— A visit to Bled will be a long and bumpy trip.
It’s not for the faint of heart.
It requires a lot of patience and a lot more money.
But it’s worth it.
Bled, in the southeastern Polish province of Białystok, is the city’s oldest surviving European settlement.
It has a population of about 6,000 people and its streets are lined with shops selling all manner of handicrafts and souvenirs.
It’s a small town, but its charm is in its size.
A bit like New York City, with an area the size of Connecticut.
Bidzysław Górna, a 60-year-old from Poland, moved to Bldl two decades ago to escape the war and poverty in his home country.
He’s been there since he was a child, but now he has his sights set on becoming a tourist guide.
“It was a really good job,” Górrna said.
“There were so many people, so many tourists.”
I can do it.
I’ve been there three times.
I like to make people smile.
So I’ve worked there six years.It took Górcas family just one trip to Bied to make the trek across town.
When he finally got there, it was late May, a hot, sunny day, but not too hot.
He had to walk for almost two hours, which was more than a typical tourist day.
The only time he ever saw Bled was on a Friday.
It was just a few months before the end of the war, and he said he wasn’t sure if the town would survive the coming winter.
The city’s history began in the late 1800s, when a Polish industrialist named Joseph Lutz Bied took the place of a former Polish town, Bledskie, in a former German colony.
It soon became known as Bled because it was where the Polish army was based during World War II.
The town had a thriving economy and was an important center of commerce in Poland during World Wars I and II.
But in the early 1970s, Biedskie was transformed into a prison camp for Polish war criminals.
In the 1970s and 1980s, the Bleds fled, but they stayed for years.
They eventually settled in the United States and the United Kingdom.
In 1993, the United Nations condemned Bled as a “prison camp” and ordered the end to its brutal treatment of the prisoners.
In the decades since, the town has struggled to rebuild.
Today, the city is home to about 8,000 residents, most of them elderly Poles.
But even as the economy has improved, the situation has not.
The population has dropped by a third.
The Bled town has been a symbol of Poland’s troubled history since the end.
In 1995, a group of American researchers, including American filmmaker Michael Moore, visited the town to document its story.
The documentary made national headlines and helped inspire the film “Klubo” about a Polish prison camp.
Moore says he had no plans to return.
But after visiting Bled last year, he felt compelled to do it again.
“I just wanted to be there,” Moore said.
“So it was an absolutely crazy trip,” said his daughter, Jadwiga.
“It was amazing.
I had no idea I was going to be on the same trip.”
They took three days to get to Bbled.
They spent the night in a hotel in the town center.
They were accompanied by the head of a local tourism association, and the rest of the group drove the two hours to Bided, where they stayed overnight.
They woke up the next morning to the sight of Bled.
“The whole time we were there, I was thinking, ‘Wow, we’ve made it,'” Moore said, laughing.
“There are not many places in Poland that are like this, that are this old,” he said.
They have been here for about a century, but the town is in trouble.
Many of its buildings have been destroyed, and many buildings have not survived the ravages of time.
In 2015, the local government began planning to demolish Bled’s historic buildings.
The demolition process has now begun.
But that doesn’t mean the residents of Bld are happy.
“Bled is a town that has been in ruins for quite a long time, and now the authorities are planning to start the demolition process,” said Zbigniew Fierstek, a local businessman who owns a small store.
“We want to see the town come back to life.”
The Bieds hope the demolition will bring a renewed sense of life to the town, and a sense of hope for the people who remain.
“We’ve been here and we want to live in peace again,” Fierth