And you went on foot to Chenstokhova? To me there were 15
. Our form-master, Galina Vladimirovna, was an interesting and amusing person, and Alexander Arkadyevich was our teacher of Russian and literature and was on friendly terms with our cool. He was the spiritualized personality. So that as a result accepted Catholicism, put on a black cassock and became the priest.
Once Galina Vladimirovna told us that there is an opportunity to visit all class Poland. It was necessary to collect some sum (rubles 60, it seems), to find a sleeping bag and to plunge into the bus.
Went oooochen long. Summer, heat, cheerfully! Noise - din - laughter - vanity - food - water - day - night - a dream - laughter …. Every other day early in the morning we arrived to the Chervinsky monastery.
Chervinsk - the place fascinating! Bright sun, quince garden, stone walls of the ancient monastery... It is mentioned in chronicles with 12 - go centuries and when it is precisely constructed - it is unknown. Us unloaded with all our belongings from the bus directly under these ancient walls and for a while arranged in monastic cells where everything was such stone, cool, ancient …
Together with us to the monastery there arrived some groups of young people - monks and conventuals. (I remember that thought then: “ What beautiful people … and they will never have a family, children … “) Then we were called, shipped our bags in trucks and we started on on a way.
It is necessary to tell that we went to the nice town of Chenstokhov where in monastry paulin on Clear Gura, one of five largest religious centers, there is an ancient icon of the Virgin Mary, or Black Madonna. It call wonder-working. The legend attributes authorship of an icon to Luke the Evangelist who wrote it in Nazareth, on a table cover from the house of a holy family.
According to the ancient legend, Luka`s brush three icons of the Virgin Mary belong. The emperor Konstantin brought Tu who is named Chenstokhovska now in due time to Constantinople where she decorated one of temples. There it was also noticed by the certain Russian prince serving in imperial army. At its request the emperor presented it this icon, and it appeared on Russian soil where it was very esteemed.
During one of wars the icon fell into hands of the prince Vladislav Opolchik who in 1382. brought it to Chenstokhova, having given to monks - paulina.
To this icon already many centuries Catholics from around the world make the pilgrimage. And time in 20 years in this city occurs an important event: A Youth Day on which the Pope acts. Here, our travel was the share just of one of such significant years.
So, we did not manage to look back as our legs began to knock on wooden warm boards - that there was a very broad bridge through Vistula. The river this very big, there were we long.
During transition through the bridge we were distributed on groups. Each group had the leaders who bore a loudspeaker and a big cross (“ kshizh “ on - Polish, a cross it was impossible to go ahead), closing, and also “ guards “ which held people on the right side of the road since on left trucks with supplies and baggage went. Continually loud reached: “ Left at ease! “ (i.e. “ release the left side! “) . We heard this order during all our travel.
All our class joined group of teenagers from our age to is slightly more senior. It were the Polish children - pilgrims. All of us stealthily examined each other, probed the soil and, having reached that coast, already almost made friends.
The first experience of communication showed us that it is necessary to forget about Russian and to speak only Ukrainian. But the heads of us were fresh, not bullshitted therefore in an hour already in all cheerfully cracked with Poles about any nonsense.
I do not remember precisely how many days we went how many nashagala kilometers, but all travel took about 2 weeks us, and in day we covered kilometers 20 - 30. In total we passed at least a km 200.
Our way lay the woods of a vysokim, fields of a shirokim … Into the cities almost did not come, generally passed through villages and small villages. Summer. Very beautifully.
Our route was beforehand planned and calculated. Along long roads there were groups of people divided by small distances, in the field of vision. Our class was “ it is packaged “ in 2 - 3 groups.
Left on the earliest morning, pink fog on meadows, birdies warm up, the sun still tender … Morning “ Hosanna “ it was beautiful. We stood and watched how Poles sing, is harmonious, exactly, in a voice. For us it was, of course, no more than beautiful show. When they finished, we were built on the lawful right side of the road and slowly began a way.
Time in communication went quickly. When the sun rose in a zenith, we stopped on a halt. Settled down and the nice town, someone cooked food, someone stretched on a grass. And nurses bypassed and processed our wounds. At such load of legs, already through 2 days of traveling all had bloody callosities and bubbles. Nurses stuck and bandaged all this “ wealth “. But everything was so interesting to us that it was not sick at all.
Present: fresh forest air mixes up with a hot field breeze, we come to fields, wheat, rye rustles there, we pass on the bridge - the small river murmurs … We approach the village - each yard exposes a little table or a bench with drinks or vegetables - fruit: for the Pole a great honor to feed the pilgrim, and still the great honor - to shelter him.
In twilight already we approach that village where the lodging for the night is supposed. The truck stops, distributes our bags - suitcases, lists become engrossed in reading, the owner of that house where to us there is a place for a dream approaches everyone.
We slept and in fluffy beds, and on a mow, and just in a garden in tents. And once we were placed in the unfinished house. Fed us too - who with what is rich. But we did not starve, got enough sleep much, and it was so pleasant to watch how residents of the village pick up heavy bags and joyfully see to a hut, exchanging words: “ piligzhimka “ - though something yes to help the pilgrim.
Villages in Poland were beautiful and very well-groomed, some lawns in front of the house, beautiful curtains at windows everywhere. And in each village, even in the most lop-sided - there is either a church, or a big pedestal to Virgin Mary. On each house under a roof the small niche all decorated with flowers and tapes - for Virgin Mary`s figurine is beaten out. In each hut the most beautiful corner where its different poured icons hung is devoted to it. It was very unusual to our Soviet eye.
We did not like religious waves though amicably sang along the fact that we learned, and houses retold all those prayers and songs which remained in memory.
In a week several people by train came back home from - for the pounded legs. I passed the last distance in 15 km to Chenstokhova by truck because could not go any more: on stupnyakh there is no live place left.
City, new impressions. We ran all over it for an hour, probably. The small town, with a main square Gura where there is a big temple Is clear. On other squares big screens were placed, and to the people everything arrived and arrived … For a moment we saw our teacher of the Russian literature - in a black cassock of the priest, he from the top floors of some building waved to us with a hand.
Then we bought astounding ice cream. Sat on a border. (Where in our country it was possible to sit easily on borders?!)
Wanted to reach Clear Gura where the Pope … but … had to act is closer, than half a kilometer to her we did not promote. People was more, than in the crowded trolleybus. When the crowd began to contract, we vytisnutsya back and went to watch on all this show on TV. That the pontiff specifically spoke - to me it is not conducted.
Back we did not walk any more. We were loaded into civil buses, and through Krakow we came back home.
I remember how jammed heart when our numbers by cars began to come across to us … To tears pleasantly! Also I then did not know that my eyes will be filled with tears upon return home from long and far wanderings still more than once.