Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Day 15 - Around Warsaw -Tues 20 May

Day 15 - Around Warsaw -Tues 20 May
Caught bus into Old Town - fascinating few hours wandering. In the Holy Cross church old ladies kept pointing out Pope John Paul II icons, paintings, designer alters - the Catholic Poles are certainly proud of "their" pope!
One altar was dedicated to those killed in Warsaw Uprising - there was a photo exhibition in square.

Bullet holes in one of rescued paintings


Saw changing of guard at Palace, lots of dignatories in suits, noisy police entourage accompanying President of Slovakia on visit to palace. 

all services represented  

double curtain walls of Barbican



Barbican - circular fortress. Jan Kilinski monument (shoemaker who led C18 Kosciuszko (!) uprising). Listened to baroque organ at St Anne's, quite funereal. Painter touching up frescoes looked like he was using a paint-by-numbers palette. 

Open-air wood carvers, art students, people lounging in recliners on river “beach” enjoying what must be rare sunshine. Lots of school students in Market Square (loved the littlies on excursion in their high viz vests!) Kids must spend 1 hr outdoors day whatever weather.... 

Cm'on - just 5 more minutes off...

Heard legend of basilisk who guarded treasures and turned everyone who looked at him to stone until a wandering tailor held up mirror and turned himself to stone, ending his reign of terror. Exchanged euros for zlotys so had money to spend, lunched on Sangria and Hungarian pork pancakes swimming in sauce. Saw St Casimirs church, walked past the Basilica of Martyrdom of St John Baptist (there’s just so many churches you can fit in one day), and King Zygmunt III Waza Column.

We decided to give our feet a rest and took the open-top bus tour, saw the Right Bank, modern Warsaw, heard of famous Polish hospitality (must be only if you visit their homes – retailers are certainly not the most friendly). The Warsaw Uprising Monument and Supreme Court flashed by, but just had to alight at Palace of Science and Culture – a gift to city by the Soviets, and surely one of the ugliest buildings in world! 

Shopped at Carrefors, then somehow got separated at bus station amongst the going-home commuter traffic. We were very proud of ourselves however, when we each made it back safely to the camping ground. But we did have to have a drink after that!

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