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Walking Around Warsaw

Interesting City

Friday May 12, 2017 Day 2 – Part two (confused yet, we actually wrote the first part last night but didn’t post it till this morning after we got up – so we cheated a tad)

Well rested (Fred slept for 13 hrs) we headed down for the breakfast that’s included. It was a far cry from the plastic wrapped Danish or bowl of cereal so often offered back home in hotel/motels. Excuse me for a moment if I go on about the brekkies. I have never seen such an impressive breakfast buffet. Poles are known for their breads and pastries so there was quite an assortment of breads, buns, croissants, rolls, and cakes. Juices, teas, good coffees, sausages, meats, made to order eggs, pancakes, more eggs, more sausages, beans, bacon, fruits and other offerings in between. Did I mention that there coffee is really good?

After leaving the hotel we walked thru Ogród (Garden) Saski. Warsaw, like most large European cities, has a lot of open green spaces, what they refer to as gardens are more parks than botanical areas with lots of plants and flowers. We watched the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the square at the edge of the park.


Today’s destination was Old Town, a World Heritage Site, even though it is mostly a recreation of what was there before the heavy bombing during WW2. They rebuilt the entire city from ruins but used what was left and added on. The reconstruction did not create just facades. To go in the buildings was like going back in time, squeaky floors, narrow staircases, and heavy doors. It is a testament to the Poles resolve to recover from the devastation that was inflicted upon them.


By the time we got to Old Town it was very busy with groups of school children and bus loads of tourists. Wafting through the air was the music of accordions (yes plural), something I hadn’t really appreciated until I came here. They fit, especially with old men singing along. Lots of shops selling amber and beautiful Polish pottery as well as a variety of tourist stuff.


Fred decided he wanted soup for lunch so we considered a number of menus at the outdoor restaurants in the town square. Most had variations on the traditional mushroom soups, borscht with raviolis, tripe soups, and chicken noodle soups and came with a variety of breads, farmer’s cheese and pate and usually ordered with a glass of beer or wine. Instead of complementary mint we were given a glass of sherry, something we noticed in many restaurants. Although we have seen the usual Starbucks, McDonalds, and Subway they do not seem to be abundant although there are many small take-out restaurants.


Fred wanted to see if he could find if there were any relatives living in Warsaw so we headed over to the National Archives on Krzywe Koto Street in Old Town. They occupy numerous floors in a tall skinny building with all the signs in Polish. Up 3 flights of stairs we found a small reading room with someone to help us. Their records did not assist us and we were directed to phone directories which they had. No luck as there printed phone books stopped in 1976. We have tied using Google to locate people living in Warsaw with last names of either Piszczalski (Pishalski) or Zukowski with no results.


Time to head home through another park/garden (Kasinski) with another Royal Palace (now used as a state library). Across the street was a monument to the people who fought the Germans at the end of the war in an event known as the Warsaw Uprising which is not to be confused with the Warsaw Getto Uprising which happened earlier in the war.


Back to the hotel after a full and interesting day.

We went to a Polish restaurant near our hotel for dinner tonight and both ordered Periogies for dinner. I have to say that the Periogies that Fred’s family makes using an old family recipe are better than the ones we had tonight.


Posted by Fredricgail2017 11:51

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I am already enjoying my vicarious journey! Great commentary and pictures. Judging from the photos the weather is warm and dry. I hadn't imagined so much very new looking architecture, but then I know next to nothing about Poland. Looking forward to learning more.
Mary Jane

by Selkirk

Good to hear! We've been lucky. It was damp our first afternoon here but beautiful clear skies since although not all that warm. A cold wind blowing. There is quite a variety in architecture here and significant building going on. Not quite what I expected either.

by Fredricgail2017

Loving the pictures and stories!.... Baltic Amber jewelry is lovely as the Amber is often more green than amber in colour. Fred, I'm sorry that you couldn't find any record of your relatives. I'm sure you would both have found it interesting to meet them. Glad the coffee is good!.. It adds more pleasure to your trip!

by Heather Jones

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