Wandering through Warszawa

Trip Start Jun 16, 2010
Trip End Aug 18, 2010

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Where I stayed
The Capital

Flag of Poland  , Masovian Voivodeship,
Monday, August 16, 2010

I'm not sure if it was the low air pressure outside, our physical and/or emotional exhaustion, or just different beds, but Vanya and I slept until the unfortunate 12:30pm. I had plans to take Vanya to the Warsaw Rising Museum at 10am and this was really inconvenient, even though we both felt incredibly rested. Our stomachs were rumbling so we decided not to venture into the city but go straight to Aunt Zosia’s for the lunch meal.

Aunt Zosia didn’t disappoint us once again. Her cauliflower soup and beef roast were simply delicious! After consulting with my cousin Barbara for a minute, I figured out that I could still take Vanya to the museum, even if we can’t see everything there.

We took the very convenient tram which stops almost at the door of the museum and entered, sure that we had at least 3 hours to sightsee. To our surprise the guard informed us that the museum closes at 6pm and at 5:30pm the ticket kiosk is already closed. It is decided for the visitors that if you don’t have at least an hour to see the expositions, you cannot enter the museum. I wouldn’t have any of it! I didn’t travel half through the city to be turned away. After receiving a heated sermon on the ridiculousness of such a rule the guard must have been annoyed enough that he waved me off exclaiming, "Lady, just go inside without a ticket!" That was just fine with me. What I cared about the most was seeing the new movie “City of Ruins.” Based on the documents, pictures, and descriptions computer animators digitally created a 5-minute document showing the bird’s-eye view of the ruins of Warsaw after the Warsaw Rising, in the spring of 1945. I have heard about it for months and wanted to see it before leaving Poland.

We were able to see some of the museum, especially the reconstruction of the city sewers through which the young soldiers crossed under the city, carrying the wounded to the other side of the German troops. We made it to the last showing of the “City of Ruins” and as I expected, it made an unbelievable impression on Vanya and me. I don’t think we saw a single whole building left in the city at that time. From the 1,300,000 inhabitants of Warsaw before the war, after the Rising there were less than 1,000 left. Next year I’m going to make it a point to come back and show Vanya the whole museum.

We went back to the Downtown and decided to do some shopping. From “some” it went to 2 hours and by the time we arrived back at Aunt Zosia’s it was 9pm. My cousin Andrzej, Barbara’s younger brother, came to see us and eat a quick supper with us. We had to leave by 10pm, first, because it was beginning to thunder, and second, because we have to get up at 5am tomorrow to deliver Vanya to the airport.

I was exhausted but fortunately Vanya was able to pack his own suitcase and only asked for advice a couple of times. I called the phone service and ordered and wake up call, then requested a taxi for the morning. That was all. I fell asleep shortly after Vanya went to bed.

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