We Came, We Warsaw, We Conquered

Trip Start Mar 02, 2010
Trip End Oct 29, 2011

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Flag of Poland  , Central Poland,
Monday, October 3, 2011

As the capital and the country's biggest city, it is a pretty obvious (or even necessary) stop for anyone who takes the tourist trail through Poland. For the most part the real appeal of Warsaw is for the history buffs. The history of the city isn’t maybe quite as wild as Berlin, but it’s certainly close.

 For starters, WWII started here after Germany invaded the country, and then went on to be completely flattened during the war. After the war, the Russians got their hands on it and rebuilt it communist style. And herein lies the problem with the city - it looks boring. Aside from the old town and Nowy Swiat (the city’s main drag) much of the city’s architecture is extremely grey and plain looking. There is a brand new central mall and soccer stadium though, that have been built since Poland joined the EU, and they look pretty flashy so maybe there’s hope for the city’s aesthetics in the future… 

 Some of our time in the city was eaten up at the doctor’s office, but while we were there we still managed to check out the Warsaw Uprising Museum which is a pretty cool exhibit to a more unconventional style of warfare. Basically, the Polish army had been more or less decimated/disbanded but the fight against the Nazis was kept alive through an underground network. It was impressive because part of the goal was to keep the culture alive while disrupting the Nazis in any way possible, so it had people contributing in all kinds of ways, which even involved children who ran messages to the soldiers in action. 

 We also went up to the viewing deck of the Palace of Science and Culture which gave us some nice panoramas of the city, and also went over the river to the Praga district which is where lots of scenes in The Pianist were filmed. It’s also one of the few areas of the city that wasn’t totally demolished in the war, so it’s got some of the oldest buildings in the city. Other than that we just took in many of the sights and got seriously filled up on peirogies.

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