Podbiel, Mary Kravski's Home Town
Trip Start Nov 24, 2010
73Trip End Jul 14, 2011
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A couple of whirlwind days of visiting many relations in the extented Benusik family filling in the family tree, sightseeing, thermal hot pool, mud wrap (another first), and a ride on a tank! Yes, definitely another first. See Adrenalin http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkyEi9cD_DU and it is even crazier than it looks on youtube. We laughed and shrieked for 15 minutes! This is one of many of the family businesses of the Krupa brothers in Podbiel: tank ride, rafting, power generating station, rock quarry…
John was excited to have some of the traditional foods his mom used to make such as Kesla soup (sour cabbage and ham, tastes better than it sounds), haloushky with bacon rind and a cheese sauce (like pasta or gnocchi), kledneek (sliced dumpling) with cabbage and ham.
We discovered an interesting connection between hockey, Thunder Bay, and Podbiel: people from Podbiel or Orava province settled in Fort William and their sons became well-known hockey players. Names like Alex Delvecchio, Benny Woit, Rudy Migay are on the wall in the pub in Podbiel tying the players to their roots there. Another connection to Thunder Bay, if memory serves us correctly, is the family that purchased John’s mom’s house from John’s grandparents were from Fort William. They had elected to come back to Podbiel to care for their aging mother in about 1945. John is in the photo with the 70 year old son in front of the house. Mary’s family home had been one of the original wood houses famous in the area and now protected by UNESCO, but John’s grandfather had a stone and concrete house built to replace it fearing a fire while he was in British Columbia. He worked in Canada for several years and we assume he had planned to return to Podbiel but later changed his mind and brought his wife and daughter to British Columbia in 1935 instead.
Ďakujem to Joseph, Ladislav, Milan, Stephan and Theresia, both Georges and Sona and Elena for the kindness and generosity during our visit to Podbiel!