CD-ROM gives glimpse of Poland

NEW YORK--Poland-bound travelers can search through a database of the nation's hotels, restaurants and museums with a new CD-ROM.

Agents can order the CD, as well as a new video and brochure, at no charge.

This year's video follows a fictional family of three on a typical three-week itinerary. A child was added to the video this year to show that kids have plenty to do in Poland.

The CD-ROM also offers Polish fairy tales along with cartoons and an interactive dictionary of Polish words and phrases. As the family breezes through a dizzying array of cities, towns and castles, the video points to the historical buildings that survived WWII.

Completely leveled by the the war, Warsaw was rebuilt to pre-war specifications incorporating pieces of buildings left in the ruble. Architects used paintings of the town square as a blueprint, since the building plans were lost.

Some of Poland's oldest structures are found in Krakow, a city where even McDonald's is located in a 15th-century building. The family's journey features Warsaw, Krakow, Oswiecim (Auschwitz), Zakopane, Czestochowa, Wieliczka, To-run, Malbork, Gniew, Golub-Dobrzyn, Frombork, Kadyny, Gdansk, Sopot, Wroclaw and the Mazurian Lake District.

Several hotels are featured in the video for the first time, including the Hunting Lodge in Promnice and Kraskow Manor near the city of Wroclaw. The new CD, meanwhile, offers sample itineraries and travel tips- a switch from last year's video, which focused only on history and culture.

Sample itineraries include Poland's North: Warsaw, Malbork, Gdansk, Torun, Poznan and Warsaw; Poland's South: Warsaw, Czestochowa, Oswiecim, Zakopane, Wieliczka, Krakow and Warsaw, and Across Poland: Warsaw, Malbork, Gdansk, Torun, Poznan, Wroclaw, Oswiecim, Zakopane, Krakow, Sandomierz and Warsaw.

Dozens of restaurants are listed for each city, most gleaned from travelers' recommendations. Tips range from a list of flight times between major international cities and Poland to tipping and transportation advice. A section on active vacations delves into horseback riding, skiing, golfing and other options.

The video, CD-ROM and brochure are available from the Polish National Tourist Office.

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