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The rarely updated blog of Joel Dixon

Viewing blogs tagged Warsaw

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Warsaw, Poland - 2012

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 13/10/2012 16:51:30

Allow me to take this time to confess something to this limited readership of friends and family. While in the Polish city of Warsaw I did something completely different, quite foreign and perhaps a little dangerous to me - I didn't plan anything (well, almost anything). Those that have been privy to my Google doc of travel plans know that it is quite extensive (including currency required, language spoken, nights of stay, hotel bookings, arrival and departure method and times and planned activities for each city). Many of these cities will also list a restaurant / eatery for both lunch and dinner of each day of my stay (with an occasional backup option in case something is closed - which has come in handy before). Unfortunately I only had enough time to plan to this level of detail for the first two months of my trip - being forced to plan the rest "on-the-fly" whilst in Europe. I got myself booked into accommodation early, but activities and meal plans are generally planned out the night before I arrive to each new city now. Buoyed by a successful stay in Amsterdam which was sans-planning (due to the assistance of locals Carolyn and Jesse) - I decided to leave my single day in Warsaw to the whims of chance and set out in the morning with just a city map.

The first thing that struck me about Warsaw was how green and fountainy it was. In my head I pictured Warsaw as having very Soviet-style feel to it - but it is really quite beautiful. While it was tricky to walk around without seeing a nice park with a stunning fountain or monument - it was downright impossible to walk a hundred metres without seeing a construction site. I think this is mostly due to the creation of the second Metro line in Warsaw - but it made for an interesting and contrasting morning walk. After getting my green on, lunch was fast approaching and I admit I panicked a little.


I like Doritos as much as the next guy - but I don't think we need a public sculpture just to praise the snack. lol jk - of course there should be a sculpture to honour Doritos (perhaps one for each delicious flavour)


Even though it visually has nothing to do with it (and the timeline probably doesn't work) - I like to believe that this fountain was built in memory of the original (and best) Milo Bar


In Warsaw I saw instances of Horsey Sorehoof replaced in popularity by Stabby McFleshWound here - I'm not about register a complaint (lest I receive a stabbing)

I had wanted to try out a bar mleczny (literally "milk bar") while in Poland - which is essentially a low-priced cafeteria offering very basic food at a reasonable price. I had noticed quite a few "Free Wifi" signs as I approached the Old Town part of the city - so I figured I'd give it a shot. Sure enough, an IP-address was assigned and I was quickly on Google Maps pin-pointing the closest milk bar. Considering the difficulties I've had getting any form of internet access in some of my hotels - free city WiFi was quite a shock (but I wasn't about to check it's teeth). Technology in hand I made my way to the milk bar and had one of the least satisfying meals of my European odyssey.


I can only assume the diagram describes the unwanted states your digestion system will go through after eating your meal


The only part of this meal that actually had any taste was the knife and fork - and that was before I had even put them near the food

After lunch I saw a mini sightseeing train wanting to show me the sights of Warsaw - how could I say no? Apart from being a cool sight-seeking train - the tour itself was pretty average (the voice over was impossible to understand, so it was really just a drive around the city). After seeing some cool buildings and further fountains from the comfort of a fake train carriage, I decided to follow the tourist map and check out some of the memorials that were a short walk away.


Upon reviewing this photo - I am somewhat confused: where are the tracks? I know it was a real train, the driver was wearing a conductor's hat and everything

My walk through out the remainder of the city actually went pretty well, and I saw a few really cool monuments. The Monument of the Warsaw Uprising and The Monument for the Fallen and Murdered in the East were both quite amazing. I also visited the monument in the Umschlagplatz (Jewish Ghetto) where thousands of Jews were assembled before being deported to extermination camps. This was pretty somber and thought-provoking - but was nothing compared to what I experienced in Krakow the next few days.


The Monument of the Warsaw Uprising - I really liked the look of this one - but was a little surprised to find no-one else there


The Umschlagplatz Memorial. Wikipedia says it is supposed to look like an open freight car - which I kind of ruined with my angled photo. I knew I should never try to be arty


This is the 26th in the EuroJoel - 2012 series
City 1 - Lisbon, Portugal - 2012City 2 - Porto, Portugal - 2012City 3 - Madrid and Toledo, Spain - 2012City 4 - Valencia, Spain - 2012City 5 - Barcelona, Spain - 2012City 6 - Naples, Italy - 2012City 7 - Rome and Vatican City, Italy - 2012City 8 - Florence and Pisa, Italy - 2012City 9 - Milan and Bologna, Italy - 2012City 10 - Venice, Italy - 2012City 11 - Prague, Czech Republic - 2012City 12 - Dresden, Germany - 2012City 13 - Berlin, Germany - 2012City 14 - Legoland, Denmark, 2012City 15 - Edinburgh, Scotland - 2012City 16 - Nice and Monte Carlo, France - 2012City 17 - Lyon, France - 2012City 18 - Dijon, France - 2012City 19 - Provins, France - 2012City 20 - Paris, France - 2012City 21 - Ireland - 2012City 22 - London, England - 2012City 23 - Killarney - Ireland, 2012City 24 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - 2012City 25 - Brussels and Bruges, Belgium - 2012City 26 - Warsaw, Poland - 2012City 27 - Krakow, Poland - 2012City 28 - Vienna, Austria - 2012City 29 - Budapest, Hungary - 2012City 30 - Bucharest, Romania - 2012City 31 - Nile Cruise, Egypt - 2012City 32 - Cairo, Egypt - 2012
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