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September 4th 2006
Published: September 12th 2006
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I'm going to start this blog with a bit of a recommendation. If ever you find yourself hungry in Warsaw, you have to go to Pierogarnia on Bednarska Street. Quite simply the finest dumplings you are ever likely to encounter. And before the foul minded among you snigger and snort, I'm not referring to Blackadder's Devils Dumplings (speciality of Poland though they appear to be... apparently). I'm referring, of course, to the versatile food stuff. For 12zl (about 2 quid) you get a fine helping of dumplings in any manner of stylings. There are meaty ones, vegetable ones, cheese ones, fruit ones, chocolate ones, cream ones... the list goes on. So good was our dumpling experience that we wondered how we could incorporate a Dumplingry (that's my word for a Dumpling joint) into Viks cafe plans.
Even the word "dumpling" is great, but I'm finding the more I'm writing about it the harder it is to concentrate on any of the other words. Must stop writing "dumpling".
Infact, the weird pleasure I'm finding in writing the word "dumpling" is probably because I don't have the foggiest how to pronounce any of the Polish words. Now that I've accustomed myself to the

Shared by buses, trams and take-no-prisoners drivers. Transportation gone mental. Somebody needs to tell them about pedestrianisation of the High Street.
increased usage of "dumpling" I realise that it is somewhat consonant heavy; however, it pales in comparison to some of the Polish words. I would like at this juncture to start an appeal on behalf of the Polish population. People's of the world, a serious vowel famine has robbed this land of much needed a,e,i,o and u's. Please look at your own speech (especially if you're French - vowel hoggers) and send any vowels you can spare. Poland needs your vowels.
We've got round the city renaming all the streets so that they are more recognisable on our map, eg:
- Sweitokrzyska becomes "Sweaty Street"
- Marszalkowska becomes "Mars Bar Street"
- Krakowskie Przedmiescie becomes "Cracker Press Mousie"
Needless to say, this form of map reading gets difficult when you need to ask for directions. I don't imagine the tourist office in Warsaw get many people looking for "Cracker Press Mousie".

Behind that cool Eastern European veneer beats the heart of a romantic people. Never has a people so collectively made me feel like such a cold hearted, unloving man. I thought (expected), when we visited Italy a few years ago that the passion and romance that the Italians
Build 'em high...Build 'em high...Build 'em high...

...so long as they go no higher than Stalin's Museum of Science and Culture.
are so famous for would be oozing from every pore of every person. But while they banded the odd carnation about, there seemed little of the "amore" spirit.
The Poles on the other hand must be on some sort of mission to rid their land of freshly cut flowers, because they just love giving them away. Men wait on train station platforms, roses in hand. Little boys rush past you in the street with a bouquet for their mum. These aren't isolated incidents - this seems to be going on every minute of every day. And everytime one of these Romeoski's appeared Vik would say "uhhh" and then look at me with a "where's mine?" expression.
Men of Europe! The Poles are setting a floral benchmark that threatens our bank balances and sensitivities to hay fever! The sooner we knock down Polish florists and introduce more Starbucks, the better!

Before I go, I wanted to share with you all a deeply spiritual thing that happened to me. To quote Martin Luther - "I had a dream". It was like a message - no, more like a calling from some greater force. I think I now know the purpose of our journey. Some travel for anthropological reasons. For some it's about 'finding themselves'. For me however, it's about returning my pants to their original owner. I won't go into the details of how or why - but my pants are from New Zealand. They are top of the line, fast wicking, extra comfortable, Merino wool pants.
In my dream/vision I took a DNA sample of the wool that makes my super-dooper pants and, through investigation into the Merino wool industry in New Zealand and an extensive DNA profiling of one particular ranches sheep stock, traced the original owner of the wool.
It would seem that my destiny is to see that that sheep wears his pants again.

Additional photos below
Photos: 20, Displayed: 20



Stalin's 231m high present to the city of Warsaw is a replica of the building featured in the Ghostbusters movies. It took only three years to build and has some of the grandest rooms with the wackiest contents of any building you're likely to see.
The tallest building in PolandThe tallest building in Poland
The tallest building in Poland

It contains (other than the usual government buildings) a bizarre exhibition about time. Highlights included Vik getting freaked out by a mouse that glowed in the dark every time is heart beat?! Oh and, Ziggy, they had an amazing Music box thing that... just made cool sounds and tunes based on your commands.
The Old TownThe Old Town
The Old Town

Although it's called the Old Town and it looks like an Old part of town, it was actually built in 1955. During the war the entire place was flattend. It is amazingly authentic and is a stunning place to walk around.
View across the cityView across the city
View across the city

Note how mountainous the horizon is. Its so damn flat around here!
Inside the Grounds of the Royal PalaceInside the Grounds of the Royal Palace
Inside the Grounds of the Royal Palace

If I'm honest, I thought it was a bit dreary and we didn't go in.
Street LightsStreet Lights
Street Lights

Some very funky Socialist street lighting. These are BIG.

I won't pretend to know where this is. Actually I think I just wanted to take a picture of a tram but dithered just a little to long.
Palace Lazienkowski...Palace Lazienkowski...
Palace Lazienkowski...

...in the amazing Lazienkowski Park
Teenagers Teenagers

Behind this pot are some snogging teenagers. That's what the beautiful parks seem to be for. Snogging.
Stage and Palace ViewStage and Palace View
Stage and Palace View

Every Sunday they have open air Chopin concerts in the park.
Memorial Tree at PawiakMemorial Tree at Pawiak
Memorial Tree at Pawiak

This is the site of the largest political prison in Poland. It was destroyed by the retreating German army in 1944 but not before 37,000 people were exectued and 64,000 were sent to extermination camp like Auchwitz. At one stage 10% of the Warsaw population could be found in the prison.
Gloomy StreetGloomy Street
Gloomy Street

Vik like photos of gloomy little alleys.
Army of ClocksArmy of Clocks
Army of Clocks

OH! That infernal ticking! An exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art.

12th September 2006

You lucky dumplings..
Funny you talk about old dumplings as only this weekend I had an unbeleivable urge for the doughy little fellows. So much so that I got to work preparing a feast of mince whilst I sent Z out on a mission to find some. Z returned many hours later empty handed and so, wo is me, my urge stays with me until you send some of those fatty delights to Old Roseneath Place. Looking forward to it....
12th September 2006

Yummy those dumplins sound like a bit of a treat lol! . I am soooooooooooo jealous of you too nutters you look like your havin a great time miss yoy loads bernie xxxxx
13th September 2006

Mmmmmmm....marzipan, white chocolate and exploding condensed milk dumplings....mmmmmmm Still practising with Mavis...
26th April 2011
Gloomy Street

i lave you

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