Wandering around Warsaw
Trip Start Aug 30, 2009
244Trip End Dec 25, 2009
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Had a couple of days now to wander around Warsaw, the capital of Poland, and see the sights and take in some of the culture and palaces. As neither one of us are feeling the best right now, we are wandering slowly, very slowly. Late starts, early ends to the day. But then a lot of work too on the house. People preparing the paperwork don't always listen to everything you tell them then there’s tell them again, email back and forth again taking another day. It will get done eventually or not. Not going to worry about it.
We figured out were we were on the map and wandered to the old town. A lot of our information is coming out of "Warsaw in your Pocket" which the hotels and information centers provide
Slowly and methodically, using old photographs, drawings, memories, and anything that could be found, Warsaw was rebuilt. Some of the buildings are more Soviet style than pre-war Polish but most of old town looks as it did long before WWI and WWII. It’s rather odd to wander through the beautiful squares and realize I am the same age, more or less, than these buildings. That’s an old kick in the head figuratively.
A lot of the bricks and furnishings and such came from Wroclaw apparently to the detriment of Wroclaw even causing them to tear down some of their old buildings that were fine after the war.
Today we went into the Royal Palace
Passing by a park in the morning, a ceremony was just starting. A military band led off a group of maybe 75 young men marching in formation into a large park and past a reviewing stand. We asked one of the police what was the occasion and he told us it was a military graduation.
Wanted to go into the church of the Holy Cross. Part of the problem with touring out of high season is that things are being renovated, cleaned, moved, whatever. Such was the case today with the Church of the Holy Cross. The sanctuary was scaffolded and plastic sheeting hanging off to protect walls. A sign in English and Polish said that you could get in through the bottom floor. Apparently there is an urn there that holds the composer Chopin’s heart. Not sure if it is the ashes or the heart moldering in there
We retraced our steps back through the newer area this afternoon to find the National Museum. It is more of a Fine Arts museum with a lot of 9th century plasters and frescoes taken off of church walls. Some of them are in good shape and others you must use your imagination to figure out exactly what it is. It also has quite a nice collection of altars and religious carvings. Then we get into the paintings. I’m not that good in museums. I can usually last through 3 maybe 4 galleries and then I’m done. Sure enough, after the frescoes, the wooden religious carvings, and two painting galleries (plus two small photograph galleries), I took a break and sent text messages to my daughter complaining; “I’m bored!” Things just start to blend together after awhile plus so many of the early paintings and renaissance paintings are so dark that it’s hard to make out the details. And as a lot of things were not in English, was hard to hold my interest. My husband lasted longer but worried about getting to an internet to send documents back and forth during the day time in the U.S.; we bailed out of the museum early and headed back to the hotel.
One more day in Warsaw. Tomorrow there appears to be a marathon as tents were being erected around the Royal Palace so we will avoid that area tomorrow and head for the new parts of town where there are a few more museums we want to see and some churches.