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Published: September 23rd 2010
The word 'bleak' has always come to mind when thinking of Poland. I imagined a cold, unhappy place, not dissimilar to images of Russia prior to our visit in the middle of summer. Poland shattered my preconceptions and we found Warsaw to be a really lovely city with friendly locals and instead of being cold, it was ridiculously hot!
We arrived in Warsaw late afternoon and after assembling every Russian doll that had been bought, in a huge doll collection we went out for a group dinner near the Old Jewish Quarter in Warsaw. From dinner, we decided to see what the nightlife in Warsaw had to offer and went on an impromptu pub-crawl ending up in a dungeon-like club before walking the 45 minutes back to our hotel.
The next morning, feeling quite sorry for ourselves, we boarded the bus again for our organised sight-seeing tour. Our first stop was the opulent Lazienki Park, home to the Palace upon the Water, rose gardens and peacocks. It was cool in the park amongst the trees which was an important respite on such a hot day. Before leaving the park we visited the Chopin Monument among gardens of red roses.
We then visited Pawiak Prison Museum, and many monuments so as not to forget the horrors of Polish history.
Our tour ended at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and we were then left to our own devices for the rest of the afternoon. We strolled through the Old Town, consuming bottles of cokes and looking for a McDonalds (something we only do when hungover) but settled for 'traditional' Polish fare instead.
We spent the rest of our day with Jo and Krystal, just strolling the streets, jumping in sprinkers and drinking far too much coke. Ending the day with a little Maccas followed by kebabs and trying to get up Stalin's tower before strolling home.
Warsaw was suprisingly attractive with so much to see and we definitely didn't give it our best go. I guess we'll just have to go back!
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