In a previous post for my family I edited a version of a trip from Berlin, Germany to Swidwin in Poland that I travelled with three lovely friends of mine in July 2008. That version I edited for the family taking some care to make it so as not to bore the family with my own personal indulgences. After all we have all had to deal with the interminably boring slide show or film night of someones latest holiday. So I endeavoured to keep the personal fun things out of it and just show the trip, town and countryside that may interest the family.
Well this video is a re-cut of the Swidwin trip and is that very indulgence. I make no apologies for it and it’s here for all to see but is intended primarily for the four of us.
We had a wonderful day out not exactly having any idea what we would find, intending to stay the night and eventually deciding to travel back to Berlin. This is a recap of a fun day for the four of us.
Thanks ladies for being my companions on this trip. You make it a gazillion times more fun having you there.
Thank you Eve for driving and the use of your car.
Thank you Romy for the navigation and photography.
Thank you Claudie for being my pillow and well… being the lovely Claudie
There are more videos of my time in Europia to come. That’s the great thing about having a blog.
Although a few may see this post who may be only superficially interested there might be a few others who have more of an interest, namely my family. So to my family members, Welcome.
Ian in Swidwin
This year is the 125 anniversary of my ancestors Eduard and Antonia Kath travelling to Australia from what is now known as Swidwin. Originally known as Schivelbein in German in their time, Swidwin is the now the Polish name that it’s know by.
In 1884 this part of Europe was part of the Prussian empire however it is questionable as to whether Eduard & family would have identified as Prussian as they may have still thought of themselves as Pomeranian.
Last year I travelled to Europe to visit friends and record some Episodes of my Online Chat Show Your Story, that I’ve been doing since 2007. While I was in Berlin I decided that as it was only 3.5 hours drive, I may as well travel to Swidwin and see what this town is like. I was also on a mission to meet as many interesting people as I could and was lead to have a few drinks with a couple of delightful women who publish a travel magazine, Hidden Europe. This is my post of that meeting.
In telling Nicky and Susanne of my reason to visit Europe I mentioned that I was also intending on a trip to Swidwin to see where Eduard and Antonia came from. To my delight a couple of days later Nicky sent me an email to which I’ve added some images which you can download as a PDF. It explains some of the history of the area and general information of the times that may have impacted on our ancestor and reading between the lines, some of the reasons for wanting to leave Europe.
A few days later I travelled with three friends to Swidwin to have a look around and see if there is anything of interest. Here is the video of that trip which I’ve put together, I hope you enjoy. Although the trip was on a beautiful sunny summer day and I had great company I found that there wasn’t a lot to see in the town. Maybe if it was any other day than a Sunday it may have been more interesting but in many parts I found it a little sad. Granted we had limited time so we didn’t break into the culture of Swidwin and there may be a lot going on that we didn’t find but I remember thinking that if this is summer and the town is like this, what must it be like in winter?
In walking around Swidwin and thinking this could possibly still be my home I considered how hard life would have been with the living standards of the time, the recent wars and possible religious persecution that drove Eduard and Antonia’s decision to migrate to Australia, giving us the opportunities that we have here. Although it’s now 125 years later I’m so appreciative of the fact that I live in Australia and in their small genetic way I have them to thank for that.
Feel free to copy, share, print or repost any content that you see here and please feel free to share it with the family. Hopefully it’s of interest to you.
As I write this I’m in preparation of travelling to a very large family reunion tomorrow at Glenco west of Toowoomba where we are gathering to celebrate the 125 years that our family have been in Australia. I’m intending on collecting some additional information that I’ll post in the near future.
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