The city still recovering from WWII and communism

Trip Start Jul 14, 2007
Trip End Feb 05, 2008

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Flag of Poland  ,
Saturday, August 11, 2007

Well it took us 21 hours of solid traveling to arrive in Warsaw from Stockholm. We had to make our way to the most southern tip of Sweden (4 hours), take an over night ferry to the northern tip of Poland (9 hours), and then a train to Warsaw (8 hours). The train to Warsaw was suppose to be the express train, but some how it felt like they were lying to us. Plus the trains temperature control was broken so there was intense heat being issued from what was suppose to be the air conditioning...needless to say it was a long train ride.

We arrived without previously booking a place to stay. Conveniently enough we ran into two people who worked for a hostel booking company at the exit of the train station. They brought us back to their booth within the train station and booked us a room at a local hostel. There were only double rooms left...a whopping $25 a night. They also gave us free transportation to the hostel in the form of a hostel worker in his own car driving at break neck speeds through the horrible city traffic. Since the traveling to Warsaw took a lot longer than expected, we stayed in that night instead of exploring. We were both a little weary about wandering around an unknown place in the dark, especially when our hostel was bordered on both sides by huge parks. So I did laundry, which was free but had no dryer. I figured my cloths could just hang dry over night...I figured wrong and had to pack a bunch of wet cloths as well as wear damp stuff the next day.

The next morning we set out for old town, which was about a 25 minute walk through the main part of the modern city. The place is pretty run down and was a drastic change from Stockholm. But once we entered the heart of old town, the atmosphere totally changed. There were lively people walking the streets, the building were painted colors with fabulous decorations painted on the outside instead of stone or metal work, and there were so many outdoor sitting restaurants. We wandered down then entire length of old town stopping at a castle gate, a large catholic church with a lot of gold ornaments, and the main square. We sat in one of the out door restaurants and had a snack and a refreshing lemonade. Things are a lot cheaper here which is a nice change from the UK and Sweden. The exchange rate is finally in our favor. We only had a half a day to check out Warsaw so we just decided to stay in old town, since it was the most inviting part of the city. We booked it to the train station around 3:30 to make a 4 o'clock train to Krakow.
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