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Europe » Poland » Masovia » Warsaw December 18th 2019

I had designated today as a museum day. My original plan was to do one walking tour and one museum on each of my two days in Warsaw, but since all museums are closed on Tuesdays, that plan was quickly scuppered. Both museums that I intended to visit were pretty far from, not only where I was staying, but also each other. Also, both museums had different opening times, which nicely helped with my planning. The Warsaw Rising Museum was open from 8 am to 6 pm and the POLIN Jewish museum was open from 10 am to 8 pm. Since I am not a morning person, there was no way that I would be at the first museum for it opening at 8 am, but I got there around 9:30, which I didn't think was ... read more
Warsaw Uprising Museum
Warsaw Uprising Museum
Warsaw Uprising Museum

Europe » Poland » Masovia » Warsaw December 17th 2019

After arriving the previous evening, I was ready to head out and explore Warsaw. I had booked two free walking tours for today. The first one started at 10 am and was a walking tour around the Jewish part of Warsaw. The starting point was about a 20 minute walk from where I was staying. I enjoyed the walk there taking in all the new sights around me. The Palace of Science and Culture loomed over the city. I really like the building. It's just so huge and very different to the modern skyscrapers that around the city. The tour met in front of All Saints Church, which is a Roman Catholic church that was completed in 1883. There were about ten or fifteen people on the tour, so not too big a group. Our first ... read more
All Saints Church
Nożyk Synagogue
Old Ghetto Wall

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 September 15th 2018

Today we had our formal Collette coach tour of Warsaw. We started at Łazienki Park. It was originally a royal preserve laid out with palaces and monuments. It became a public park for Warsaw in 1918. Many interesting items were to be found here. At the entrance, a monument honors Józef Piłsudski (1867-1935), a leader in the Polish independence movement and twice head of state. (His Cadillac is displayed, too.) Overlooking a pond is the Chopin Monument commemorating the composer. Designed in 1926, it depicts him under a willow tree. Nearby in this musical corner of the park is a bust of Franz List. From the musicians corner, the group began a walk through the park to the Łazienki Palace, stopping to admire the Old Orangery. The Łazienki Palace, or Palace on the Water (Pałac na ... read more
Józef Piłsudski Monument
Chopin Monument
Franz Liszt

Europe » Poland » Masovia » Warsaw September 14th 2018

Today was a free day in Warsaw before the tour officially began. Susan and I planned to explore the old town and visit Warsaw Castle. While the tour would later make a stop there, ti would not go inside the castle as we planned to do. As is typical of European hotels, breakfast was a wide-ranging buffet mean to suit every taste and breakfast tradition. A difference in in Poland was all the delicious breads that were provided. Also, there were unique Polish breakfast items such as Salceson, head cheese, Smalec, a lard spread and Synka Mysliwska, slices of smoked ham. We took a taxi to the Old Town, Stare Miasto. The cab left us off at Midowa and Krakowskie Przedmieście at the foot of old town square. Old town square is a pedestrian precinct. The ... read more
Sigismund's Column
Great Assembly Hall
Great Assembly Hall

Europe » Poland » Masovia » Warsaw September 13th 2018

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 ... read more
Arriving at Warsaw
Chopin Airport
Chopin Airport

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




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