Thursday, October 3, 2013


Today was our last day in this wonderful country.  In one way, I’m ready to leave, as we’re not finding Warsaw to be especially interesting.  But I’m definitely NOT ready to fly home tomorrow--I feel like I could keep going for another couple of weeks.   Usually by the 4 week mark, I’m worn out--but not this trip!  Reverse aging, possibly???

Today was a bit of a frustrating day in Warsaw.  We started our day with a loooong walk to a market David had read about on line. 

Along the way we passed this interesting clock in a park--it’s in the flowers!

And a bike coffee cart--this would be the PERFECT job for David! 

We found a BIG mall to cruise through, it was an intersting, modern design with very upscale stores. 

We didn't spend much time in the mall--those high-end designer stores are just not our style.  David did find a cool hat, though.

After our quick mall cruise-through we started walking toward the market--it was a fair hike! 

As we were walking along, we passed this building with very interesting graphics--Soviet soldiers as puppets!  

Soon we found the market--it was really several markets in 4 buildings.  There was a little bit of everything!

One of the market buildings--I think it used to be a bus or tram station.

These pickles and the sauerkraut looked good:

The produce was wonderful:

We found some romanesco--sure wish we'd found it earlier in the trip, we would have bought some for sure!

After an hour or so enjoying the market, we decided it was time to head for our second destination of the day--The Warsaw Uprising Museum.  It was another very long walk, and it was quite cold and windy.  We walked for many blocks through a construction area (building a new subway line).  

Tucked away behind a modern office building we came across this memorial to a Polish Sewer Worker, who hid and protected several Jews in the sewers under Warsaw.

The memorial shows hands reaching out of the sewer pipe--it's an odd effect.  Set in the bottom is a large Star of David.

We finally found the museum, bought our tickets and entered.  We were hungry, and VERY cold--it was cold and windy in Warsaw today.  We decided to go to the cafe first, have some lunch and warm up.  

After our quick lunch we went back to the beginning of the exhibit and watched a very informative movie, which was about 15 minutes long.  It gave a brief over-view of the Warsaw Uprising of 1944.  

The uprising museum is a wonderful testament to the bravery and determination of the Polish "underground army"  fight to defeat Germany near the end of WWII.  While the Poles were "defeated" after a 6 week battle, they are true heroes of Poland.  To be clear, though--there is much controversy about the treatment of the Jews by the Poles during and after the war.  This was not, as far as we saw, addressed in the story told at The Uprising Museum.

We tried  to read and experience each display, but the massive crowds of school children, from upper grade school age to teens, made it impossible to see the exhibits or hear our audio guides.  We are, of course, pleased that the children are able to see this wonderful story, and learn the history of their parents and grandparents.  But we finally gave up, and decided to call it a day.

We agreed that we were NOT walking back to our apartment in the cold and wind, so we found a nearby taxi and hopped in for a nice, warm ride back to the area near our hotel. 

Our taxi driver was wonderful, pointing out several sights along the way and doing his best to describe them to us--what a lovely man!  We saw the small remaining part of the Ghetto wall, and he pointed out  what he said were "communist buildings".  These were very large, boxy and unattractive buildings built during Poland's Communist era, each individual apartment is only about 20 sq meters, and had shared bathrooms in the halls.  He said now most of the apartments are lived in by Vietnamese immigrants, as many as 5 to an apartment.

The other building he pointed out to us was this building, which now houses the Palace of Science and Culture.  He was most definitely not a fan of this post war Stalin "gift" to Warsaw!

After our impromptu guided tour of Warsaw we paid our driver, and included a hefty tip--what a nice man!

We walked the few blocks to our apartment, stopping along the way for a much needed mug of hot wine.  Gee--I hope we don't sound like we're developing a drinking problem!  Really,  they are a great way to warm up.......

Back at our apartment, we packed up and organized our suitcases--we have a VERY early 4 a.m. cab to the airport tomorrow.

Dinner tonight was just a short walk back the Bulldog Pub for an quick and easy meal of ribs for me, and a hamburger for David.  Did we I have one last mulled wine?  I'm not telling!

Most definitely early to bed for us--we have our alarms set for 2:45 tomorrow morning--ugh!

We have really enjoyed our visit to Poland.  Even though Warsaw has not been our favorite city, we have learned a lot about Poland's difficulties during and after WWII.  We are very impressed by their progress in the few short years since Communist rule.

Strong, courageous and determined--that's  Poland!

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