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My Polish Sojourn (my Poland vacation observations)


hague1cmaeron 14 | 1,377
30 Jun 2011 #1
Well folks, you might have heard about my Polish vacation which started on the 3 June, followed by a trip to London for 2 days. So regretfully that is out of the way and I am back to were I came from-not in the original sense. So just to share some of my observations:

Places: I arrived in Warsaw and stayed for 3 days (at the Westin on Grszybowska street-I think for the duration of my stay) following that I spent 2 days in Gdansk and also visited Sopot. I visited the family in Jaworzno and stayed for 3 days, following that I visited the family in Chiche-Podhale and stayed for 3 days and visited Zakopane. Following that I was invited to Krakow by a family member and I stayed with them for 2 days, his wife owns a restaurant called Kawaleria not far from the Rynek, which she invited me to for the duration of my stay –highly recommendable, he seems to have married quite well)

I stayed an extra day in Krakow with my father's friend (from his medical student days in Krakow), and visited the Wieliczka salt mines with his son. Following that I spent an extra day in Jaworzno, after which I departed for London and stayed for two days (at the Regency on Queens Gate in Kensington-the service was less than satisfactory but I survived) After my 2 days in London I made the arduously tiring journey back to Australia.

The Highlights: there is a saying that familiarity breeds contempt whilst absence makes the heart grow fonder. I think that partly explains my deep satisfaction at being reacquainted with my family, especially my cousins whom I hardly recognised. Visiting my mum's property in the mountains rekindled a few memories-it's amazing how the power of smell brings back memories.

About the Places: Warsaw is definitely a work in progress although the tourist areas like the old town and the like have a really great atmosphere, overall the city looks quite neglected, and I predict that it will need an extra 20 years to get itself in order. Like I mentioned the atmosphere around the old town is fantastic, especially when it is closed to the traffic on the weekends. The Warsaw Uprising Museum was really worth visiting and so was the Museum of the Polish Army-although they could do with a more modern building with air conditioning, though I understand that they are keen on acquiring one. Despite this state of seeming neglect, I should add that Warsaw looks very dynamic, there appears to be a hell of a lot of construction going on everywhere, the graffiti seems to be a bit of a problem and not only in Warsaw.

Gdansk: A great atmosphere in the old town, a bit better kept than Warsaw and Sopot presents itself really well.

Krakow: presents itself a hell of a lot better than Warsaw and has a great atmosphere, though driving around can be a bit hazardous, whilst there the wife of my dad's friend took me to a performance of La travita at that new red looking building, she is the chairwomen of the Krakow opera society or something like that-the red modern looking building was quite ugly but the performance was quite good. With the exception of the Baritone.

Zakopne: Looks good and I understand it has changed a lot.

The People: One observation I would make is that the people in Warsaw and probably more so in Gdansk look quite different from the people in Krakow and the south of the country. There appears to be a hell of a lot of blondes in Warsaw and Gdansk and a lot more of them than there is in Krakow and the rest of the south. The amount of young people in Poland, especially in Warsaw and in Krakow is quite numerous and this adds to this nice atmosphere and dynamism that Warsaw appears to have.

Travel: In order to see as much of Poland as possible I mostly travelled by train in Poland. Although the railways are quite punctual and cheap, most of the remote terminals are very neglected and need an upgrade-the signage is terrible and needs desperate improvement-it shouldn't cost that much to achieve.

The approach to Krakow from the Podhale region was quite fantastic, with plenty of big nice looking houses and a seemingly wealthy and content type of atmosphere. To some degree the same might be said of Warsaw.

So if you have any questions or any further inquires fire away.

PS: I should add that for the duration of my entire stay overseas, I have had an average sleep of 4 hours a day, so if I appear to be a bit incoherent please try to be understanding.

London: I should also add that London truly presents itself like a former imperial capital, and today the capital of the world, the amount of people from every corner of the world-you can almost hear every European language, is quite incredible. In the end you just give up listening to all the different languages.

I should also add that the weather was exceptionally good for the duration of our stay.

And another thing, there was a lot of foreign tourists, it was quite gratifying to see so many German and Dutch tourists in Warsaw and Gdansk.
ShawnH 8 | 1,506
30 Jun 2011 #2
Got any snapshots to share?
pgtx 29 | 3,159
30 Jun 2011 #3
hague1cmaeron, thank you for sharing your experiences with us... :)
OP hague1cmaeron 14 | 1,377
30 Jun 2011 #4
Got any snapshots to share?

I do but I am not sure how i would go about placing them on the forum.

hague1cmaeron, thank you for sharing your experiences with us... :)

My pleasure.
modafinil - | 418
30 Jun 2011 #5
London: I should also add that London truly presents itself like a former imperial capital, and today the capital of the world, the amount of people from every corner of the world-you can almost hear every European language, is quite incredible. In the end you just give up listening to all the different languages.

I'm happy you 'got it'.

Your diary of Poland was an enjoyable insight too.
OP hague1cmaeron 14 | 1,377
30 Jun 2011 #6
Can't upload the pictures for whatever reason. Forgot to mention, I also visited Auschwitz as well. I will try to upload the pictures later.

modafinil

'got it'.

I am glad you think so(:

Another observation I would make is the high level of smoking among the younger population, my culture shock came when i walked past a group of students waiting for their teacher in the old town in Warsaw, virtually everyone of them puffing away-rather regrettable for who were otherwise fit and healthy looking people. Interestingly enough the smoking phenomenon among the young doesn't seem to be as strong in Krakow.
rybnik 18 | 1,462
30 Jun 2011 #7
Another observation I would make is the high level of smoking among the younger population, my culture shock came when i walked past a group of students waiting for their teacher in the old town in Warsaw, virtually everyone of them puffing away-rather regrettable for who were otherwise fit and healthy looking people

I just got back from a trip to Prague and Budapeszt, among other towns, and I noticed the same thing: lots of smoking among young people especially the ladies.
OP hague1cmaeron 14 | 1,377
1 Jul 2011 #8
lots of smoking among young people especially the ladies.

A real turnoff
modafinil - | 418
1 Jul 2011 #10
Have you tried to upload your holiday snaps again? It really would be great to see them with a bit of personal commentary in the same vein as your OP.


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