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Putting on the Kilometers Around Town

Tired feet.....

sunny 20 °C

Saturday May 13, 2017 Day 3

Fueled by a hearty breakfast this morning we headed out for a 17 k walk. Our first destination was back to Old Town to go on a walking tour about Poland during WW2. From our hotel we headed down to a large intersection marked by a big plastic palm tree that had been an art installation in 2002 for 1 year. 15 years later it is still there but has the distinctly bluish hue of faded plastic. We turned left and found that this busy street had been closed to traffic for the day, something to do with university students but we didn’t see anything going on. It was nice to stroll down the street with no traffic past merchants who were sweeping the sidewalks and stalls selling flowers. When we arrived in Old Town we found it considerably busier than yesterday as the weekend crowd had arrived along with more balloon sellers and the odd busker.


We didn’t last long on the tour, not to our liking, so we headed back to our second destination, Lazienke (Polish for bathes) Park, about a 40 minute walk. Lots of people out strolling with their friends and families on the wide boulevards. Warsaw is the perfect place for biking. It’s flat and has well-used bike lanes everywhere and little bike stop lights like the ones recently installed in Victoria. Hop on bikes are readily available. Helmets don’t seem to be a priority.

On our way to the park we stopped at the university botanical garden. It was a pleasant stroll with a good selection of plants and better selection of weeds. It was hard to keep my gardening instinct in check. We were probably a few weeks early as the gardens here seem to be about 2 weeks behind home.


On to the park… another green space that was once owned by royalty. It has wide packed gravel and cobblestone boulevards shaded by massive trees winding through meadows of naturalized tulips and fawn lilies. Quite lovely and popular. The paths led down to a series of man-made ponds with small formal gardens and large classical sculptures and buildings along the way. In the center is the Water Palace that straddles the pond complete with peacocks and more classical sculptures. There was ice cream, boat rides and fish, ducks and squirrels that nobody seemed to mind were being fed. A lovely bit of tranquility in the city.


The desire to rest the tootsies was growing stronger so we headed back to the hotel tuckered but happy. We have noticed a number of things as we trek around Warsaw. This place is filled with young people, we don’t see many folks are own age walking around so looked at some pop demographics on line when we got back to the hotel. Nearly 20% of the population of Poland was killed during WWII. There was a significant rise in the number of children born after the war.


Another thing we have noticed is that there doesn’t seem to be much obvious poverty, many street people or panhandlers around. Our soon to be guide who picked us up from the airport, Witek Jablunski, said that unemployment was very low around 2% so anyone who wants to work can. We have noticed a lot of new construction and building cranes in the downtown area. There are plenty of new cars on the streets including high end models. People in Warsaw dress well, especially younger people. When it comes to radical hair style/punky clothes, etc more men than women have adopted that style but then again it’s only a small % of young people who have. We did walk down Embassy Row on our way back to the hotel and noticed all the extra security the USA embassy had at its complex including barriers so if you did crash thru the metal gates you couldn't get further into the compound.


Posted by Fredricgail2017 08:47 Archived in Poland

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How are you doing with the language? Enough English about? Interesting that you are not noticing so many people out and about our age given. Not so many baby boomers? Although it would seem the pop would have picked up then. Nice duck. And I'd like that to be a real swan!!

by Selkirk

Love the duck pic!!... never seen one like that!! Gail did well taking the pic of you against the demanding bull!.. It looks like even your hat was about to fall off!

by Heather Jones

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