Callum’s 2015 Adventures: Interrailing pt.3 Warsaw, Poland

‘Cultivation, old civilization, beauty, history!
Surprising turnings of streets, shapes of venerable cottages, lovely aged eaves, unexpected and gossamer turrets, steeples, the gloss, the antiquity! Gardens.
Whoever speaks of Paris has never seen Warsaw’
– Agnes Ozick

Day 6: Warsaw 21.08.15

Plan of Action

  • Make travel reservations to Krakow
  • Visit the “Tomb of the Unknown Soldier”

After what felt like a very busy start to my trip around Europe, Warsaw was included to represent a little break from the busier tourist destinations.

The first step was to visit the train station to sort out our reservations from Warsaw – Krakow.  Fortunately I was gifted a European Language book before the trip began which made this process a lot easier than it potentially could have been (if you ever go Interrailing yourself I really recommend picking one up!).

After picking up our reservations and heading back outside I was finally able to take in my surroundings. Next to the train station is a mammoth, colossal structure known as the Cultural Palace, a building of immense beauty that really contrasted the rest of the towns centre.

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Okay, from the picture is doesn’t look that beautiful but, trust me, it is. However, it was surrounded by grey skyscrapers; imagine some sort of post-apocalyptic world with giant grey buildings? Yeah, aside from the Cultural Palace, that was exactly what the centre of Warsaw was like. It just felt sad, like the city had been gutted.

Again, this greatly differed from other areas of the city, like the park you have to walk through in order to reach the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The park itself was beautiful, with wide walkways, a water fountain, and plenty of flower arrangements. Although, this was nothing in comparison to the monument built by the Poles to honour those who lost their lives in war whilst defending the country.

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The monument is manned 24/7 by two members of the Polish army, with changeovers occurring frequently. It truly is something special and lives up to its reputation as one of the most important memorials in Poland.

On our return from the park we decided to have a late lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe, providing us with a great view of the Cultural Palace at the same time. I hadn’t been to a Hard Rock Cafe before so I was really excited, especially after seeing the menu (and if you haven’t been to one before, then you really need too).

The day kind of winded down after then, although we did begin to learn just how cheap alcohol could be when going out for some drinks with Jason. For 22zlt (around £4) we purchased 3 shots of Vodka and 3 pints of beer!

Day 7: Warsaw 22.08.15

Plan of Action

  • Explore Warsaw’s “Old Town”

If there is one thing Warsaw has in abundance it is places to eat, and deciding upon somewhere to eat was actually a really difficult decision. In the end we plumped for sushi. Why am I telling you this? Because that was the meal that taught me just how great sushi was, and I haven’t been able to get enough of it since.

After this we investigated Warsaw’s “Old Town”. Unlike central Warsaw, old town was steeped in character. In fact, it seemed like we were in a different city altogether!

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The cobbled streets and oddly shaped, multi-coloured buildings were exciting and interesting. They brought a vibrancy and a spark  to the city that had lacked the previous day. The highlight was most definitely witnessing a wedding take place. Seeing two people come together like that, it was something beautiful. A special way to bring to a close a quiet and relaxing couple of days.

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