Published: May 22nd 2009May 22nd 2009
Yesterday was the hell travel day. We had to undertake 14 hours on trains and trams to get from the National Park to Warsaw, only arriving into Warsaw at 9:30pm.
However this didn't stop us from getting up nice and early this morning and heading out into Warsaw. The morning started off with a bang when we decided to check out the breakfast in the hotel which we had been told would cost us 20 Zolatys if we wanted to have it (as it wasn't included in the room rates). But the staff in the breakfast room didn't ask us for our room number or for us to pay when we had the breakfast so we ended up with breakfast for free.
The next exciting event of the morning was when I was standing in the reception area waiting for Andy to try and find a doctor for Anjse (who wasn't feeling very well) when I saw bears out of the reception window doors. Yes that is right.... bears. Apparently there is a zoo across the road from the hotel and the bear enclosure backs right onto the road where our hotel is. It was really rather neat.
Then the next thing that happened was that when I was waving and yelling to Andy on the street that Tony and Anjse were on the left hand side of the road, I managed to attract the attention of approximately 20 road construction workers who were all standing in a group working on the tracks in the middle of the road. Andy was on the other side of them so when I started yelling to her they all turned to look at me, and then asked me in perfect english "what my name was?".
After the exciting morning's activities we proceeded to undertake the more mundane activity of a 2 hour walking tour with Andy. Warsaw is actually quite a lovely place and looks really quite old. Which is a complete illusion as it was totally and utterly destroyed in world war II. 85% of its buildings were demolished by the nazis and all the buildings of the old town were actually reconstructed by the soviets in the 50's, 60's and 70's. Amazingly the soviets actually reconstructed perfect replicas of the buildings that used to be in Warsaw so when you are wandering around warsaw you can totally believe
that you are wandering through buildings that were built in the 1500s. After we completed our walking tour Andy took us to the Uprising Musuem. This museum looked like it would be totally fantastic. However it was also totally crowded and just awful inside so MK and I only spent about an hour there before we headed out into the real world again. However I wanted to learn more about the uprising so I bought a book in the store there. From the Uprising Museum we decided to walk back into the old town area. We had caught a bus to the musuem and the walk back was quite substantial. On the way we passed the Palace of Science and Culture which is a huge soviet building that was constructed in the era of Stalin and looks like it walked straight out of the ghostbusters set.
By the time that we arrived back at the Old Town we were exhausted and decided to sit down for a spot of lunch (it was 14:30 after all). We therefore collapsed into a lovely little pizzeria that was housed in the grounds of a church. After lunch we went for a quick
stroll up the bell tour of the church to take a look at the view over Warsaw. From here we decided to catch another bus down to the Lazienkowski Park. This park used to be the hunting grounds of the royals in years gone by and still has old royal buildings in them (more than likely reconstructed buildings). The park was just beautiful and had a full complement of very vocal male peacocks. By the time we had finished at the park we were just exhausted and decided to head back up to the old town to get some dinner and to then head back to the hotel to pack and get ready for our 6:15am start for our train to Berlin tomorrow.
There are more photos below