POLAND PRT I : WARSAW

Travel

Hi there!

I recently got back from an amazing trip! 5 days Poland with 5 of my friends and it was freezing cold (literally though, the average temperature was around -2°C) but really amazing. We just kept on walking and sightseeing in the cold and thank god for take-away coffee that kept us warm! 

So here’s a bit more about (the first part of) our trip:

We had planned this trip a few months on forehand and as it kept coming closer we got more and more excited.
We had to get up early the Saturday morning (like 3 in the morning) to catch our flight and although that lead to a bunch of a bit irritated girls (I am not. a morning person. I repeat: I am not a morning person) getting up that early was worth it! Since we arrived at 11 o’clock in the morning we still had a whole day left to visit Warschau.

Warsaw

Warschau (as we say it in dutch), Warsaw (in english) or Warszawa (as they say it in Poland) was beautiful but to be honest not the greatest city I’ve seen so far. It was a mixture from a modern city and older buildings.

We stayed at the DreamHostel in Warsaw which was a perfect place to stay in for a couple of days!
Upon arriving in our chamber we noticed a small welcome gift, it was an apple with a note that said: “Welcome to DREAM Hostel, enjoy your stay and our delicious gift!” or “With this apple we wish you a delicious time in Warsaw!”,  so sweet!

Stare Miasto

Or the old town, is the most beautiful part of Warschau. We visited a lot of places while staying in Warsaw, but the streets/places in the older part are my favorites.

They have a lot of churches in Warschau and Poland in general, but one thing that amazed me is how religious all the people seemed to be! In every church we went there were at least 20 people praying, something you do not see every day.
Anyway, the churches amazing! I always enjoy the architecture of churches but often the inside is worth a look too!

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Parks, parks and parks

While walking around in Warsaw we stumbled upon the Saxon Garden, since it had been snowing for the past few days the park/garden was covered in white snow. It was magical to look at. After visiting the Saxon Garden we went through the Jewish quarter towards park Ujazdowski.

Park Ujazdowski is one of the prettiest parks I’ve ever seen and it is huge! We walked there for about one hour before we returned to our hostel, since it was getting dark and cold(er).
In the park there’s a monument contributed to Chopin, it was dusk when we visited it and there was one single spotlight on. Which seemed to have a dramatic effect on the monument.

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Jewish quarter

The history of Poland, it’s inhabitants and WWII is quite tragic. The many monuments, important places and museums gave us enough reasons to visit Warschau and Krakow. We’ve read about the history of the Jewish ghetto in Warsaw and wanted to see a remaining piece of the wall that once surrounded this ghetto.

After walking around in the block where the remaining wall was supposed to be, we did not find it. We decided to head back to the Sienna street where, according to our guide (a book about Poland) the remaining wall should stand there.
While walking back a older man asked us in a thick polish accent “Jewish wall?“, we immediately said yes and he showed us that we should follow him. “Oh what a kind man” we all said. He typed a code and guided us through an appartementgate, after stepping in we arrived in a inner courtyard where there was one ‘piece’ of old brick wall left. The remaining ghettowall, unbelievable. We thanked the kind man and wanted to walk away when he stopped us and asked for money. Damn.
We gave him all the coins we had (I think it was a few zloty) and he happily  walked away.

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TIP: If you want to visit the remains of wall here too you don’t need to search for that ‘weird old man’! IMG_3672.JPGYou can just go around the block to the Złota street and when you reach #62 there will be a gate (probably open), if you go through the gate you will see a small courtyard where on your right side this will be shown:

Then just follow the arrow and you’ll get there.

I could write so much more about Warsaw but I’m afraid this post would turn into a book. So here’s a short list of what to do in Warsaw:
– Stare Miasto (old town centre)
– The Koszyki market (an indoor markethall, very cosy and I enjoyed being there!)
– The praga quarter (altough I didn’t really see much of it, it seems to be very nice but we were warned not to go there when it’s getting dark)
– Jewish neighbourhood
– Shopping mall near the Warsaw central station

 

Have you ever been to Poland or do you have any other upcoming trips?
Soon I will post the other part (part II) about my trip to Poland!

Gwen

 

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