Tag: palace

Warsaw 2019 (Day 10-13)

Day 10

On Day 10, I said farewell to Beerlin and set off for Warsaw via the Berlin-Warsaw Express. The six hour ride took me through the flat plains of Eastern Germany and Poland.

What I saw

Waiting in the cavernous station for my train to pull up.
The Berlin-Warsaw Express is a regular Polish service.
Crossed into Poland at the Oder River
Lush flat fields stretched into the horizon.
After 9 days of hostels, it was nice to have my own room again.
Toured Warsaw’s Ols Town Market Square after dinner. This is the Warsaw Mermaid, a symbol of the city.

What I ate

Met my Polish friend Jakub and his girlfriend at the Zapiecek restaurant. We had pierogi (Polish dumplings) and rye soup (Zurek). It was superb.
Jakub insisted we have a small toast with vodka.

Day 11

I spent the day sightseeing with my friend Jakub, and we visited several historic landmarks and museums.

What I saw

One of the remaining walls of the Warsaw Ghetto, where the Jews were imprisoned during the War.
The Warsaw Orthodox Synagogue, the only one to survive the war.
The Pawiak Prison Museum, where 37,000 Poles died during the German occupation.
The POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews is located within the former Warsaw Ghetto.
The Museum has a wealth of exhibits on centuries of Jewish culture in Poland, including the Holocaust.
The most impactful exhibit were these original Star of David patches that Jews in Nazi controlled territories were forced to wear.
After lunch, we headed to the Palace of Culture and Science, a communist era tower that was a “gift” from the Soviet Union but hated by the Polish as a symbol of Soviet occupation.
Great views of Warsaw from the top.
Enjoying Czech beer with Jakub after touring the Palace.
Nowy Swiat, a street full of cafes and restaurants.

What I ate

Tried rye beer (Kvass) at a Georgian restaurant.
Had this boiled lamb with soup and potatoes for lunch.
Shared this stuffed pastry with sour cream.
Had Fettucine Marinara pasta for dinner near Jakub’s place.

Day 12

On Day 12, I visited the Warsaw Rising Museum, which took up most of the day.

What I saw

There was free entry on Sundays and I had to wait in a long line to get into the Warsaw Rising Museum.
A BMW motorcycle used by German motorised infantry.
Witold Pilecki, a Polish war hero who voluntarily got imprisoned in Auschwitz to collect intelligence and escaped. After the war, he was executed by the communists after a show trial. He was rehabilitated after the fall of communism in 1989.
A printing press used by the Polish resistance during the war.
A replica of the American Liberator bomber.
The old generators of the building, which was once the power station for Warsaw’s trolleybus network.
The museum’s external brick facade.

What I ate

Had some paƧzek or Polish stuffed doughnuts from Nowy Swiat. The salted caramel one was so good.
Enjoyed a helping of doner kebab and fries from a Turkish takeout place along Nowy Swiat.
Had lamb and cheese for dinner at another Turkish restaurant with Jakub and his girlfriend.
Thanks to them both for their hospitality!
Ended the day with a cocktail at the hotel bar.

Day 13

I spent the day mostly catching up on work stuff online, as well as catching a breath after nearly 2 weeks of constant travelling. Chilled at the hotel.

The Chopin Museum on the left and my hotel on the right.
Enjoyed another round of pierogi and zurek.

Click HERE for Day Fourteen to Day Fifteen

London 2019 (Day 4-5)

Day 4

My friend Alex and I spent the day touring the Imperial War Museum and the districts with Big Ben, Parliament and Buckingham Palace.

What I saw

Began the day with a trip to the Imperial War Museum
Obligatory shot with the naval guns in front.
Large displays included the V2 rocket and the Harrier jet.
Lawrence of Arabia’s Arab headdress accessory (agal).
The British flag carried by the British party when they went to surrender to the Japanese at the Old Ford Factory in Feb 1942. It was then hidden by POWs at Changi. The flag was again raised in Singapore after the Japanese surrendered to Lord Mountbatten on 12 Sep 1945.
A Nazi eagle emblem recovered from the Reich Chancellery in Berlin after the German surrender.
The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben from Westminster Bridge.
The Elizabeth Tower and Big Ben (the bell inside) were undergoing refurbishment.
Buckingham Palace. The Queen wasn’t at home though.
A happy guy who just happened to wander into my shot.
The British flag was flying above Buckingham Palace. If the Queen was present, the Royal Standard would be flying instead.
Climate Change protesters outside the British Library. It was surreal to see street demonstrations.
The strikingly beautiful St Pancras station at night. Strong Gothic vibes.

What I ate

Had breakfast in this delightful little coffee house at Tavistock Place.
Had the full English Breakfast which was extremely filling so we skipped lunch.
Dinner was this lamb souvlaki. It was too chewy though.
This warm chocolate brownie topped with vanilla ice cream was superb.

Day 5

On Day 5, Alex and I hung out at the Victoria & Albert Museum and Harrod’s before we bid farewell to each other. I then ended my last day in London with a play at the Duchess Theatre.

What I saw

The ornate entrance to the Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A).
An extremely detailed lacquer table from the Ming dynasty.
A Japanese lacquer chest inlaid with gold, silver and mother of pearl. It was exported to Europe by the Dutch East India Company in 1640-43.
A gallery full of Victorian era reproductions of classical artefacts.
Among the casts include one of Michaelangelo’s Statue of David. The original is in Florence.
The Tippu Sultan’s famous tiger automaton, depicting a tiger mauling a British soldier. It was looted from India after the Sultan’s defeat.
Ended the day by watching “The Play That Goes Wrong”, a comedy that features a play within a play.
It’s a small but cosy theatre and the murder mystery plot was very entertaining. Well worth the 22 pound ticket.

What I ate

Had delicious butternut squash pancakes with egg and maple syrup for breakfast.
The hot chocolate was a great way to warm the body on that cold day.
Decided to pop by Five Guys for my first taste after the play. The shake was so thick.
The Five Guys was just a stone’s throw from King’s Cross.

Click HERE for Day Six and Day Seven