Saturday, January 24, 2015


Tuesday I had all day in Warsaw. My hotel was by the airport, so I ventured downtown on the bus.  For the actual play by play, refer to my earlier post a day of travel.

Warsaw is the capital and does have a larger population than Kraków. I still found it pretty tourist friendly, but less focused on tourism than Kraków. I started in old town again and again there was a nice 3-D map. 

I think I will leave the next post to talk on some of the crazy history of Warsaw but one thing you should know is that the old town was practically leveled in WWII. So when you see some of these buildings, it was all rebuilt in the 50's, 70's or maybe more recent. However, they used pictures to try and make it historically accurate. Some of the buildings in old town were even built at a slant to evoke feelings of older buildings. 

Here are some postcards of those same spots above where the destruction is compared between then and now. 

So considering this, just walking around the city was impressive. I visited the palace and took a tour inside. It was amazing that some of the art (sculptures, paintings, tapestries, moldings, etc) was saved before the war. It was taken out and hidden and then available when the palace was rebuilt. 

At one point I think that globe acted like a clock and rotated to tell time or the date. 

The throne room. 

One of the restored paintings that shows the various layers underneath which I thought was pretty interesting.

There were many almost life size paintings that took up full walls and I really enjoyed them - great colors and action. 

There were holes they drilled in the brick to place the dynamite to blow it up. 

I forget who this is, a famous Pole I assume, but it is carved out of wood and pretty impressive.

This was a wood floor in one room - all inlaid wood designs. I think it is made of something like seven types of wood. It was beautiful in person. 

A statue on the Main Street in old town. 

This statue is Nicolaus Copernicus (though he's hard to see in the gloomy weather), a famous Pole mathematician and astronomer. He's the one who said the sun is the center of our solar system and not the earth. I ended the day at a huge science center, named for Copernicus. It's mostly focused on kids and has tons of interactive displays (almost everything there was interactive) to learn about science. How arches are built and how strong they are, what's the fastest method to move water, how sound can be conducted through materials, how gears work, and on and on. Probably more fun for the kids, but I still enjoyed it with the rug rats running all over :). 

I also managed a visit to the Chopin museum (pronounced sho-pan for those of you like me who might say chop-in) :). It was meant to be a high tech museum with all this multimedia but half the time I couldn't get stuff to work, which was annoying. There is one spot where you can listen to his music, organized by the different types of music he wrote. I think I enjoyed that the best. 

It was a busy, slightly rainy but good day. 

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