Poland
Mazovia

Here you’ll find travel reports about Mazovia. Discover travel destinations in Poland of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

86 travelers at this place:

  • Day20

    Warsaw

    August 15 in Poland

    Eastern Europe is a hipster’s wet dream, endless post industrial ruins and neighbourhoods ripe for ironic gentrification and the perks of good bars, coffee and craft beer. The speed with which the invasion is happening is incredible, like a blitzkrieg proceeding the wave of tourists finally waking up to the wonders of the east. Where Minsk this invasion was still raw and tentative, Warsaw, being further west and with a much more secure beachhead of tourists, had tipped over into full blown gentrification. Praga, a neighbourhood across the river from the centre, and a no go area after dark only a few years ago, now boasts the coolest, newest and most expensive real estate, which is slowly destroying decaying neighbourhoods, street art and markets. Not all is lost though, a few amazing examples of street art remain, the Soho district (really!) is a fantastic example of reuse of an old industrial area for the purpose of museums and public event spaces and Bazaar Rozicki remains, increasingly hedged in by increasingly shiny apartments on all sides.

    Bazaar Rozicki, was once Warsaw’s premier market, the epicentre of Warsaw’s thriving black market during the days of communism, since 1989 its popularity has waned significantly and is now a shadow of its former self. Today the lure of illicit goods has gone, but one could still easily outfit an entire polyester wedding thanks to the variety of cheap wedding dresses, kiddie tuxes and chintzy mother-of-the-bride gowns. It is still a great place to visit though with the characterful faded green wooden store fronts providing an atmospheric reminder of a time when Warsaw was a Communist backwater.

    While not Poland’s premier tourist destination, Warsaw was a shock after Minsk. Where the entirety of Belarus gets 100,000 international tourists in an entire year, the same number must have been in Warsaw on my first afternoon. Endless tour groups from every corner of the world and selfie sticks jostling for space and airtime in the tight streets of Warsaw’s beautifully reconstructed old town. Warsaw was completely obliterated in World War 2, what wasn’t destroyed by being in the middle of the be and flow of the eastern front was destroyed during and after the Warsaw Uprising in 1944, when the local population rose up in open rebellion against the Nazi’s. The uprising lasted just over 2 months in the forlorn hope of achieving the backing of the western powers and reestablishing an independent state before the Soviets arrived in town. 45,000 underarmed Poles kept the Nazi’s pinned down in bitter street fighting, before capitulating having run out of ammunition, food and water and receiving only limited support from the Allies, despite multiple promises of support. In retribution the Nazi’s ordered the destruction of the entire city, systematically going block by block blowing up every building. By the time the Soviets ‘liberated’ the city 85% of all buildings had been completely destroyed, and from a prewar population of 1.2 million people, less than 1000 remained living in sewers and basements. As a final nail in the coffin, the Soviets quickly rounded up all members of the Polish liberation forces and sent them to Siberian Gulags to ensure that any hope of national independence would be quashed. Finding themselves once again being “prisoners of geography”, experiencing first hand the manifest unfairness of being born in a small country in the no mans land between the east and the west.

    Other than the incredibly good Uprising Museum and monuments, today you wouldn’t know this was the case. The Old Town has been beautifully and faithfully restored, incorporating a huge number of original decorative features, which had been salvaged and hidden by locals in basements and houses for decades post war and using original stone and brick salvaged from other towns and cities across the country.

    My second day in Warsaw happened to coincide with a national holiday, Soldiers Day, a day similar to ANZAC day, but taking on an added level of gravity when you consider the countries geography and history. The city came to a standstill and there were various commemorative events culminating in an appropriately impressive parade of goose stepping soldiers, tanks and aircraft. A lot of the countries I have travelled through are celebrating 100 years of independence this year, which I have found a little ironic seeing as most have only been truely independent for a fraction of that time, but Poland is no different and so the parade was supersized this year, moving streets to a larger thoroughfare and including a large contingent of American servicemen and military hardware underlining the importance of NATO forces in bolstering the eastern front against an expansionist Russia. With the parade and formalities over it appeared that the entire city descended on the old town as one for an afternoon of eating and drink. This made the previous days crowds appear like a mere small gathering. The place was packed and I wandered the streets struggling to find anywhere for lunch or a drink that didn’t have lines stretching a block. As I was giving up and heading out, I heard someone call my name, and it was Tim, an American I’d met back in Riga. Tim lives in Germany and works for NATO and was randomly in town as part of the American contingent for the parade, it was serendipitous and another example of our crazy small world. Even better they had a table and a jug of beer and so I had somewhere to sit back and watch the passing parade and incredibly talented buskers who took over the town in the evening.
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  • Day14

    404 - post not found

    August 16 in Poland

    Eilne ja tänane on olnud asised. Eile sõitsime viies riigis - Itaalia, Sloveenia, Austria, Tšehhi ja Poola ning pärast ca 11,5 tundi sõitu, ca 900km ja huvitavalt suurt bensukulu maandusime Katowice lähedal Gliwices. Kerttu sealjuures sai linnas hakkama võrratute parkimismanöövritega.

    Tänane kulges rahulikumalt - nautisime hilisemat hommikusööki, uurisime linna (palju XXL suuruses naiste riidepoode siin) ning sõidsime törtsuke 3h edasi. Ronisime geopeituse raames noore tamme otsa ja jõudsime Varssavi külje alla spaga hotelli kus nautisime õhtusööki, paari sauna, mullivanni ja ujumist.

    Homme tuleb jälle sõidupäev, plaan jõuda Leetu.
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  • Day1

    Day 1 Warsaw

    August 3 in Poland

    Time for a new trip: This time to the Baltic states and additional Warsaw! Marcel joined me and we drove to Memmingen airport to find out that the flight to Warsaw was late for 2:15 hours. We decided to have something to eat in the meantime until I checked the flight status again and luckily it changed to 15 minutes delay which was great. After the arrival we had a hassle to get another bus ticket to reach the city. Finally we arrived at the palace of culture which is a quite impressive relict of the Soviet time. We walked to our hostel and afterwards we explored the neighbourhood which consisted almost only of banks and businesses - okay for one night. At least we found a small shop which sold beer. Later we went back to the hostel and slept. This night Warsaw was only a stopover!Read more

  • Day9

    Day 9 Warsaw

    August 11 in Poland

    Our plan for this day was to do a free walking tour in old town to get to know it a little bit better, but as we woke up it was raining cats and dogs! After all this time with perfect sunny weather we haven't been prepared at all. We decided to sleep late and relax until the weather got better. In the afternoon the rain ended and we were able to go into the old town. We catched a free walking tour. It led through the old town and was quite interesting. Afterwards we ate polish dinner again and returned to the apartment. Finally we went out to explore the nightlife of Warsaw. We found a club which was partly outside and it seemed to be quite local. After some hours we returned to the flat.Read more

  • Day8

    Day 8 Warsaw

    August 10 in Poland

    It was time to leave Vilnius and therefore we got up very early to reach the airport. We flew to Warsaw - the last stop on our trip :-) When we arrived we checked our apartment and were shocked! It was really small and didn't even have a proper bed and sheets!!! :-( it seemed to be a leftover from the former Soviet Union, maybe it was a live museum ^^. We decided to find another flat and found one some kilometres away from the old town. We rested in the Lazienki park for a while and called an Uber to get there. The new flat was great in comparison, luckily. After some time we walked to the old town. It is really beautiful, but crowded with tourists. Therefore we went on to an area above the river Weichsel to drink a beer. Afterwards we had dinner, piroggi and a rye soup - very tasty. We left the old town and walked back to our flat, quite a long walk as we noticed then.Read more

  • Day5

    Warsaw

    April 12, 2017 in Poland

    Warschau roept veel tegenstrijdigheden in me op. Ik vind het een mooie stad en alles lijkt heel gezellig, maar er is tegelijkertijd ook weer niet gigantisch veel te doen (komt ook door de vele regen hoor). De dag dat we 21 graden hadden hebben we heerlijk in een gigantisch park doorgebracht, waar een eekhoorntje zo naast me op het bankje kroop, en we lekker hebben gewandeld en zitten lezen. Het zomerse gevoel was snel voorbij want de volgende dag hadden we sneeuw en 10 graden! Hoe bizar dat het weer zo van dag tot dag kan verschillen. Van de honger kwamen we ook hier niet om: We hebben super lekkere Japanse Ramen gegeten met hele pittige kimchi, een ondefinieerbaar warm vleeshapje in een echt Poolse 'melkbar' en genoten van een vegan eetcafe dat binnen een minuut na opengaan helemaal vol zat met mensen. En ik snap nu waarom; zo lekker! Voor 12 euro ons buikje helemaal rond gegeten. We sliepen op een slaapzaal met 10 mensen en ik was mijn oordopjes heel dankbaar want er bleek een jongen de hele nacht gesnurkt, gesmakt, gerochelt en boertjes en scheetjes gelaten te hebben.. Heerlijk die hostels ;) Voor het Paasweekend vertrekken we morgen naar Gdańsk in het noorden van Polen (en hebben we weer even een eigen kamer hihi). De wekker gaat om 5 uur 😮Read more

  • Day5

    Warschau Altstadt

    May 11 in Poland

    Mittags mit der Metro zur Altstadt gefahren. Hier war im 2ten Weltkrieg alles zerstört und wurde danach Originalgetreu wieder aufgebaut.
    Leckeres alkoholfreies Bier getrunken und dann weiter zur Markthalle, dort wurde noch Brot gebacken indem es an die Wand des Ofen geklebt wurde. Warm gegessen, ein Gedicht.

    Abends auf dem Campingplatz noch ein Chinesisches Ehepaar getroffen und mit einem sprachübersetzenden Handy uns unterhalten. Die beiden sind 16.000 km aus China in einem einfachen Bus gekommen und wollen noch ganz Europa bereisen. Wahnsinn....Read more

  • Day5

    Kulturpalast und HRC

    May 11 in Poland

    Mit dem Bus in die Stadt zur Station Central, dort steht der Kulturpalast, das höchstee Gebäude Polens mit 237 Meter. Ein Geschenk der russischen Republik. Direkt daneben das HardRockCafe, unser Pin geholt und im Untergeschoss eine beeindruckende Wand mit vielen Gitarrenkorpus. Dann auf den 30th floor gefahren mit fantastischer Aussicht. 1,7 mio Menschen leben hier und eine Skyline wie in Frankfurt.Read more

  • Day366

    The great escape....

    June 5, 2017 in Poland

    A huge thunderstorm last night cooled the air down and made for some good conditions to get today's 100km+ done in good time. We've decided to leave the gps planned route which uses "cycle tracks" and freestyle the route along the minor "B-roads".

    Our deciding point of the day was the car ferry. If it was there ..great. if not it meant a 30 or 50km re route to find a bridge, and possibly an overnighter in Warsaw. The 10.30 ferry didn't happen so I wasn't convinced the 11am schedule would be met either, but out of the blue 2 super-friendly guys popped out of the cabin and welcomed us on board, saying thank you and goodbye when we paid them..(***OK that last bit was a lie, but the most important part was that the ferry came ;))

    Today's special prizes for bad behaviour go to:-
    - The guy who was writing a sms whilst riding his moped
    -The delightful bariatric gentleman who decided to stop his car and urinate against a house....on a street with numerous other discrete locations!
    -The bird that defecated on me this morning the moment I took the bike outside!

    Annoyingly we also had a second dog incident today. Two terrier dogs came out of a driveway barking, growling and chasing after us on the bikes. Peter was to the right and I was to the left furthest from them. Shouting seemed to help and thankfully we were able to out-ride them. If we had been on an uphill stretch or if it had been a younger child on a bike, the outcome may well have been different. I now have a depository of stones inside my front bag in case something similar happens again.

    Today was a good day though.. we've finished in good spirits, cooked a nice indian meal and filled up on chocolate treats. It looks like we may make ot through Poland afterall... !
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Województwo Mazowieckie, Wojewodztwo Mazowieckie, Woiwodschaft Masowien, Mazovia, Woiwodskap Masowië, Voivodat de Masòvia, Mazovské vojvodství, Mazowiecczé wòjewództwò, Województwo mazowieckie, Mazovia Provinco, Voivodato de Mazovia, Masoovia vojevoodkond, Voïvodie de Mazovie, Provinsi Mazowsze, Voivodato della Masovia, マゾフシェ県, Mazovijos vaivadija, Woiwodschap Mazovië, Voivodia da Mazóvia, Voievodatul Mazovia, Мазовецкое воеводство, Војводство мазовско, Masoviens vojvodskap

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