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Read & Be the Judge

Read the two writing samples on the topic of travelling and answer the poll:

Text 1

Not Quite An Obscure Atlas


Magdalena Gunska

Have you wondered how to find places worth visiting during your holidays?

Some of you may already know where he or she is going, but is in need of information about sights worth seeing there. Others may be keen, let’s say, on certain kinds of animals while others are searching for places connected to other subjects of interest. All of these people should pay a visit to the Atlas Obscura website.

This website is a sort of online catalogue of interesting but relatively unknown places from around the world. Anyone can contribute articles to Atlas Obscura. The articles can be browsed by regions or by categories, the latter including “Fascinating Fauna”, “Martian Landscapes”, “Outsider Art”, “Retro-Tech”, “Odd Accommodations” or “Curious Places of Worship,” to list a few examples. Each article contains a short description of the place, as well as useful information such as the address, opening hours, admission cost and location on the map.

From this atlas you can learn about many places you would like to see but couldn’t find information about elsewhere. Of course some could be too far away or expensive to visit, like the Blood Falls in Antarctica. However, you can discover similarly unusual places quite close to where you live! Did you know about the Gliwice Radio Tower which is probably the tallest wooden structure in the world? Or the Dental Museum in Racibórz?

In my opinion, Atlas Obscura can be very helpful if you’re planning a trip that has to be memorable. Everyone can find something suitable for them here; I already did.

Does anyone feel like going with me to the Alchemy Museum in Kutna Hora, the Czech Republic?

Text 2

Travel Today


Radosław Strzałka

We understand travelling nowadays mainly as taking a journey to faraway countries, to other continents. It is to be expected that less known cultures, like the Chinese, are always interesting. Travelling is also easier now because of the globalisation and all of its consequences. Money and political restrictions are not a problem, either, for the most part.

However, I would like to say a few words about travelling in connection with the exploration of nearby areas. Once I took a bicycle trip to Ogrodzieniec with my sister – about 15 km from my home. The ruins of a medieval castle built by king Kazimierz Wielki are still visible there. Although we knew this castle well, we had never chosen that bicycle route for cyclists. When we left the forest, we found a huge sunflower plantation on a hill. It was a field of many hectares, I guess. All plants were turned towards the setting sun. That was an amazing view. The photo I attached, taken with a mobile phone, only partially shows the beauty of it. I didn’t know that there was such a surprising place near my home.

After this trip I remembered my girlfriend’s story about her adventure in Provence. She told me about an identical situation, where instead of a sunflower field there was a lavender plantation. It was the most beautiful place in the world to her. The moral of my story is simple: you don’t have to go abroad to have such beautiful experiences. The variety of landscapes also appears in our “small homelands” and the saying: “cudze chwalicie – swego nie znacie” always stays true.

You may leave your comment below to explain your answer to the poll and post your own writing sample.


Filed under: 5►On-line Assignments, 6▼ Questionnaires, ■ Travel, ■ Writing Samples

15 Responses

  1. Mike says:

    I find the first text more interesting because of the website that is presented. I like the idea very much. It is good to create a place where you can contribute your own articles describing a wonderful site you’ve just seen, so that other people could admire them as well.
    It would be very useful during holiday…

  2. NataliaB says:

    I agree with the author of the second text. Beautiful, unique places do not necessary need to be far away. This is connected with my personal travelling plans – this spring I’d like to focus on exploring Poland, instead of going abroad.
    However, I find the first text more interesting because of the website address provided. It will surely become another website I’ll visit when planning a trip – along with travelling forums and the couchsurfing and Ryanair sites 🙂

  3. Aga P. says:

    I think the first text is a little bit more interesting – because of this unique website adress. I visited this site and it’s really worth seeing.
    But on the other hand the second text shows that even if you do not have time, money or possibility to travel abroad you can see some interesting places and have a good time.

  4. Lukas says:

    The Atlas Obscura website is definitely worth seeing and that’s why I’m grateful to the author of the first text for letting me know about it.
    About a second text, it’s difficult to disagree with the author that there are many beautiful places in our ‘neighbourhood,’ but the moral of the story seems to be a bit too xenophobic.

  5. Rafał G. says:

    For me the second text is more interesting, mainly because I also like riding the bike and discovering the beautiful nature near my hometown. Moreover, in the second text I can see a parallel to the motto from the “Alchemist” – the book written by Paolo Coelho. He used to say in this book that it’s not worth looking for a treasure very far away, because it is often just in front of us.

  6. Agnieszka Kow. says:

    Due to the fact that I’m planning to go to Italy this summer and I would like to explore some places which aren’t very popular among tourists I find the first text more interesting. I haven’t heard about this webside before. 🙂

  7. Tomek B says:

    I’ve chosen the second text. I agree with the author that there are beautiful places near our houses. We only have to take a bike or go for a walk and look for them.

  8. Patryk-Filip says:

    Great text, Radosław!
    I have to admit that I don`t know Poland very well. Probably, Italy and Croatia are better known to me than my own country. I never found anything interesting in Poland. Now I regret this. Last summer, I went to Gdańsk. The atmosphere of this city shocked me. Now I`m going to visit other Polish towns. What is more, I am bewitched by the scenery of the plains in Wielkopolska. I love flat lands. 😉

  9. Iza B. says:

    I like Radosław’s text more, probably because I love traveling by bike and also because I discovered beautiful places in Poland during my trips. You don’t have to look far away for stunning views and fascinating areas. When I was younger, I used to travel abroad a lot, but now I like much more to explore new territories in Poland.

  10. Mariusz says:

    I like Radoslaw’s text also, considering I know the ruins of the castle in Ogrodzieniec quite well. That’s because I sometimes visit it during my bicycle trips.
    I can also recommend the ruins in Olsztyn, Mirów and Bobolice.
    In my opinion they’re picturesque, but forgotten (which is an advantage, as there are no crowds around).

  11. Chrisco says:

    For me there’s no need to vote which text is better.Both are extraordinary and inspiring.Both are simply complementary to each other.
    We can easily assume ,that Atlas Obscura website may become the base or source of the info about such places like Ogrodziniec…

  12. Magdalena G. says:

    Thanks for all positive comments on my essay.
    I’d also like to say something regarding Radoslaw’s writing. I personally haven’t travelled much outside Poland – only one trip to Bornholm and another to Hungary. I’ve been to various places in Slovakia as well, but they’re actually closer to my homeplace than some places in Poland. The places I visit are mostly in the mountains near my hometown (Gorce and Pieniny, to be more precise; Tatras are too crowded) and yet I find them interesting. Although I’d like to go to Australia or Japan one day…
    BTW. Isn’t the Ogrodzieniec castle the place where the recent adaptation of Zemsta was filmed?

  13. Łukasz G. says:

    The first essay is in my opinion the better one. The site provided by Magda is a great way to find worth seeing locations. I think. I’ll dig there for some locations in Czech Republic.

  14. Justyna French Accent says:

    Both essays are very interesting but they are about totaly different ways of travelling. In the first one you precisely plan where to go with the help of the website and you know what you will see; in the second one you decide to go somewhere and you are surprised by something on your trip, something that you really didn’t expect. You maybe even knew about it but because of for example a sunny day, it amazed you.

  15. Mr A says:

    One topic and so different aproaches… WOW I really like your thought on the subject

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