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Vistula River in Harbutowice
Vistula River in Harbutowice near Skoczów in 1969

Wisła w Harbutowicach koło Skoczowa w 1969 roku

You can read this article in Polish (Google machine translation)

Wisła w Harbutowicach – Tak to wyglądało w latach sześćdziesiątych i siedemdziesiątych

This article is about summer childhood memories of the sixties and early seventies, spent with my family and friends in Harbutowice near Skoczów, in the south of Poland.

The long summers were hot and the beach was often packed, as can been seen in the photograph above. At least those are my childhood memories, although I am sure there must also have been cooler and less busy days – but I really don’t remember them. These summers were an idyllic time for me, a city kid living in London.

Vistula River in Harbutowice
Vistula River in Harbutowice on a quieter day in 1969

Wisła w Harbutowicach w spokojniejszy dzień w 1969 roku

After breakfast with my parents and family, we would collect our bathing kit, beach towels and head off for the 10 minute walk to the river.

There we would chat with family and friends, bask in the sunshine, swim, dry off and then do it all again. And so it would go on until it was time to set-off back home for some lunch.

With friends on the Vistula River
With friends on the Vistula River in Harbutowice. The bridge carrying water pipes in the background has now gone

Z przyjaciółmi nad Wisłą w Harbutowicach. W tle most wodociągowy już nieistniejący

The photograph above shows the author of this article kneeling on the river threshold.

After lunch it was back to the river until supper time, which would normally be a long affair with the family. Food and sometimes drink was plentiful. At some late stage in the evening, it would be time to retire and after such a busy day of fun and frivolity with family, sleep came effortlessly and dreams were sweet with anticipation of the coming day, when I would be privileged to repeat this blissful and carefree childhood exercise.

There was a food and drink stand on the river bank, where you could buy ice cream, soft drinks and snacks. I don’t know how the ubiquitous state produced Bambino brand of ice cream would taste today but for me it was always delicious. The same can be said of the fizzy lemonade and orangeade, also produced by the state. We can’t compare them with today’s products because the recipes from those times have not existed for decades.

But there was more!

You may now be thinking that all I did was lounge about on the beach. But there was more! My family were always thinking of ways to entertain me and this part of Poland abounds in beautiful towns and the breathtaking landscape of the Silesian Beskid Hills.

I saw the beautiful places below – and more!

The Silesian Beskid Hills / Beskid Śląski

Mała Czantoria in the Silesian Beskid Hills
Mała Czantoria in the Silesian Beskid Hills Poland

Attribution: D T G, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Brennica River in the beautiful town of Brenna
Brennica River in the beautiful town of Brenna in the Silesian Beskid Hills

Attribution: mariuszjbie, CC BY 2.5 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

While Harbutowice is a small and very pretty village, Skoczów is a very picturesque town, just north of Harbutowice.

Views from Skoczów

Market Square in  Skoczów. Rynek w Skoczowie
Market Square in Skoczów Poland / Rynek w Skoczowie

Attribution: Photo: Marcin Konsek / Wikimedia Commons

Market Square in  Skoczów. Rynek w Skoczowie
Market Square in Skoczów / Rynek w Skoczowie

Attribution: Marcin Konsek / Wikimedia Commons

Cieszyn is a beautiful town, approximately 16 km from Harbutowice

Views from Cieszyn

Głęboka  street, Cieszyn Poland. ul. Głęboka w Cieszynie
Głęboka street, Cieszyn Poland / ul. Głęboka w Cieszynie

Attribution: Bieniecki Piotr, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Market Square in Cieszyn Poland. Rynek w Cieszynie
Market Square in Cieszyn Poland / Rynek w Cieszynie

Attribution: Marcin Konsek / Wikimedia Commons

Visit this beautiful area of Poland!  You might no longer be able to spend your time, quite as I did in the sixties and seventies but I do hope to have given you a taste of what you can see and do today. You will not be disappointed.

Tourist resources

for Harbutowice, Skoczów, The Silesian Beskid Hills, Brenna, Cieszyn, Wisła and Wisła w Harbutowicach

Skoczów – Official tourist website (in Polish)
The Silesian Beskid Hills – Regional tourist information (in Polish)
Town of Brenna – Official tourist website (in English)
Cieszyn – Official tourist website (in English)
Cieszyn robi wrażenie / Cieszyn is impressive – Public Facebook group (in Polish)
Town of Wisła – Official tourist website (in Polish)

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