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Europe » Poland » Masovia » Warsaw September 5th 2019

Left Berlin early this morning. Farewelled Ann and Bill from Oz at breakfast. They are doing the same independent package as me but a day later. Lovely couple. Peak hour traffic getting to the station was no different to anywhere else except for the hundreds of cyclists. Berlin International Station was buzzing as people moved through the enormous complex getting food, Raul-fresh (toilets) and then onto their departure platform- mine was 11. Double checked with the guard in his smart hat and waited. A very elderly humped over lady with clothes every colour of the rainbow makes me smile and I hope I have her spirit for life as I age. Eventually my train to Warsaw arrived. Carriage 276, Seat 15. And no, there were not 276 carriages- the Germans just thought they would throw that ... read more
Berlin Central Station
Berlin Central Station
Platform Guard with his fancy hat.

Europe » Poland » Masovia » Warsaw August 29th 2019

Today was a long 14 hr travel day firstly with a 2 hr return journey to Vilnius by private bus before changing to an inter city bus & a 600 km drive for a 2 night stop at the Hit Hotel in Warsaw. Not such a big hit! After check-in we pretty much went straight to bed. Next day was forecast to be 33 deg. so commenced an early orientation walk with a local guide to see Warsaw’s “old town”. The use of this term is somewhat of a misnomer as despite appearances the old town is very new. As retribution for the Poles resistance to the Germans in WW2 they set about systematically destroying all of Warsaw. The commencement to rebuild the old town to original 18th century architectural drawings only commenced in the 1980’s ... read more
Old Town Square
Old Town Square
Side Street leaving Square

Europe » Poland » Masovia » Warsaw May 23rd 2019

Rain, rain, rain! from the moment we arrived and at almost every crutial moment. Although maybe I am being a little harsh as we had some thankful breaks in the clouds. We couldn't check in until 1pm and arrived at 6am, so sat in a cafe at Centralia until 10am and then risked the weather for the 10.30 am old town walk.   Together with the long walk from Centralia we gave up before it finished and made our way towards the airbnb. Warsaw's Old Town has been completely reconstructed from old photos as it was completely bombed by the Nazis as punishment for the Poles in Warsaw trying to protect the Jews. Everywhere you go in Europe there are reminders of the horrors of World War II. Weronika and her huge dog Peggy greeted us ... read more
Warsaw Old Town Square
Street Art in Praga, across the river from Warsaw
Old Town Alongside the River Praga

Europe » Poland » Masovia » Warsaw May 21st 2019

The road to Warsaw is indeed mostly road (I had expected motorway but there are only chunks of motorway appearing randomly along the way). Hence the 184 mile journey takes over 5 hours. It’s not very scenic and I’ve finished my book, so it’s a long 5 hours. We stop briefly in a Lidl to buy brunch and get attacked by old ladies brandishing shopping trolleys like lethal weapons. By the time we reach Warsaw, it’s mid afternoon and raining and the city is masked by a cloud of smog. It takes another hour to fight our way into town (I can understand now why we had to pay an excess to bring the car here – the drivers are batshit crazy) and find our way to the hotel car park, which is in a courtyard ... read more
Palace of Culture and Science
View from Palace of Culture and Science
The Sail

Europe » Poland » Masovia » Warsaw July 20th 2018

Bonjour à tous, Encore une journée à 0 km pour la voiture, mais 13.1 pour moi. Je ne serais pas loin de 15 apres le repas de ce soir. Ce matin la douleur musculaire qui me gênait depuis 2 jours à pratiquement disparu. Je ne voulais pas marcher autant aujourd’hui mais de fil en aiguille, une bâtisse un monument en appelant un autre, et c’est encore une belle journé, à Warszawa, avec une beau temps et 28ºcet après-midi. Varsovie, capitale de la Pologne 1 730 000 habitants, agglomération 3 340 000. Surnommée la ville Phénix, pour avoir réussie à renaître de ces cendres. 84% de la ville ayant été détruit pendant la seconde guerre mondiale. Elle regroupe toute une gamme d’industries et 70% des établissements supérieurs de la Pologne. La ville continue sont développement économique avec ... read more
Place Rynek
La petite Sirène de Varsovie
Plombiers polonais qui partent en France

Europe » Poland » Masovia » Warsaw July 19th 2018

Bonjour à tous, Malgré les cachets d’hier au soir ce matin au réveil, ce muscle tire encore. Petit déjeuner à 7h, ici les omelettes sont faites à la demande des clients, la petite serveuse bien mignonne et bien jeune m‘en propose une aux lardons. Autant demander à un aveugle s’il veut voir. Bien jeune, mais très douée pour les omelettes. A 8 heure la voiture tourne, je programme Varsovie. J’agrandis la carte, et je m’aperçois qu’elle me fait reprendre les 100 km, que j’ai fait avant hier en plus de 3 heures dans les travaux. Je n’ai pas envie de passer ma matinée dans ce trafic. Je regarde ma carte papier ça va être un peu plus long, tant pis je programme, Turun. Il y a 70 km d’écart. Je sors de la ville très facilement, ... read more
Palace of science and culture Varsovie
Varsovie
Varsovie

Europe » Poland » Masovia » Warsaw June 17th 2018

Our Baltic adventure begins. We travelled by train from Berlin to Warsaw in comfortable 6 berth cabins. First class fare included free instant coffee, tea , juice or water once we had crossed the border from Germany to Poland. We passed through mainly rural countryside with vast areas of produce including cherry trees laden with fruit. From the train we saw a Statue of Christ in Swiebodzin, cost $1.5million. The figure is 33 metres tall ( Christ was 33 when crucified), the crown is 3 metres tall and it sits on a mound, so all up it is 52.5 metres overall. Completed in 2010. After a long day we arrived in Warsaw and were taken to our hotel for a quick checkin and change before we went to ... read more
Jewish memorial
replica of synagogue
plans of old synagogue

Europe » Poland » Masovia » Warsaw June 10th 2018

1.06.18. Walk to the Park Today we decided to remain outdoors to enjoy the remarkable weather in Warsaw. A parkland walk to the Botanical Garden and Łazienki Park. We set off from The Old Town past the Royal Castle and the current Presidential Palace as we walked along Krakowskie Przedmieście. Just as the pedestrian street metamorphoses into the traffic based Nowy Street where the university buildings abound, we turned left, away from the exhaust fumes. Thus descending towards the river, we passed the Chopin Museum and Chopin Music School, where the windows of the practice rooms were open for air: a cacophony of classical excellence …… scales, melodies and harmonies from pianos, clarinets, flutes and strings. Then our maps became sketchy: not enough info. for this pair of pedestrians, as we walked south, parallel to the ... read more
Kaffe Flora
Botanical Garden
Metro Station near to Uprising Museum

Europe » Poland » Masovia » Warsaw June 5th 2018

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 ... read more
Flowers are everywhere
A Secondery School group reenacting part of Polish history
Our Apartment entrance between two jewellers’ shops

Europe » Poland » Masovia » Warsaw May 31st 2018

This new museum, opened in 2013, is beside the Ghetto Heroes Monument in Warsaw commemorating the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943. The museum is a glass box penetrated by a atrium tunnel by which you enter a story-line corridor telling the History of the Polish Jews. This stunning ‘core exhibition’ opened in 2014. We arrived yesterday just after ten in the morning and stayed until round 4 o’clock, and felt exhausted and that we had only tickled the surface of what is to be learnt. A bit like a trip to IKEA, the trail meanders snake-like through themed rooms, and an audio guide keeps you focussed. Then the lighting, projections, sound and design of the exhibition entice you to investigate a wealth of detail and to interact with touch screens. Polin, means ‘settle here’ in Hebrew ... read more
The Polin Museum behind the monument to the Heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto
Inside Polin
Danse Macabre from St Bernard of Sienna, Krakow




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