2 days in Warsaw - 19th May 2008 @ 1:36 pm «   »

Location: Poland : 2 days in Warsaw

According to our train schedule book, we were supposed to catch the 16:12 train from Krakow to Warsaw, but at the station we were told that we could take the 15:55 fast train instead with only our train passes. When we got on the train, we soon realised that everyone had seat reservations accept us.. We chose 2 seats in a 6-seater compartment with 2 other people, but soon after that 2 others came in and chased us off their reserved places. Luckily we 2 seats we ended up with were free for the rest of the way. It was a very fast train indeed and we arrived in Warsaw within 3 hours instead of 5.

In Warsaw we went straight to Nathan’s Villa Hostel that was recommended to us by the hostel in Krakow. It is only 10 minutes walk from the station and in a great location. But all the cheaper rooms were already full by the time we arrived, so we had to stay in a more expensive room for the first night.

The next morning, after seeing what the hostel breakfast had to offer we went on a coffee shop mission and found a very nice one 10 minutes away – Green Coffee. We ordered their lunch special and had 2 delicious ciabattas and huge lattes. It was so nice to just sit in a coffee shop again and have a decent breakfast (even though it was off the lunch menu) for a change. Feeling satisfied we went into the town and saw the Changing of the Guards at the Tomb of the Unkown Soldier. After this we walked the Royal Way (a 4km walking route) through the Old Town and visited the Royal Castle (free on Sundays). Warsaw’s Old Town is really nice, especially the main square – full of cafes, restaurants and horse carriadges and surrounded by colourful buildings. We found a cozy cafe on the square and had a local Polish beer while watching the people go by. Our last stop was at the Church of Crosses where Chopin’s heart is preserved in one of the pillars in the church, after being shipped over from Paris.

On the way back to the hostel we had enormous icecreams (about 10cm high!!) – it must be a Polish thing, because everybody walks around with them. We decided to treat ourselves with a nice dinner, instead of cooking pasta again in the hostel kitchen.

The second night we moved to our cheaper 12-bedded room at the hostel – BIG mistake! One guy snored so loudly that everyone in the room was kept awake for hours. It was seriously the most insane snore-case we have ever encountered! Up until last night, we didn’t think such noises could be produced by the human body.. At about 3am we just couldn’t take it anymore and asked to be moved to a different room. Suprisingly they agreed straight away and gave us 2 beds in a smaller, much quieter room at no extra cost. The joys of hostel life..

About 1 week ago we were told about the concept of “couchsurfing” for the first time. It is a global network of people that offer their homes to travellers at no cost and in return they can do the same when travelling (ww.couchsurfing.com). We checked it out and after last night’s experience decided to register immediately :)

We managed to secure accommodation in our next 3 destinations already! We are going to give it a try and see how it goes, but have very good expectations about the whole scheme.

The weather is terrible at the moment, so we’ll just chill until we leave Warsaw this evening. We have to take the bus to Vilnius (Lithuania) as the train no longer runs this route. It is an overnight bus, leaving at 23:00 and arriving in Vilnius at 09:00.

If you can’t see the slideshow above click here.

5 Responses to “2 days in Warsaw”  
Morne, Leanne and Ethan Says:

Hey guys, glad that you are both well and on schedual. Morne and I were wondering if any of the earthquake areas in China are on your route there? Will this affect your trip in any way?
Take care and chat soon again.

jan Says:

Hi Leanne. Wow, this is the first I’ve heard about the earthquake! News is hard to come by if you only check websites every now and again.

Yes – we are planning to go through that area – will have to investigate to see if it’s still a viable option now..

This is the BBC’s map of where the quake hit (bbc.co.uk) and this is where we were hoping to travel through (Chengdu map)..

Branree Says:

5:30am on a Tuesday and the boys both decided that it was time to wake up and play. Anree did the night shift. so it’s my turn to drag myself out of bed and do babysitting duty. Luca is watching a Planet Earth DVD and excitedly telling me about the “deers bashing heads” in the taiga forests of Russia, while Nikolai is lying on the floor chatting away (his favorite words these days are Dadadada and ‘Cah!) and bashing the hanging toys on his play-gym around with gusto. I’m taking advantage of the time to catch up with your blog.

I dig the slide-show presentation of your photos… nice. Looked like a great hike in Slovakia and the pics of Aushwitz sent a chill down my spine.

Maybe it is just getting close to breakfast time, but thinking of you guys biting into chunk of garlicky kielbasa took me back to my childhood memories of my grandmother’s ukrainian and polish cooking and set my mouth to watering. My favorites used to be a big plate of cheese and potato filled perogis (dumplings) smothered in sour cream and fried onions. A piping hot bowl of bright red borscht (beet soup), again with a dab of sour cream, is also a real winner, especially when it is cold and cloudy outside. Holubtsi, or cabbage rolls, were ever present and very filling.

On that note, I’m going to break off, go make some breakfast and get Luca ready for school. Always have to be sure to leave enough time for him to go out to the little pond and feed the fish… our morning ritual before Anree drops him off at his little Montesorri school.

Good luck with the couch-surfing. Can’t wait to hear how that turns out.

Mamma van PE Says:

Ek was nogal verras toe jy ons aanspreek oor antwoorde. Ek het op die blog geantwoord en ook email gestuur in antw op Marizanne s’n.Sedert ek laas gelees het het julle omtrent ‘n mondvol gedoen! Het nognie na julle nuutste fotos gekyk nie,want @ tyd dat my email afgelaai is,sommige gelees is ens is daar soveel tyd verby,dis nie eers snaaks nie. More is my laaste dag in PE voor ek DV Anree-hulle toe gaan tot die 2deJunie toe. Besige naweek gehad met Hettie se man Ettienne wat oorgeslaap het, die braaigroep hier by my gehad,en hy kon toe sommer die vuur aan die gang kry. Het t Mariaan Lucouw ook oorgenooi. Vanaand nog Dissipelskap gehad 8uur eers vir my ‘n groot ete gemaak,en geeet terwyl ek ‘n paar opgeneemde programme kyk.
Oom Ters het toe eers gister ‘n 5-ledige omleiding gehad,en hulle moes glo kwaai sukkel om sy bloeddrk af te kry.More na Bybst,my hare laat sny,en dan gaan ek eers begin dink aan weggaan.O gats,wou vanaand nog bel vir plek vir Jonty!!Liefde tot later.xxxxx

Morne, Leanne and Ethan Says:

Mmm, well it looks like you may touch on the area of the quake , so I hope that doesn’t mean too much of a detour for oyu guys if any. Keep well