In Warsaw there are many statues dedicated to their great characters , surely we forgot many, but we liked those of:
- Frederic Chopin, Warsaw's favorite son
- Nicolaus Copernicus, the man who moved the Earth
- Adam Mickiewicz, patriotic and romantic poet who wrote Pan Tadeusz (Polish, Lithuanian ...? Here shows how ridiculous are the sometimes boundaries )
- Ignacy Padervsky, pianist, composer and politician who fought for the independence of Poland
- General Charles de Gaulle, we do not know yet why is here
En Varsovia hay muchas estatuas dedicadas a sus a sus grandes personajes , seguro que se nos olvidan muchas , pero a nosotros nos gustaron las de :
- Federico Chopin , hijo predilecto de Varsovia
- Nicolás Copérnico , el hombre que movió el mundo
- Adam Mickiewicz , poeta patriótico y romántico , que escribió Pan Tadeusz ( Polaco , Lituano...? aquí se demuestra lo ridículas que algunas veces son las fronteras )
- Ignacy Padervsky , pianista , compositor y político que luchó por la independencia de Polonia
- General Charles De Gaulle , todavía no se porqué está aquí
We were most surprised when we visited the Jewish Cemetary to be told to return to the gate house and pay an entrance fee (the sign was hidden by overgrown weed). The price required was 5 zlotys. I'm so glad we did pay or I would never have discovered the story of Janusz Korczak - a Doctor by Education and an educator by predilection. This man founded the first orphanages in Warsaw, both Jewish and Catholic, he was also a well known writer of childrens' stories. He could have escaped his fate with the help of his fellow professional but chose to stay with the children saying "You would not leave a sick child in the night. How can I leave them now?" Janusz Korczak died with the children he protected in Trebllnka.
If you are meeting up in Warsaw either with a local or other people it is very likely that they will ask you to meet at any of the points listed below (in approximate degree of popularity order):
1) at King Sigmuntus' Column (Kolumna Krola Zygmunta) at the Castle Square (Plac Zamkowy) by the Old Town
2) by the Rotunda (the round building made of glass - location of PKO BP Bank outlet) at the junction of Jerozolimskie Ave. and Marszalkowska Str. (just on the other side of Marszalkowska from the Palace of Culture and Science)
3) by the EMPiK store at Nowy Swiat Str. (usually at the entrance from Nowy Swiat Str.)
4) by the entrance to the Srodmiescie (center of the downtown) subway station - just on the other side of the Marszalkowska Str. than the Rotunda, just off the underground passway
5) by the Copernicus monument at Krakowskie Przedmiescie (on the Royal Trail just off the Warsaw University location, by the end of Nowy Swiat Street)
When we checked in at the hotel, we got a complimentary copy of In Your Pocket Guide (English), which is a very easy to read and useful guide about Warsaw. One of the things it mentioned about Poland is that when pay your bill at the restaurant, if you hand over the money and say Thank You - Dziekuje -, the waiter will consider that you are saying "Keep the change", no matter how much it is. We experienced this in one of the restaurants, when my husband handed over the payment and said Thank You, the waiter also thanked us and kept the change.
Here, in Warsaw, in my opinion, much more people who wear outfit, that is more shiny, with glazy details on it. If you go to shop, you could see more outfits with those shinning things.
What is more, there were more young people, who wear sweat suit or at least sweatpants.
I don't know if it is more typical for Polish, but at least now it is such style, but, as we know, style changes period by period.
Although Poland joined the European Union (EU) on the 1st of May 2004, they don't have the Euro as currency. Poland's currency is still the Zloty. 1 Zloty is divided into 100 Grosz and the official currency code is PLN.
There are plans that Poland might introduce the Euro as official currency in 2013.
I got my Polish Zloty from cash points (ATMs), which are widely available in Warsaw, especially in the touristy city centre.
Right in downtown Warsaw, there's one particular building I found quite odd. I do not want to be a bad critic here but "why was this building projected with that shape (as picture) ??"
I confess I do not find this construction very safe but, ... oh well ..., who am I to make dissertations about architecture in general !?!?
In December and January, Warszawa is decorated with an almost unlimited amount of lights to keep away the long nights. These alluminations do not only come in many many christmas trees, but also in a thousand-and-one guirlandes that are hanging over the main streets in the new old city center. Together with the traditional allumination of monumental buildings, a night walk through nocturnal Warszawa is quite a great thing to do in this time of year.
Though far from the sea, Warszawa has as icon a mermaid. Not just a beautiful little girl with fishtale that coames her long hair sitting on a rock ... no, the Warszawian mermaid is armoured, hold up a shield and is prepaired to attack with her sword. The coat of arms shows the fierce caracter of the Warszawians to be prepared to stand every attack on them (and many they got). The coat of arms can be seen everywhere throughout town in statues, small icons and on almost every taxicap that drives around in the streets.
Photo from the tipping jar at Oki Doki's bar (sorry for the bad picture). In case you can't read the picture:
"Tipping improves your:
- Sex appeal
Not to mention your
- IQ Level"
Joking aside, I don't know if it's customary to tip but at the restaurant we went to the service was included and we rounded up the bill.
I don't know if this is true for everyone else in Poland but all the Poles in our flight (and they were about 75% of the passengers) applauded when the plane landed in Warsaw. And here I thought Dominicans were the only ones who did it hehe.
Meat and a shot of potato vodka is the basic thrust of Polish cuisine, with pickled root vegetables and black bread on the side. Traditional Polish specialties such as kielbasa(Kulbasti in turkish) and pierogi will be familiar to visitors, but delicious smalec (deep-fried chunks of lard) has not achieved the same international popularity.
We saw alot of streetside vendors,
especially food vendors.
We found the pastery and other
offerings they had to be fresh and
We recommend that you pick up a
few things to snack on while you are
out and about, or take whatever you
get back to your hotel, or like in our
case, our apartment, because we had
I haven't seen any slums in Warsaw. I mean an overcrowded and squalid district inhabited by the very poor and characterized by high rates of poverty and unemployment and being breeding center for many social problems such as crime, drug addiction, alcoholism, and despair.
But look at my pictures. Warsaw has the most expensive apartments in Poland. So, many average people still live where they always lived: either in old houses rebuilt after WWII or in huge and ugly prefabricated apartment buildings built mainly in 1970' - 1980' and full of poor quality very small appartments hired for relatively small money. Sometimes two families are forced to live in relatively small apartment :-(.
The old houses were rebuilt after WWII often with no care to their quality and they had to belong to the state that meant in a Soviet style country to no-one. So, no-one took care about them for years. The main problem for many Poles is to have a job but in Warsaw it's easier than anywhere else in Poland. But to have the only expensive thing each family must have - an apartment or house to live in is a serious problem in Warsaw.
The already very neglected buildings although not that old (built in 1950' mostly) are transferred or sold to private owners but as for now exclusively in attractive areas where a business set up on the ground floor (a restaurant, shop etc.) may give profits. At least in Warsaw situation is less complicated as generally there was no nationalisation of previously private buildings as they in 85% were turned into ruins and rebuilt after WWII from state funds But the private owner of a house can rise up a rent for an appartment only to a fixed limit passed by the parliament. Thus the new owners of the houses not having money from the rents can't renovate them. The result is well seen in my pictures. I guess, the apartments inside don't look that bad. And I haven't seen any homeless people in Warsaw, but they are hidden somewhere.
Polish people (and also most other Eastern European nations) are extremely fond of flowers. I have known a Russian work colleague, a Slovenian friend and now our Polish acquiantances to all be extremely enthusiastic about receiving flowers, giving flowers, arranging flowers, growing flowers... I've learnt that when invited to the home of an Easten European, always bring a nice bunch of flowers & you can never go wrong :-)
In Warsaw there are plenty of professional florists, but especially in the Old Town ("Stare Miasto") you will see many old ladies with small stands selling freshly cut flowers on each & every street corner. They never seem short of customers either, no matter what time of the day or what day of the week I passed, they were doing brisk business.
In residential areas I noticed that peope had placed flower arrangement by their kitchen or dining room windows. In my hotel room I also had fresh flowers every day. We also saw boquets of flowers in many restaurants and cafes... to cut a long story short: Eastern Europe is still under the spell of FLOWER POWER!
I think this is a wonderful tradition, one that is all too quickly diminishing in the West... the impact of such a simple & inexpensive thing as some purchased or hand-picked wild flowers should never be underestimated... I never do! (Men! Buy your ladies more flowers!)