An Alien in Spain Visits - Poland (Warsaw)

I made it to Gdansk Glowny station and caught the express train to Warsaw, so impressed, three hours in a clean quiet comfortable train served coffee as well and only 105 zloty (£18).

Now I am going to tell you a secret and want you all to keep it to yourself - Poland is beautiful rolling hills, green pastures, trees, lakes and rivers at a fraction of the price of UK.

I am travelling to Warsaw to take part in a group of English speakers who will be put up in an Hotel all food and lodgings paid for 5 days to converse in English with native Polish speakers who want to improve their English if you would like to know more google Tandem House.

Warsaw is like any big city but easy to find your way around and the locals mostly speak English and are very helpful.

I booked into The Fest Hostel which is not as good as the one in Gdansk but adequate and close to all the sights and the guy on the desk Martin helped me book future train rides so very happy bunny.

I asked for a recommendation for lunch and he told me about the milk bars that I had never heard of before - they were set up by the communists when they were in charge and paid for by the state which meant they could dispense food cheaply to the people and a few are still in use so I tried one and the food was ok but cheap. Didn't take any pictures as I thought it might have seemed inappropriate.

I spent what little time I had left of the day walking down to the main park where I found a dedicated area to Chopin - big lake and statue that was redone after Germans destroyed the original and on Sunday's there are free concerts at 12 noon and 4pm unfortunately I am not here but was still impressed with what I saw.

Also in the park was the college of sculpture and further on an island with one of the Royal Palaces that was virtually destroyed by the Nazis as they were leaving in 1945 ( the same everywhere in Poland unfortunately) and they are rebuilding it.

The park is really big and I spent ages walking and taking snaps before I went back to the old town square for dinner sitting outside, people watching at Restauracja Zapiecek,

feasting on potato pancake with garlic mushroom and cream sauce washed down by a cold ksiazece beer before heading for bed.

Day 2

Today after a late hearty breakfast of cereal, coffee, rolls, toast, meats and cheeses at 12 noon I met up with a guided tour (3 hours) which covered some of what I had seen yesterday and showed me more of the capital city. The walk around the outside of the city had photographs of the walls after WW2 and how they have been restored and improved. There are numerous gateways into the city and my favourite is where the clock with hours depicted by Zodiac signs is situated.

Just on the outskirts of the city being overlooked by a statue of Marie Currie, she was Polish you know, is The Multimedia fountain that comes alive with a sound and light show Friday and Saturday nights at 9.30 pm and it's free. The city is filled with statues and quaint squares where there are flower sellers and restaurants to meet everyone's needs.

The tour ended at the Main square at St Anne's home of the Baroque Organ

Later that evening I returned to the site of The Millennium Fountain to watch the sound & light show which was amazing

A week has gone by and I am back in Warsaw after a week at "Tandem House" language course in Wolka Milanowska, a very rewarding week meeting polish and native English speaking teachers I can recommend it highly - now for an early night before heading on to Poznan tomorrow - I leave you with my final view of Warsaw from the hotel window of The Palace of Culture and Science.

Palace of Culture and Science.

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