It is hard to believe that our winter stay in Warsaw is over, and it is indeed with bitter sweet feelings that we leave. We have seen and done so much whilst here and have met many new and wonderful people who have welcomed us into their lives, their homes and their hearts. Two Aussies made to feel so very welcome; we are indeed blessed and now consider Warsaw to be our second home, so happy and content were we there!
In and around Warsaw, we each walked some 1198 km from 6th October (when John’s apple watch was activated – it counts distance walked each day), to 14th April when we left. On the biggest days, we could walk up to 16km….. not bad for two silly old buggars!
We have a wonderful admiration of the Polish people who share and remember their history so very well. They do not remember with anger or hatred, but rather with dignity and respect.
Our last few weeks were very busy with a visit from a dear friend from Australia (Hobbsie), spending time with and getting know Diana and Greg (who we met on the Palm Sunday excursion), goodbye meals, packing our gear, posting ‘stuff’ back home, picking up the bike etc. etc. whilst cramming in a little more sightseeing when we could.
An Aussie welcome for Hobbsie at Chopin airport!
Is Span tall… or Hobbsie short???
Napoleon marched down these stairs ‘some time ago’. So… anything Napoleon can do… we can do better!!!!
This donut seller in Praga was happy to see us
MMMMM…. now what’s in that bag? Shhhh…. don’t tell Span…I bought a few souvenirs!!!
On the train from Chopin airport. Hobbsie happy to be here, and we are glad she is here too!
Span, Me, Diana and Greg. One of a few meals we happily shared together
Span ready to head to the post office with ‘stuff’ to post back home.
Last dinner with Hobbsie at the Royal Castle restaurant. No-one there but us, so we told Hobbsie we had booked the whole place just for her! Yeah… right!
Local Post Office in Old Mokotow with ‘stuff’ to post back home
Last pic of ‘the girls’ in our local coffee shop / bakery. They have the best cakes and have looked after us very well.. Thankyou!
Thanks Nicholas for arranging the appointment to have my defib checked just before we left….. You are a legend!
Another great meal with Diana and Greg
Gotta say it was great to be back on the bike after we picked it up though…… Just like putting on a pair of comfy old slippers!
A very BIG thankyou to Mirek and Jadwiga for garaging the bike for us over winter (it started first turn of the key) and their daughter Iza who was out beautiful interpreter.
So…… we sadly say goodbye (‘do widzenia’) for now to our home for the past 6.5 months, and thankyou very much (dziękuję ci bardzo) for having us ….. We will be back!
We have set ourselves a challenging final seven months in order to see and experience as much as possible. To date we have ridden around 35,000km, so the final tally will be interesting.
Our first stop will be the Ukraine, then onto Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo, Serbia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, then back across Europe (Germany, Belgium, Netherlands and France) to England and Scotland, then ……. Australia! Well that’s rough plan anyway!
So for now, we leave you with a few more memories from time spent in our beloved Warsaw.
Goodbye Warsaw…. we have loved being here xxx
Tea trolley at the local market.. what a cracker!
Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and of St Joseph – more commonly known as the Carmelite Church, with the monument to Adam Mickiewicz (Poet and political activist) in foreground.
Trams in Warsaw colours of red and yellow OR…. yellow and red – viewed from the Royal castle gardens
A lovely view up through the buildings of Old town
Toruk Plaque that says… This place is sanctified by the blood of Poles who died for the freedom of their homeland. On September 1, 1944 the Germans murdered about 430 people in an insurgent hospital.’
Uprising monument with Military Cathedral in background
Lunchtime during clean up and rebuild of Warsaw post WWII destruction – what a beautiful smile as she sits amongst the rubble.
Graffiti showing the Uprising symbol and the word ‘Pamiętamy’…. meaning .. Remember.
Hotel Bristol located in the Royal route near the Old Town
Old Town street with Barbican (Old Town wall) gate
Winter view across the Vistula from Old Town to Praga
Church of the Holy Spirit – Old Town. The first wooden Gothic church was built on this site in 14th century
Old Town Market Square by night
Stuff everywhere…. waiting to be packed!
My winter knitting in Warsaw – now a blanket of colourful squares!
Candles outside Presidential Palace to commemorate the fateful plane crash of 2010 in which the President and many others perished
Balls of Mistletow growing high up in the trees. Silly us thought it was just re growth initially
Outside Hala Mirowska – our favourite market
Local print shop where we printed lots and had lots more copied for our visas
1947 – Street racing in Warsaw. Stanislaw Brun of Polish Motorcycle Club (PKM) won 2nd place in opening race featuring light motorcycles
The old and the new
What a great face this old fellow has
Very happy to have our Ukraine visas
This beautiful old building in Praga still shows the ravages of war
Another little gem in Praga
Beautiful Old Town by night
Public works must take up a huge budget … Paving works always happening somewhere
Just a lovely picture outside the florist in Praga
Spring is coming with new spring flowers for sale
St Kazimierz Church – New Town – used as a hospital during WWII and the Warsaw Uprising. Because of this it was bombed in August 1944 – 44 priests, 35 nuns and more than 1000 civilians sheltering in the crypt were killed
Met Dominic when we were having a coffee – he overheard us speaking English and smiled, so we got chatting. Great bloke!
Just love this old building – note the catch nets all around the building to catch falling debris
Span waiting patiently outside the Ukranian Consul on one of our many visits to obtain visas
Opening of the Palace of Culture and Science in 1955, (aka ‘The Russian Building’ OR ‘Elephant in Frilly Underwear) – Stalin’s gift to the people of Poland
A long, long street in Praga
Beautiful moss covered trees at side entrance to the Church of St Michael the Archangel and St Florian the Martyr in Praga
Shrine to Our Lady in Praga building court yard.
Only a few things to sell – outside the bazaar in Praga
Vstrom looking towards Madame Curie statue – a famous daughter of Poland
With Beata at the Praga Folk Music Group Monument – dedicated to musicians who roamed the Praga courtyards and played for money or food
A great reflective picture.. just a bit different
Wedding dresses for sale at Praga market
The detail on the underside of this old balcony is just superb
Restoration in progress for this lovely old building… Wonder what stories it could tell
Wall art in Praga
mmmm… which way from here????
Looking back over old market in Praga from New museum
Looking back over Praga Market from the new Museum – worth a visit
Washing day in Praga
Courtyard shrine in Praga – called a chapel because during the war these were used when people could not go to a church safely
Yeah… the bike is out after winter!
Picture in photographic exhibition showing the rebuilding of Warsaw post WWII destruction – this lass had come from Sweden’s youth movement to help..
A nice view through the alley in Old Town
The first Spring sunshine… Ahhhhh the serenity!
Green beer (of course)… in an Irish pub
The famous mermaid of Warsaw – Market Square in Old Town
Warsaw by night – standing in the middle of Piłsudski Square
Now that’s bread FULL of grains… It was scrumptious
Looking back along the Royal Route at night
Some great modern architecture in Warsaw
3 of Warsaw’s icons – The Royal Castle, The stadium and Zygmunt’s column
Beautiful image Our Lady in St Kazimierz Church in New Town
The Palace of Culture and Science with clear blue skies
Pathway through the Jewish cemetery – eerily beautiful
Our Easter table – Lam s are a big feature of Easter in Poland; also Pussyl Willow and colourful palms
Old town water pump in Market Square
Outside traders at Hala Mirowska market – love em!
Now that’s gotta be a great beer!!!
For the tram buffs – the church of St Michael and St Florian in Praga in the background
Winter skies form our 10th floor apartment
Sunrise from our apartment
Sturgeon – our Easter scrumptious lunch prepared by Piotr and Ola
A favourite street in Old Town
Warsaw by night – from our apartment window
Piotr’s special Easter Desert! Just brilliant
Old Town by night
Warsaw from the viewing tower high atop the Palace of Culture and Science
Ola and Piotr at their apartment for Easter Monday lunch
Just a great picture…
Flowers in Warsaw are so cheap. The biggest flower market is at Hala Miirowska – 35zl is about $12
One very big intersection as seen from the top of the Palace of Culture and Science
Now that’s a stuffed chook…. and it is delicious!
The Barbican or Old Town wall
So many old untended graves in the Jewish cemetery – I guess many families would have been wiped out, so sadly there is no one left to care for them
Remembering all those who died in that fateful plane accident in 2010, along with the Prsident of Poland and his wife
What a loving face this lady has – he clearly knows her well
Catching some Sprintime sun…. He has a nasty reflection happening there 😀
Great view down the stair well in the Royal Castle – Span peeping out rom below
Pawiak – The Gestapo political prison during WWII. Over 100,000 prisoners were held here – members of the conspiracy, Jews and ordinary citizens. Torture was common – it was a prison greatly feared.
His reward for the food given by the lovely gentle lady
Tchorek plaque remembering 50 people who were shot at this site by the Naziz
Tulips a plenty at Hala Mirowska flower market
She smuggled this cute little dog into the supermarket!
Warsaw Stadium from the opposite bank of the Vistula river
Amongst the ruins of Warsaw – it must have been devastating. Look closely into the depths of this picture to see all the people sitting amongst the rubble
Statue of Warsaw’s mermaid down on the banks of the Vistula river
Interesting sign on the footpath
What tha???? Kangaroos in Warsaw?? yep at Praga Zoo – made us feel right at home!
Nicholas Copernicus monument – famous Polish Astronomer
Span practicing his Chopin – his mum would be pleased!
Polish protest march – not happy with new government
Symbolic railway and carriage – near the site where more than 300,000 Jews from Warsaw Ghetto were sent to their deaths in concentration camps
A golden oldie – for those who like sewing!
Bridge over Vistula River chock a block with protestors chanting and blowing loud horns and whistles. Not happy with the direction of the new government
The Ghetto wall is remembered in the pavement at many locations
Very old gravestones in the Jewish cemetery showing the injuries of war
Traditional Polish Dinner with Kris, Kristina and Beata.. You can’t see it cause we ate it all up!
These happy buskers frequented the trams .. and yes…. we gave them money sometimes! Well… who could resist a smile like that!
Monument near the place where more than 300,000 Jews from Warsaw Ghetto were sent to their deaths in concentration camps – railway carriage has crosses, hands and faces in the metal – very moving
Exquisite flamingos at Praga Zoo – they are so perfect they do not look real
Nice snap of Warsaw
Sleepy time at Praga Zoo – What a handsome fellow!
Picture in photographic exhibition showing the recovery of Warsaw post WWII destruction – rebuilding Warsaw from a sea of rubble
This keeper clearly has great love of these beautiful beasts at Praga Zoo
Now that’s a lollie aisle!
Canon Square with the Wishing bell and smallest building in the background corner – circle the bell 3 times whilst touching it for your wish to come true!
Soldiers on Parade near Castle Square
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Piłsudski Square – see the green and gold Aussie flowers from Australia behind the guards
Beautiful untouched Paraga buildings – many still empty – waiting to be claimed… Or not!
A misty evening
Sunrises from our apartment were stunning
A great dinner with Rose and Pete from the UK
Warsaw from high – from viewing tower high atop the Palace of Culture and Science
Warsaw from high – from viewing tower high atop the Palace of Culture and Science
One very small car
Inside one of the many beautiful churches
Many people use these walking poles
For the Beatles or John Lennon fans
This German Shepherd was patiently waiting whilst his masters had coffee inside the cafe – so cute and handsome too
Castle Square in Old town – Sigismund’s Column (centre) and Royal Castle – right
Warsaw cemetery by night on All Saint’s Day – so amazing
Unusual sight – roller skate and roller blades on mass and having fun!
Autumn skies from our 10th floor apartment
Celebrating Australia Day wit Kristina and Kris
Birthday girl with flowers and Polish Gold (Amber)
Modern shopping centre with ice rink in foreground
Warsaw trams in Warsaw colours of red and yellow OR yellow and red!!
Sunrise from the 10th floor
Very old part of the Jewish cemetery
Very happy to have our 12 month Polish Visa and ID cards!!
Warsaw cemetery with a spectacular carpet of golden Autumn leaves
Old Town Market Place – beautiful older gentleman comes regularly to feed the pidgeons
Lovely fountain in Saxon Gardens which are behind the tomb of the unknown soldier
Very cute – this lass holding a sign saying she is looking for a boyfriend!!
One very cheeky squirrel – Łazienki Park
A lovely young Aussie couple from Warragul (just near our home in OZ) – Ellen and Sam
Picture perfect Mandarin duck – such exquisite markings – Łazienki Park
A great shot of the Palace of Culture and Science (aka The Russian Building) with the Underground entrance in foreground
Lake in front of the Palace on the Isle – Łazienki Park
Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary – one of 2 active churches in Warsaw Ghetto – Rebuilt after the war, it was subsequently moved back 21 m in 1962 to allow the street to be widened – some very nifty engineering indeed!
Looking back to the Palace on the Isle (Łazienki Palace) in Łazienki Park
Classic vintage bike – another ‘golden oldie’
Warsaw cemetery by night on All Saint’s Day with a beautiful red hue
The watchmaker’s shop – look closely into the middle of the picture and you will see this beautiful man working!
Jadwiga, Jacko and Us in their apartment
Warsaw cemetery – many flowers and visitors on All Saints Day – 1st November
Just a great sign
Giving the Vstrom a good ‘tubbing”. Not sure who is enjoying it the most.. Span or the bike!
A lovely old ute from the past – built in Poland
Park just near the Uprising monument – so peaceful and tranquil in Autumn colours
One of many meat stalls at Hala Mirovska market
The Uprising monument tells such a story – front left shows how escape was made through the sewer system
An oldie but a goodie
Sunrise fromour 10th floor apartment
The BIG 60 birthday boy – very happy with the Apple watch
Sign in theMen’s Club window….” 57 stunningly beautiful girls (and 4 quite ugly) – cute sense of humour
This little fellow was so cute and SO gentle – not shy in coming for some nuts -Łazienki Park
Cross on the site where Pope John Paul II said mass in June 1979 – Piłsudski Square
Stunningly beautiful Polish Christmas balls of all sizes
A lovely misty dsy
Guess whose mum bought a Jeep ?????
Outside Hala Mirowska market. The small street holders with such beautiful faces always my favourite
Just love Old Town – amazing to think this looks so old, yet was only reconstructed post WWII destruction. Easy to see why it is UNESCO listed, so realalistic is the reconstruction
A couple of small paintings of Warsaw we bought to remind us of the wonderful time spent here