9th Anniversary trip to Poland


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June 22nd 2018
Published: June 24th 2018
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East Midlands to Poland


This years anniversary break was always going to be problematic. 馃

We believed that James was still going to be in the midst of his GCSE's and the week was oversubscribed at work so we were limited in what we could do. The initial plan was to stay in the UK and began looking at Kent and North Wales. Amazingly everything we looked at was either booked up or very expensive so back to the drawing board then. 馃

Next thought was to check the departure boards at East Midlands Airport for inspiration. Lodz leapt out at us - somewhere we haven't even heard of but we knew we liked Poland from previous visits. The Lodz flight was approx 拢30 so all good, until we realised there was a flight going to Warsaw at the same time for half the price! Trains between Warsaw and Lodz were frequent and cheap so it was a no brainer - flights to Warsaw booked! We splashed out on the hotel in Warsaw and managed to get the hotel in Lodz on IHG points. So definitely a cost effective break. 馃槄





As the time to depart grew closer, James had some bad news in that his Grandad had died and the funeral was the day before we were due to fly out and even worse coincided with his last Physics exam so we were all unsure with what was going to happen 馃槬 In the end James headed to Scotland after his exam and stayed with his father for the week, as unexpectedly there were no more exams. This, of course meant we could go off to Poland secure in the knowledge James was in the 'care' of his father.







We were due to fly out on the Saturday evening so had quite a lazy day preparing before leaving for the airport at 3pm. No traumas at the airport except for a slightly later departure and we soon arrived in Warsaw. We had rebooked a taxi 馃殨 to the hotel which was waiting for us and within 45mins we were in our hotel room. The room was lovely and spacious with excellent views of the Palace of Culture and Science. 鉂わ笍





We had the best nights sleep .鉂わ笍 , so much so we took a photo of the mattress label. Breakfast was included in our room rate and totally delicious with plenty of choice 馃構

Then it was time to head to Warsaw Centraila station which luckily for us was only a short walk across the road. Tickets were bought for Lodz...no first class but you can't have everything and we were soon on our way 馃殘 Luckily a new station had just just opened in the centre of Lodz so we didn't even have the hassle of getting from the station (Widew) on the outskirts. The new station was immaculate and of course totally deserted but we soon found our way to the tram stop 馃殐 . The tickets for the tram took a bit of figuring out but we were soon armed with our 24hr all zone ticket at the ridiculously low price of approx 拢5 for both of us. One look at the tram map and we knew what number to get....sadly we managed that in the wrong direction but hey ho luckily some locals were on hand to point us in the right direction 馃槄. A couple of stops later and we were at the stop for changing. The intersection was actually down the street and we had to go past an ice cream shop .馃崷 to get there...yum yum..馃構

A few stops on the next tram and we were dropped straight outside our hotel - the Holiday Inn (stay purchased on loyalty points so even better). Once in the hotel Andrew realised that he had left his sunglasses in the ice cream shop and it was back on the tram to the centre. For some reason we decided to get off at the bottom of the main high street and walk up towards the ice cream shop taking in the sights along the way. There were a couple of tourist shops along the way and a mental note was made about a return visit for souvenirs. On our arrival at the shop with Andrews sun glasses in it we were a little surprised to see that it had shut 4 minutes before... mildly annoying. As we had now been in 艁odz for some time we thought we'd better try one of their cafes for a quick bite to eat and something to drink as they all seemed to be open. So a freshly prepared plate of french fries 馃崯 and a pepsi was delivered to our table and we dipped the chips into a lovely garlic sauce for extra pezaz! 馃構

Continuing our exploration on foot and tram we proceeded to one of the places that is in all the guide books via some Polish stars cast in bronze in the pavement. Manufactura is a large collection of old factory buildings with all manner of shops, cafes and bars making use of the space. there's a cinema where the 艁odz film festival takes place each year and a super top of the range hotel with a sky bar on the rooftop. We had to try that, so off we went... Shut! Oh well, we'd come back later...



We figured that as it was getting on towards tea time that we'd head back on the tram to the hotel and see were we wanted to go for tea. there was a place just up the street from the hotel that looked as though it might fit the bill so we decided to give it a try. We had a local dish each which was perfectly ok and reasonably priced. We then headed back to the hotel for an early night. On our route we came across a large wall which lots of writing on it labelled..."before I die". The responses were very inventive. Behind the wall hid an array of restaurants and luckily one of them had a breakfast menu.....so guess where we were going to be heading in the morning..



The next day breakfast was delightful 馃構 Andrew had a traditional english (yes really!) and I opted for something which was somewhere inbetween an omelette and a sponge cake served with cream cheese and jam. The Bill came to a mere 55pl for both of us, which compared to the hotel breakfast which would have set us back 156pl was a real bargain.







We then decided to get a tram to Litzmannplatz - a memorial to the people that were taken away to camps such as Auschwitz 馃槬 The place was quite deserted and remarkably conserved with an eerie feel around it. Thankfully the curse of consumerism hadn't taken over the place as we were left to contemplate our thoughts.



Nearby, is a working railway line, we decided to go and check the station to see if we could catch a train back into town as there were no trams close by. We could hardly believe our eyes when we came across a brand new station, with a lift from the road level down to the platform, so without further ado, we jumped in the lift! On exiting the lift at the bottom, to our utter amazement, there was a train 馃殘 at the platform so of course without a thought we jumped on it and true to form off it went in the wrong direction! Again thankfully there were some locals to put us straight 馃槄 , so the train terminated at the junction station for the main line where we could easily catch a train back into 艁odz. While we waited we though we'd fancy an ice cream 馃崷, que shop (notice a theme..馃構). We soon ended up back in the centre of 艁odz and back on the trams so it was decided it was back to where Andrew's sunglasses were. Luckily the shopkeeper recognised us straight away (I'm THAT memorable!) and had looked after the sunglasses well. To show our gratitude, cake (not ice cream) was purchased and off we went to try and find freedom square. This was located at the top of the main street and we were luckily half way along at that point so on we plodded. Luckily there were plenty of cafes and shops to break up the journey and we soon reached the top.



The statue in Freedom Square was already dressed in Polish football gear in readiness for the World Cup (how? is another question! 馃 ) We had a slow wander round when Andrew spotted an old tram he fancied a ride on. Of course true to form we ended up at the wrong tram stop so abandoned that plan and decided to walk back down the long shopping street (Piotrkowska) and go shopping for souvenirs. By the end we had ended up with our obligatory fridge magnet and the annoying feeling that anything else we fancied would end up smashed to pieces on the plane.... but hey ho note to self... 拢30rtn fare! 馃挾At the bottom was the main tram interchange and guess what had just appeared......The wrong tram... but one that might take us to the right one, thats right Andrew's must do tram from earlier..馃殐 The route didn't follow what we'd expected and it was packed, so an executive decision was made and off we jumped at the next stop... Success, a junction and interchange with route 4 so after negotiating a busy road junction, a sought after tram appeared on the horizon almost immediately, and off we went on tram number 515, a 1962 vintage ex Helsinki tram. Unlike the other trams this one was quite comfy and had double seats so it wasn't such a hardship to sit on to the end and back to Freedom Square, just in time for dinner...

We headed for a place we had spotted earlier. Totally deserted but the surroundings were very nice so why not. A lovely traditional polish meal was ordered and we went away nice and full and without a huge dent in the wallet. Lovely 馃構

At this point we remembered that the skybar was going to be open, so, back to Manufactura for rooftop cocktails. Sadly non alcoholic cocktails 馃嵐 is not something the Polish are familiar with 馃槼 , but we did have some very nice freshly squeezed orange juice whist enjoying the views of 艁odz before heading back to the hotel.



The next day was time to check out and head to Warsaw. Andrew had his eye on a particular train 馃殘 which of course meant rushing which didn't do my temperament or pain levels much good but fortunately, come the afternoon, I was starting to feel a bit more lively. More fun messing around on trams in Warsaw which, while lost, had the added bonus of delivering us right to the door of a cafe that had crepes 馃 on the menu, mmm! 馃構We soon found the right tram 馃殐 for the Old Town and off we went for general sightseeing, ice cream buying and of course souvenir hunting. We had a nice dinner in one of the many restaurants before heading back to the centre in readiness for the flight back. Luckily when we got back to Centralia we had about an hour to kill. We had been warned that Warsaw Modlin is "the worse airport in the world" so get there as late as possible, so we decided on a later train which gave us time to head to the skybar bar in the Mariott across the road. It was a detour worth doing as the views were stunning 鉂わ笍 and it is genuinely a lovely relaxing place. Still no non alcoholic cocktails 馃嵐 but you can't have everything.



Then it was time to depart...no dramas getting our left luggage or getting to the train 馃殘 and bus 馃殞 to the airport which was considerably cheaper than the taxi fare on the way in. Modlin is quite a small airport, fashioned from a cold war hanger and some bits of plastic. There were lots of bodies floating around with hardly any seating provision. To my dismay they were selling one bar of toblerone for the price of 3!! (it's the little details..馃槼 ) Luckily though the plane 鉁堬笍 left roughly at the time Ryanair advertised that it would and a quicker than advertised flight time meant that we were soon back in our own bed with a very happy 'Jemima' snuggled next to us 馃樆

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