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  • Day19

    Warsaw 1

    September 1, 2016 in Poland ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    (*TESSA*) We’re staying in a building that’s one of many making up the Old Town, reconstructed following the second world war and now a UNESCO historical site. We checked in late after the delayed train and grabbed dinner at a local chain restaurant, Zapiecek, that’s well recommended (we downed pierogi, beef and cabbage, vodka and sangria).

    Our accommodation is way out of our league (but not that expensive). It’s proper lux. I can’t work the coffee machine. I’m in constant danger of knocking over the glassware and décor. The artworks are certified indigenous from across the globe (but not Australia). We tumbled dried our clothes for over 6 hours, over two days due to our inability to work the dual washer dryer. I’m blaming the tumble dryer for how tight my pants have gotten, but we all know it’s probably the pierogi.

    In the morning of the 1st we joined a free Second World War walking tour (we tipped well, of course) and learned of the starvation and persecution of the people, as well as the destruction of the city. Pierogi for lunch (seriously) with potato pancakes, with an aperol spritz for me and beer for Sheldon – as is usual most afternoons.

    We spent the afternoon at the Warsaw Uprising Museum. Following years of occupation, persecution and hunger, inspired by the earlier uprising of the Jewish people in the Warsaw Ghetto, the people of Warsaw armed in an effort to reclaim the city from the Nazis. With only about 10% of their makeshift army with firearms, they had little chance. The museum celebrates their wins – they took POWs and shut down a Nazi communication centre – but ultimately tells the tragic tale of the destruction of Warsaw. About 90% of the city was in ruins. The beyond cruel Nazi Ghetto that had claimed the lives of thousands of Polish Jews was wiped off the map.

    The Poles know how to construct a museum. There were survivor accounts, interactive exhibits, films, a 30s café, and items to collect. It was engaging, factual and, in stark contrast to the presentation of museums in Germany, it was emotive. I shed a fair few tears here.
    We had trouble finding the bus stop to get home. It’s not like Australia, where bus stops for each direction on a line are more or less directly across the road from one another.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Żoliborz, Zoliborz