Bedtime of Day 1 in Warsaw

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I fell into bed about 6:30 pm. One concern I had before embarking on this trip had to do with pillows. I usually sleep with…well….quite a pile of them, and lately I’ve spoiled myself by bringing them all with me when I travel by car. So….would I actually be able to sleep in Poland once I hit the beds?

As it turned out, they do have good pillows in Poland but, instead of a top sheet, I was told that the new European thing to have is a comforter type blanket that can be slipped into it’s own casing. Before I realized what it was, I slept on top of it while leaving it folded in half, assuming it was some kind of bed pad! Either way, I slept quite well. And the windows…ah the windows! Most of the buildings had new windows that open both at the top, tilting inward, AND casement style, depending on the position you put the handle in, and no screens. I LOVED the no screens protocol! About 3 am that first night I woke up for a while and hung out the window taking photos!! “Didn’t we get bugs?” you ask. The windows had netted curtains, what we would call sheers, that kept most of the bugs at bay. As a bonus, they blew beautifully in the breeze.

I’ll also briefly mention bathrooms and water in this post. I have to confess, I was prepared for some scary bathrooms, because that’s always what Americans talk about when they travel. Well, yes, in Poland there are some pay toilets with slightly scary, stern looking women taking your zlotys, but other than that, the bathrooms were very nice thank you! Showers tended to be small with removable shower sprays and all the toilets had two options for low flow flushing: a half flush and a full flush….very green! For some reason, no one in Poland seems to drink the water out of the tap though. If you are at home, you boil and then filter your drinking water. On the road, you buy water and carry it with you. You also have the choice of water with gas and water bez (without) gas, that is, bubbly or not! So here is my first Polish bathroom and a 3 am view from our window at the Castle Inn.




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.