More from Day 1 in Warsaw

Most of Warsaw was reduced to rubble in WWII. What you see here has been rebuilt, maybe in the 60’s?? But the charm and the Polishness of it is eternal in many ways. Castle Inn is right next to the clock tower and I absolutely LOVED hearing the time chimed out every fifteen minutes. I wanted to join the children by taking my shoes off and walking in the cool fountain water, but I restrained myself. Instead I rubber necked around, admiring the subtle art of all the buildings, and the COLOR, oh the colors. The photos don’t do it justice. It’s like walking in a picture post card world.

“And what did she eat for her second meal in Poland?” you might ask. Well, it wasn’t BK!

Just a few steps away from our hotel were several outdoor cafes, we picked one, and I went “hog wild” you might say! My favorite Polish food is something called pierogi, a type of ravioli, that can be boiled and sauteed in butter or fried and stuffed with anything from cheese to sauerkraut and meat. The taste is very delicate and comforting.

And then there is zurek…maybe that is my favorite! It’s an incredible soup, slightly sour from fermented rye and always has an egg in it, like a little present floating in flavor. Unable to decide (I was just too tired by then, you know!) I had both.

And Ian ordered pig knuckle. Ok, before you laugh or turn up your nose, read this, and then imagine the most delicious, tender pork you’ve ever tasted in your life. Believe me, the pig skin surrounding this baby is just a disguise to keep the timid from enjoying this feast. And all the time we were eating, we were enjoying the street sounds, the clock, the gentle drift of people around the square, some street musicians and a nice little breeze!

Poland, finally!

I am finally back home after two weeks in Poland to visit my son. It was a perfect trip! I took 600 photos, and needless to say, I won’t try to post them all today! I’ll be posting little by little, mostly to keep the vacation feeling going as long as I can!

After arriving in Warsaw, our first task was to head over to the train station to get tickets for our trip on Thursday to Poznan. Public transportation is awesome in Warsaw. Ian easily navigated us onto buses, trams and the beautiful underground, arriving here at the Warsaw train station, all the while keeping in touch with the rest of the world! Phones are big here too and everyone makes good use of the SMS as they get about 300 text messages for a dollar. And yes, Ian’s Polish is amazingly good for only being there six months and he seems to have the transportation system down pat!

Poland didn’t feel as different to me as I expected. The people are quiet and reserved for the most part until you get to know them. Things are very clean, people dress nicely, no sloppy American stuff. The only times I noticed that I wasn’t at home were when I saw those funny looking words on the signs around me and heard the foreign speach coming out of people’s mouths!

In the malls, I had an especially difficult time remembering where I was. After the train tickets, we headed next door to this amazing downtown mall. Several stories high, laced with escalators, and filled with boutique shops and numerous restaurants and cafes, it was at the top of the modern scale. Not sure if our hotel room would be ready yet, we hung out here for several hours. My doctor had given me suggestions for how to eat in Poland, and for the first meal at least, I paid attention and got a Whopper Jr. while Ian boldly visited Salad Story. And then, guess who joined us for lunch??!!

It was a treat to see this friend from Indiana days who now lives in Ukraine and was visiting Poland. Small world!

To get to Poland, I drove from Iowa to my sister’s in Peoria, then took a charter bus to O’Hare, changed planes in Frankfurt, and finally arrived in Warsaw. My first trans-Atlantic flight wasn’t as bad as I expected, but by afternoon, I was starting to sag. I managed to stay awake until about 6:30 before falling to asleep in this perfectly cozy¬† nest of a room, right in the middle of the Old Town of Warsaw. I’ll finish this post with some pics from our room at the Castle Inn and the views from our windows.