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Published: August 5th 2019
02.08.2019. What, 5.00am already? Time to get up and get going for our train journey to Warsaw which will take about seven hours. Luckily for us the staff in the breakfast room allowed us to get something to eat while they were setting up and the cabbie rolled up at about 6.30 even though we’d ordered a taxi for 7.00. Still, he had a cup of coffee on the house and soon whisked us away in his you beaut Mercedes Benz – very nice!
The train station was bustling at this early hour and we still had plenty of time for our train which ended up being 20 minutes late, due to a technical hitch down the line. We arrived in Warsaw just before 4.00pm and are staying at the lovely Mamaison Residence Diana. We were upgraded to an apartment suite and are lucky enough to have two loos! Bonus! We will explore Warsaw tomorrow.
03.08.2019. With trusty map in hand, John led us to the remains of the WW2 Warsaw Ghetto, a small section of wall built by the Warsaw Jews. We had to enter an apartment building block to see the wall. There’s not much left now
but it is obviously looked after by the locals. We each placed a pebble on a small memorial placed by the Melbourne Jewish community some years ago. We had quite a stroll around some parts of Warsaw and I must say its not a particularly clean city. A lot of the footpaths are unsafe with stones missing and rubble lying around and graffiti is a horrendous problem. Nearly every building is affected, even some government buildings etc. and there doesn’t seem to have been any effort in getting rid of it. Those ghastly electric scooters are everywhere and are very dangerous. People ride all over the footpaths and roads and at speed, dodging pedestrians and traffic.
But to console ourselves we headed off to the British Bulldog Pub for refreshments, a more friendly atmosphere than the Cocktail and Whiskey Bar from the day before - who weren’t interested in two Aussie travellers - and whose cocktails resemble Carmen Miranda’s headwear! I guess after chewing through all that fruit, you’d eventually get to your drink! Quite bizarre really.
04.08.2019. This morning we were picked up by Jacek for a private tour to Treblinka, a one and a bit hour
journey into the Polish countryside and through villages. The museum was interesting and informative and a short stroll took us to where the ‘extermination‘ camp once stood. All buildings have long gone now and the site is largely symbolic. Lunch was included in the tour and Jacek dropped us back to our hotel later in the afternoon.
05.08.2019. This morning we took a slow stroll to Old Town Warsaw. The weather is still fine and warm and we’re loving it! The Old Town is a bustling tourism hub, with cobblestone alleys and medieval buildings reconstructed after WWII. At its heart is Rynek Starego Miasta, a busy square lined with burgher houses and upscale Polish eateries. Nearby, St. John's Archcathedral dates back to the 14th century and hosts summer concerts. The area is also home to the restored apartments and manicured gardens of the Royal Castle. Old Town is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Tomorrow we head off to Krakow via train. Taxi has been ordered, our bags are packed. Looking forward to our next adventure.
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