Heading east

Trip Start Dec 30, 2006
Trip End Jul 27, 2007

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Flag of Poland  ,
Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Life lesson #36 - when drinking with a group of people who work in the hospitality industry don't try to keep up.  Ever.  Especially if your drinking good Polish vodka, they are Irish & have had a week head start in Warsaw before you show up.  It was really poor decision management on my behalf.  

But, the vodka was delicious...and cheap.  so so so cheap.

Very poor weather in Warsaw for my few days in the Polish capital.  The gray clouds and rain didn't do much to improve upon the great soviet russian architecture that dominates the feel of the city.

Thankfully though, my roommates (five of 'em) where a group of friends on vacation for the week from Ireland.  Good times...except for one especially bad hangover.  Although very smooth going down it can be a little rough when it comes back up again.  Needs more mint, that's my opinion.

I was a little surprised at how cheap things where, especially food and drinks.  With Poland now in the EU, I had expected prices to be a bit higher.  We went to a rather fancy restaurant one night and I had a very good Pad Thai for only 20zlt, or about $8 CDN.  A meal on the street only cost between $1-$2 CDN, so long as you didn't get a drink, which could almost double the cost.  Post hangover I even broke down and bought a couple of $0.80 cheeseburgers at McDonald's.  A grease intake was needed to counter the vodka outtake.

I did get out one day to walk around but due to the rain I didn't get too many pictures.  Warsaw has a definite soviet russia vibe with its buildings and public transportation but at the same time a few post-soviet post-modern high rise buildings are also dotting the skyline.  It makes for an interesting contrast with the modern vs. old ways of life in Poland.

Warsaw was totally destroyed following the uprising of '44 and again when the Nazis where retreating at the end of the war...so most of the city has been built after the war.  The Old Town area was one of the only areas that doesn't have a soviet feel to it but it does have a touristy feel...hard to pinpoint exactly.

Not much remains of the infamous Jewish Ghetto of Warsaw as most of where the ghetto was is now standard soviet housing blocks..but a few signs remain including part of the wall that separated the area from Warsaw and a couple small buildings that remain.  If you haven't already done it, you should rent "The Pianist" (2002) for an idea of the Jewish Ghetto in Warsaw during the Nazi occupation.

Sadly no photos for Warsaw...when I put my picture card into the reader to upload them in Krakow the computer froze...when I rechecked my card later I saw I was missing about 500 pictures...or 4/5 of all the pictures taken.  It looks like the card was corrupted and hopefully the photos can be recovered at a later time but until then...no Warsaw pics to upload.
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