Trip Start Jun 08, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Tuesday 18 July
We arrived in Warsaw at 2345 and I asked them for my water bottle back for the last time - no good. The alki invited us to his favorite night club so the Nottingham girl was getting picked up by boyfriend so he drove us there. After a few drinks he drove me back to me hostel and we arranged to meet the next night. Had a few beers in the hostel bar before 1am close with the bar man telling me about all the sites and this eccentric women who did tours of the Warsaw Uprising area.

Wednesday 19 July
Up at 9 to get reception to book eccentric lady at 10. In the end had to phone her myself and we arranged to meet at 12 so went for a run around all the non Jewish area sites. Showered and met her in reception where we had a big argument about the price at reception which I found out later was due to the fact that she was Jewish and the Poles hate the Jews. I soon realised that this eccentric was in fact a professor at the university (first hand account of that) who was an expert on ghetto archeology. She was dressed badly and stank (first hand account of that) but it was one of the best tours I've been on. Loads of original uprising relics including Jewish fortifications, Gestapo buildings, fences, human storage sheds before they were sent to the concentration camps, the ghetto wall (numbered bricks so they knew exactly where they were), bridge across the Polish area between to Ghetto areas, Jewish and Polish resistance stories, Ghetto poor, middle and upper class areas and basements where Jews were starved. All these sites were not museums and in original condition. Poles are living above original basements where Jews were murdered so we had to be careful as we found a few Poles who don't like Jews showing people about. On the tour was joined first by a Brazilian family who upset me so I told them off - they left, secondly by a German speaking Swiss family (the wife was a priest who had a sister working in Palastine). The Swiss were excellent and joined for the rest of the tour asking interesting questions. Trouble was the 15 year old children were little interested, so we had to go to Macdonalds to pacify them. I just watched. The guide accused me of been stressed out. Finished tour and just felt like crying from all the sad stories it was just to much. Asked at reception for the local brew pub from my list and he said its not recommended to go there, so went to brew pub. Had excellent beer and food but no English and no company (I guess its like any capital, less friendly). Had bottom fermented stout (excellent), wheat beer, pils and ginger beer.

Thursday 20 July
Up at 9.30 with bad head. Everyone asleep so went for a shower with towel (too small) the hostel had given me. When I got back with just my front parts covered all my 3 female room mates were up sitting down facing me. A bit of piss taking and one said I was fit (haven't heard that for a while) and I had to reveal myself to them. Went for a walk round beautiful completely rebuilt old town, the museum on the site of former prison where the gestapo held 100,000 prisoners and murdered 37,000 mostly Polish. Up tower given to the city by Stalin with good views all over the city. Back to the hostel to pick up bag, and started giving money away, gave the receptionist girls a big tip as they'd been helpful. Onto railway station where ticket buying was a struggle with 14 offices so 14 queues. My queue was very slow then closed for a break before I got my ticket with lots of abuse from fellow passengers.
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