Saying Goodbye to Warsaw
With Berlin behind me the next stop was Warsaw, Polands capital.
The six hour train ride was un-eventful only for the freezing cold cabin that was our carriage.
With no Google maps to guide my way it was my first time without a sense of direction.
It didn’t take me long to approach another tourist who had their head in a map and I found she was also lost.
With two tourists looking around and pointing to a map it was a friendly local that saved the day and once pointed in the right direction it was not long until I reached Oki Doki hostel which was my stay for the next three nights.
I had met the managers of the hostel Agatha and Magdalena earlier this year in Dublin and it was great to stay at their uniquely styled hostel.
Each room has a different theme and I was staying in the Sea room .
After heading out for dinner I returned to meet some attendees to the UN climate change conference that was happening all week in Warsaw.
Warsaw was the first place on my trip that I had visited before, but it was nice to return.
The next day I was trying a free walking tour to see some of the city.
The free walking tour concept is very popular throughout Europe and the guides work off tips which seems to be working.
This time it was the Orange Umbrella walking tour of the Old town of Warsaw.
Starting at Sigismunds statue our guide was very enthusiastic and the two and half hour walking tour was amusing and interesting.
The old town itself is unusual as 95 % of it has been renovated after the destruction of Warsaw during World War ||.
85% of the whole city was destroyed by the Nazis and it was possible that the whole city was to be abandoned after the war but the locals wanted to stay and rebuild what was there.
We learned of the struggle that the Jewish who numbered 400,000 pre-war had with the Nazi occupation and also the take-over of Poland from Soviet forces.
Ending the tour we were given a free vodka which we were advised it is impolite to refuse.
So after downing the shot we ate rye bread smeared with pig lard and topped with a gherkin.
The next day I headed to the Uprising Museuem with Zeta a girl I met at the hostel the evening before.
We walked and chatted on our way and Zita educated me on her love of Argentinian Tango.
Travel is as much about the people you meet as what you see.
It is alot easier to make these connections staying in hostels and it was great to talk to Zeta about her passion for Tango.
Arriving at the museum we found out it was closed but it was worth the walk and the chat.
I decided to head to the Copernicus and Zita headed to see the old town.
Arriving at the Copernicus museum I was faced with hundreds of school children running around.
It was a very hands on museuem and perfect for children.
It brought science to life but I guess you can only take screaming children for a certain amount of time.
Later that evening I was off to see the Poland Vs Ireland game in a local pub.
Magdalena the manager from Oki Doki Hostel joined me with her friends and I got to taste some Russian Dumplings which I have been advised are not Russian but polish.
With a scoreless draw the match was not much to watch but we had a good laugh and it was great to be in the company of the locals in a non-touristy environment.
Heading back to the hostel I had 3 hours sleep before my 4 am start the next morning to make my way to Tallinn.
Until next time