We had a great time visiting with my cousin Malgosia, her husband Jacek and their three year old son Ziemek. They live in Kozienice, about an hour south of Warszawa. From there it was a three and a half hour drive to Czestochowa, which means “hides a lot”. This is one of the most important places for the Polish Catholics, in other words for most Poles. Czestochowa is home to the church containig the “Black Maddona”, a very old icon of Mary and Jesus. Wikipedia has a good description and history of the “Black Maddona” so I won’t go into it.
Our hotel Sekwana, was in a great location to take the stroller up the hill where the church was. There is the museum where you can see a copy of the icon up close and without the centuries of damage, as well as other interesting things, however with the baby we focused only on the church, which was beautiful and very cool versus the sweltering heat outside. We could not have found a better location for lodgings. On the same street as our hotel there was a pharmacy, a medical suply store (get your wrist brace here if you forgot to pack it like we did), an electronics store where we got a three-way power splitter, a grocery store and restaurants. We could have even gotten haircuts if we wanted to at the local salon. All this and that’s only on the hotel side of the street. It was a good time to be in Czestochowa because it was between the religious holidays and pilgrimage seasons so the streets were not swarming with groups of pilgrims (tour groups, scouts, church clubs, and religious personale from all of Poland and surrounding countries). Be warned though; Pilgrimage season starts sometime in the summer so check before you visit, especialy if traveling with children.