A different kind of history confronts us in Warsaw. Much more recent and tragic. However, the people of Warsaw, those who survived WW2, have shown an amazing resilience in rebuilding their city, especially the Old Town, which was obliterated after the Warsaw Uprising in 1944. So all the buildings you see today are only 50-60 years old. If you didn’t know you wouldn’t suspect.
The Town Square is beautiful and buzzing with people, tourists, locals and millions of school children in groups all snaking their way around the narrow streets.
Yesterday when we arrived the temperature was the same as we have been experiencing but today is a bit cooler with a light breeze making life more comfortable.
This morning we went to the Warsaw museum to see a film on the Warsaw Uprising when those left in the Jewish Ghetto rose up against the Nazis, to no avail. The lovely lady at the cinema counter gave us the discount for seniors. They put on the DVD in English just for the two of us.
It was a very sobering film. Especially when I learned that the Russians had sat on the other side of the river
and not lent a hand until it was all over And the city razed.
We set out to find the dramatic 1989 monument to the uprising and on the way also discovered the Soviet Era Monument to the Heroes of Warsaw on a very tall pedestal.
I have to admit that I did not know that Marie Curie was Polish. Her real name is Marie Sktodowska-Curie and she was born in Warsaw and we had already walked past her birthplace which is now a museum. This time we went in and spent a very fascinating hour finding out about her life and career. Her daughter Irene, also won a Nobel Prize while her grandson and grand daughter are a biochemist and nuclear physicist respectively. What an amazing family.
Warsaw is also home to Chopin. I need to find out more about him.
We have just had a very filling meal. Last night we both sampled Polish dumplings, me potato and onion, and Ian mushroom and cabbage. Delicious. They’re a bit like ravioli only much larger and you can taste the filling more. Tonight I had a potato pancake with a meat stew a bit like goulash.
It was huge and very scmazny. Ian had sauerkraut with sausage which was also tasty. They also had fruit dumplings covered with a vanilla sauce which looked delicious. Next time. I only hope I’m not going to go home looking like a dumpling! Wednesday
Today we walked up to the Palace of Culture and Science, an enormous example of Socialist Realist Architecture, a gift of friendship from the Soviet Union, built in the early 1950s. The central tower is surrounded on each of four corners with low level individual concert halls or theatres.
Over the road we found a very modern shopping centre where I got a Polish SIM card. $12NZ for 10gb. Much cheaper than Italy, €25 for only 2gb. So I’m all set up now for our nearly one month in Poland. We also checked out a fragment of the ghetto brick wall. The numbers don’t bear thinking about, - 450,000 people crammed in there and from my understanding, 100,000 died of starvation, 300,000 were sent to Treblinka concentration camp. The few who were left initiated the Warsaw Uprising which ended in disaster for them.
Off to Kraków in the morning by fast train.
I think I might try those fruit dumplings tonight. :-)
Tot: 0.054s; Tpl: 0.018s; cc: 13; qc: 27; dbt: 0.0082s; 1; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb