Monday, October 20, 2014

Poland - Guide #1

When in Poland with limited free time then schedule private tours and prepare for the adventure ...

Monika - Guide #1: Monica's Website

Monika met us Saturday morning at the hotel after arranging a meeting via email. I thought it was a car tour but it was actually a five hour walking tour. But I am definitely not complaining. It was a perfect way to be introduced to Warsaw. She showed us much of the Warsaw Ghetto (yesterday's post) but also much more.

COLORS ... Exhilarating ...
Rope shop established in 1863. 
Ropes of all kinds and colors made by hand.
Open market bustling with Saturday morning shoppers.
Smoked fish, pickled fish, saucy fish, ... 
Butcher ... no refrigeration or plastic wrap required.
Sausage, of course.
Mushrooms anyone?
Fall greens and root veggies ... beets are popular here!  
Spice heaven! I am coming home with some - ha!
Soldiers and Chopin and Churches ... much history to absorb ...
Tomb of the unknown soldier located in Pilsudski Square and is the only surviving part of  Saxon Palace which was blown up in WWII by the Germans. Poland suffered more deaths per capita than any other country during WWII.
Poland has a long, complicated history of wars and occupations. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier honors soldiers back to the year 972. 
Church of St. Joseph of the Visitationists (Visitants Church) was built in 1664-1761 with a Baroque facade. I had no idea that 85% of Poland is Catholic.
Inside Visitants Church and the organ where Chopin played at age 15 during mass.
Warsaw Uprising Monument unveiled in 1989. More than half of Warsaw's buildings were destroyed during the 63 days of fighting in 1944 in which the Germans defeated the Polish Resistance.  
Former palace that is now a beautiful park.
Public transportation? Of course, first ride on the Metro!
Sweet Monika Olesko - we so enjoyed our Saturday morning with this historian and artist.

Guide #2 - a character ... next post ...

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