Thursday, 3 May 2018

Warsaw, Poland (Hampton by Hilton, Central Warsaw)

The weather has been very nice since I’ve been in Warsaw. Not too hot so far. Though today it looks like the temperature will get up to the mid-80’s this afternoon. Time to break out the summer shirts. Up till now, I’ve been wearing a t-shirt and sweater, or just one of my black t-shirts and a light or heavy coat when I’ve gone outside. Now, a cotton t-shirt (especially a black one) might be too warm and a light cotton button down shirt is more appropriate with the higher temperatures.

One of the places I’m planning to see today is the Chopin Museum. Frederic Chopin, who primarily composed for the piano, was a native of Poland in the 1800’s. I played a number of his compositions when I played the piano as a youngster. As I looked up the directions to the museum I noticed, that due to another public holiday, the museum might be closed. What? Another holiday? May Day (May 1) was just on Tuesday. Today, May 3rd, is Constitution Day – the day in 1791 when Poland’s constitution was enacted. Fortunately, I called the museum and found out that they were open. I expect the National Museum would be closed.

After breakfast I took a taxi to the Chopin Museum since I had walked quite a bit the day before and didn’t want to push my luck and strain my back again. The taxi fare was around $7 with tip and was dropped off at the entrance to the museum.

After I paid the admission price, I was given a key card that would activate exhibits throughout the museum. The walk through the museum was laid out so that you’d follow Chopin’s life in chronological order. I was somewhat familiar with his life but this museum had much more detail, including much of his correspondence and drafts of his compositions. It was a slight challenge as I walked through the museum to figure out which room I should walk through next, but I seemed to find my way from one floor to the next. I kept looking for signs that would say, “Go here”, but it all worked out.

After the Chopin Museum, I walked over to the National Museum, in case they were open today. And they were not. I found a Starbucks nearby and had a coffee and yogurt across from St. Alexander’s Church that I admired through the window as I drank my coffee.

From there, it wasn’t too far away from the hotel so I decided to walk the rest of the way. I took various streets and looked into a few shops and people watched along the way. Even though it was in the mid-80’s, I walked on the shady side of the street or under trees and I was fine. As of last night, I’m starting to put Fluorouracil (Efudex) on my scalp as recommended by my dermatologist. It is recommended that I avoid direct sun for the next couple of weeks while using the lotion as a standard method to treat basal-cell carcinoma.

It was after 3:00 when I returned to the hotel and I was ready for a nap. Later, I walked over to the nearby train station and picked up my cheeseburgers and also bought a ticket for my trip to Krakow next Monday. Riding the train will give me a chance to see some of Poland’s countryside as I travel from the north Poland to the southern part of the country where Krakow is located.

After doing more research on the history of Warsaw, it became clear that what I see as I walk through the city has been almost 100% reconstructed since World War II. The city was heavily bombed in 1939 by Germany and again when there was an uprising in 1944 which angered Germany so much that they tried to destroy the remainder of the city’s buildings. After learning this, my interest in seeing more of the city has fallen somewhat. I enjoy seeing more original buildings rather than those that have been reconstructed to look like the original.

Tomorrow I’ll return to the National Museum which should be open. Unless there is another national holiday.

To see pictures: CLICK HERE

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *