Tuesday, June 22, 2004

ParkRestaurant in town squareWe organise train tickets to Warsaw and spend a final couple of hours looking around Kraków.

A three hour train journey gets us from Kraków to Warsaw. Reserving seats, although an extra hassle, does make sense.


Warsaw, Poland

PalacWarsaw is the capital of Poland. During WW2 the city was deliberately demolished. The post-war decision to retain Warsaw as Poland's capital resulted in a large-scale reconstruction.

The main railway station at Warsaw is another fine Quake level, finding the secret staircase to escape to the upper floor and the outside world. There's a warren of underground walk ways teeming with shops - but no obvious way out. Fortunately, as soon as you discover the upper level, all is obvious.

A helpful chap at the Information office soon finds us a hotel. (Be prepared to queue. You queue to talk to the helpful chap, queue again to talk to someone about train times, then again when you buy the tickets.)

Vistula BridgeMermaid StatueThe recommended hotel is a 15 minute walk. Warsaw's a modern city, but with a prominent communist era "wedding cake" building, "The Palace of Culture". Not so foreboding - it houses a multiplex cinema.

The modernity of the main part of the city makes a pleasant change from the other cities we have visited.

We head off towards the River Vistula - there's not a look for the tourist here. We're not so keen on the sewerage flowing into the river - although the seagulls were.

Zygmunt's ColumnWarsaw - Royal Palace We climb up and head towards the old Warsaw that was rebuilt after the WW2 bombing. We walk past the remains of the original Corinthian column of the statue of King Zygmunt Waza. (Don't worry - there's a new one.)

We enjoy a fine meal (£28:26) at the "Cafe Design" on the Krokowskie Przedmieście (part of the Royal Way) near to the Bristol Hotel and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

FountainChildren being shown cracked bell We observe the soldiers guarding the memorial. It's contained in a few arches of  a colonnade from the former Saxon Palace destroyed by the Germans in WW2.

We watch the guards from the Tomb marching to and from their barracks. They wait patiently at the pedestrian crossing for a green light, even though the traffic is waiting for them.
Palace of Culture and SciencePalace of Culture and Science
There's a fine studenty bar outside the Palace of Culture and Science that now houses a large multiplex cinema.

Excellent larger - albeit served in plastic glasses.

previous   next   Entire Holiday All images © N G Hubbard June 2004