Saturday, September 10, 2011

Travel to Varsovia Part II

Chmielna Street (ulica Chmielna)
In this street is where our apartment is located.  It is a popular promenade heaving with small shops, cafés and clubs and it is usually a very quiet area.

Just a few minutes away is the Nowy Swiat Street, home to many exclusive shops, galleries, trendy clubs, restaurants and cafés. It is ranked 40th as one of the most expensive streets in the world, according to Cushman and Wakefield's report 11 months ago.
We bought some bottles of water in Delikatesy shop in this street, not that it is all that we could afford to buy but those were only what we needed at that time. Prices were not that high.

Just a few minutes away from Nowy Swiat is one of the most beautiful streets in Warsaw  and that is  Krakowskie Przedmiescie, where all along the street you can find a lot of important buildings. After a complete rebuilding, the street was changed into a wide promenade with a narrow street in the middle. Along the sidewalks, glass-covered placards with reproductions of Canaletto's paintings of 18th century Warsaw have been placed.  (Source:  Warsaw City Hall).  It is in this street that we saw one of Chopin's benches.  It charms with its scattered churches and we have visited two of them.  One of which is St. Anne's Church which is arguably the most ornate church in the city.

St. Anne's Church
We also had the chance to visit the Church of the Holy Cross where the urn containing the heart of Fryderyk Chopin in accordance with the composer's wishes was brought to Poland by his elder sister, Ludwika.
It carries a quotation from the Gospel according to St Matthew (VI.21): "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also".  (Fryderyk Chopin Institute)

Plaque of Chopin

After having walked so much, we took some rest in a tribal café. We had some percolator tea with a piece of apple cake to share.

Our next stop:  Lazienky Park.  Luckily for us, the day we  chose to visit  was a free entrance day to the summer Royal Palace.  There was a beautiful collection of the paintings of Rembrandt.  Just like any palaces, it was replete with elegant decorations.  The park has several water elements of ponds, lakes and waterways that all contribute to the relaxed atmosphere of this biggest park in Warsaw.  In one of the entrances, there is a big monument of Chopin. If in Central park they have pigeons, in Lazienky park, they are peacocks that are all over the park.  There are also some other friendly animals like squirrels.


Ron and Mel, chose two different spots to have their pictures taken.  While Ron chose to pose with the gigantic statues, Mel chose the artistic sculptural design of trash figures of domestic appliances.


Now it is time to leave Varsovia.  On the way, we went to see the massive  Palace of Culture and Science which was a gift from the Soviet Union. At a height of 231 metres it dominates the Warsaw skyline, even though other new buildings are now springing up around it. Work first began on it in May 1952 and it was completed at the end of 1955, according to my Varsovia travel guide and from the person we befriended in the train.   

Mall next to train station
I made a long list of things to do in Varsovia including places to eat, but we did not have enough time to complete our agenda. Like they say, there is always something left out when you go to visit a place so that you will have reason to come back some other time.

We had a wonderful time in Varsovia and our trip was blessed with a fine weather.  

Now we are all set to go to Cracovia.                                                                                                                  

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