Warsaw - Day 1

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September 13th 2018
Published: April 28th 2022
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Our route to Poland was by way of British Airways from Washington Dulles to Heathrow. I quite enjoyed this flight as it was aboard a 747, the type fast disappearing from the world's airways. We changed planes (and Heathrow terminals from 5 to 3) to a British Airways flight to Warsaw. Our first view of Poland, land of my paternal ancestors, was of the Vistula (Wistuła) River below Warsaw. Appropriate. The Vistula traverses Poland from South to North, through Krakow and Warsaw, emptying into the Baltic sea at Gdansk. And it flows through through Płock, but more on that later. The topography of Poland is flat, part of the North European Plain. The name Poland, Polonia in Latin and Polska in Polish, means the country of the plains (pole = plain).

Our flight landed at Warsaw's Chopin Airport in mid-afternoon. After clearing customs, we located the Collette tour representative after baggage claim. Shortly we were aboard a motorcoach for the transfer to the Hotel Mercure Warszawa Grand. The hotel had been built in 1957 during the Communist era as the Grand Hotel Orbis, but had a through renovation in 2007. It was now as nice a continental hotel as one could wish. The hotel has a convenient downtown location but is a bit removed form the old town and Warsaw Castle.

Dinner was at the hotel's Winestone restaurant. The Winestone had an interesting vibe. It had an American West theming, with cowboy hats, steers and a Harley-Davidson motorcycle included in the decor. But Polish items were on the menu. I ordered Sznycel Cielęcy, a Polish take on Wiener Schnitzel. A difference was that it came with a fried egg on top.

Additional photos below
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Sznycel CielęcySznycel Cielęcy
Sznycel Cielęcy

Sznycel Cielęcy = Veal Schnitzel served at Winestone, Hotel Mercure Warszawa Grand. Accompanying the cutlet were French fries (chips) and a fried egg. IMG_5217

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