Last foreign city I visited during my trip and what a city! The Polish capital prepared me some surprises that I really didn’t expected. I was very tired but I had a lot of thing to see there!
More photos on my Flickr!
Old town ready for the celebration
Before I expected to meet my Ukrainian girls here, but unfortunately they were both back to Kiev for the Holidays. One days before or after and I could have see one. I was not so sad, I knew I will have more occasion to visit Warsaw soon 😉
I arrived in the city in a cod morning, looking at the sky I wasn’t sure if it will rain or not and the empty streets gave not me optimistic impressions… but it was the morning, could only better soon.
I find another left luggage office in the train station. Wasn’t as cheap as in Krakow but the fee wasn’t comparable to Vienna. Good point. It was not automatic compartment but two guys keeping your stuff secure in a hall. They didn’t ask to be paid in advance.
Festival on the Castle’s square
I left the central station and reach the ‘Palace of Sciences’ of Warsaw, this building now used as museum and hall also keep the local tourist office where I got my map. I especially needed it to know how to get Wilanow. I cross the district around Centrum to find the Royal Street, not an avenue but still an important street of the city which starts (or ends) on the Castle square. I noticed few Christmas decorations on that road, not a lot but big ones.
Also I understand that something will happen because of the noise I heard, it was not exactly music… but the preparation of the evening’s concert which will take place on the John Paul II square. Another good thing I saw was an open air gallery with original photos of Warsaw took right after the WWII and compare with today’s statement. Impressive how bombed and destroyed the city was!
A Christmas tree and some soldiers holding fences, that how the party started. I wait a bit to take photo (good one) of the tall pine tree when children started to come. And not few of them… hundred of little girls and boys wearing costumes symbolizing the 5 continents, red, green, black, white and yellow. After some introduction they started to run in direction of the Royal street. I still don’t know why.
On the market square was the traditional Christmas Market where people and tourists especially can buy local and neighbour’s food (Lietuva!). The famous Mermaid was pretty dressed with light tubes. I didn’t buy anything, similar food can be find anywhere at any season 🙂
View on Warsaw
After turning around the market I went in direction of the church of Saint Anne. I never been in the church I don’t think I will go there soon, but the belfry is the best see-sight point I know, or the one I prefer because I have there a perfect view on the Castle square which is among my top five of the nicest square I have ever seen.
On the north of the old town is the « new town » build in the XVth century. The old town and the new town are separated by a Barbican, sort of fortified gate. On the new town are a nice square and also some churches, Saint Jack of the Dominican Fathers for example.
Also many important monument can be found around there, such are the Deportation Monument or the Uprising Monument. These place are quite far to each other and to the new town square but it is good to see them. You also have to cross the border of the Ghetto.. a line on the ground is materialized to show it.
I wanted to go back to the main square but without passing through the city centre, I used an alternative way to reach my destination. I visited the Saxon Garden, I remember it because at my first visit my friends and especially Nastya covered me with autumn leafs…
The park is big and is connected with the John Paul II square where the concert was prepared. It also have several statues and a large fountain behind the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Near it is the National Opera House and the Jablonowski Palace, two notable building of the old town.
Because I didn’t had enough battery for my camera and phone (my critical problem abroad) I had to find a place to plug them, and if possible where I could drink a coffee. I did. On the Royal street was a small café. Dark inside and own by a grandma. It looks familiar and I ask is poor Polish language for a cappuccino. She served me a bad instant coffee…that was really bad… Luckily I don’t remember the name of the place, but I remember where is it!
Wilanow Palace and the Festival of Lights
Paris has Versailles, Vienna has Schönbrunn and Warsaw has Wilanow. It is much more smaller but it gave me a better impression. Actually only because a light festival was happening!
From my café I took a bus to Wilanow, in the south of the city. My journey started well when I noticed that I didn’t had coins to pay the for the bus, but wait! Is that machine in the bus which seems accepted the credit card is working? Yes/No? After 10 min of attempts I gave up, locals didn’t understand more than me why.
I came in Wilanow in the night, I saw from the windows some colours outside. Interesting… it became even more when I was closer to the Palace. I don’t know if it is related somehow to the Three Kings Day but that event was for me very cute and unexpected. I came to see a Palace and I finally play in a original labyrinth totally unlighted! The only drawback was that my tripod was broken and I couldn’t take perfect long-exposed photos… what a pitty.
Time to leave Poland once again
Still no money but more new photos of Poland, I took the bus again to the centre with my extra-wet shoes, very uncomfortable. The bus had a stop in the Centrum, where my train arrived in the morning and from where my bus will leave. I had to find in the train station the place where I left my luggage… it was not easy, all the underground ways look alike. Even later when I had to find the exit I had fun… But before that I took a hour to rest in a café. Yes I am like that. I rest before sleeping in my bus.
Oh last nice thing which happened: when I sat in the bus, ready to go to Vilnius I received a message from Nastya, she just arrived from Ukraine and wanted to meet me… Soon my friend, soon…