona. Here is his look after he stumbled on the article.
Bologna was more than I could have imagined. My friend Max (who believe it or not works for the Cleveland Indians) met up with us at the hotel and gave us a tour of this fascinating city. Then we drove up a scenic mountain near his home and stopped with his fiancee at one of the most amazing restaurants I've even dined at ... the most exquisite Italian food in an old building in the middle of wilderness. This is a family restaurant that has been around for generations, and anyone who eats here will never forget it.
So now we are in Bochnia, Poland, my father's hometown, preparing for a family gathering this evening. And the biggest treat for me is to be with Sugar, who came all the way from China to join us. I have not seen her for years and we are enjoying every second together. I've also introduced her to some of the family, and we are at my cousin Marian's house as I type this, prepping for this evening's party. Sugar is a professional flower designer, so she bought flower for the evening and is decorating their home. Tonight will be very special!
So the next update will be filled with family members across Poland who will come together for a fun evening of celebration in the hometown of my father.
Author - Andrew Bajda
Since publication of my book in December of 2016, so many amazing things have happened on both a personal and professional level. As the journey continues to evolve, I'll update my travel adventures on this blog, and invite you to join me along the way.