Tag: train

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

Berlin 2019 (Day 6-7)

Day 6

I departed London on the morning of Oct 14, travelling by the Eurostar to Brussels. I then took two ICE trains to Berlin, changing in Cologne. I reached Berlin that night and had a quick dinner before bed.

What I saw

Boarding the Eurostar at St Pancras. Didn’t have to get up too early as my hostel was opposite the station.
On board the German ICE train from Brussels to Cologne. It was very fast and quiet.
Speeding past the German countryside.
Cute doggo that shared the cabin during the ride to Berlin.
Finally arrived at Berlin’s Hauptbahnhof station after nearly 12 hours.
Checked into the comfortable Circus Hostel which was in the Mitte district.

What I ate

I ate sandwiches on the trains. They were expensive but good quality.
Once in Berlin, I had a quick bite at Curry Mitte where I tried their currywurst. It was really good.

Day 7

I spent the bulk of this day on a walking tour of Berlin’s best cultural and historic spots.

What I saw

Waiting for my tram to Hackescher Markt to begin my walking tour
The Bridge over the Spree River to Museum Island. The Berlin Cathedral is in the background.
The Altes Museum (Old Museum).
The beautiful Berlin Cathedral
Babelplatz in front of Humboldt University’s Law building, where the Nazis conducted massive book burnings in the 1930s.
Gendarmenmarkt, a beautiful public square with the French and German churches, as well as the Berlin Concert Hall.
The location of Allied Checkpoint Charlie, a crossing that once existed between East and West Berlin. It’s a touristy mess these days.
The cobblestones that mark where the Berlin Wall once stood separating East and West.
One of the longest surviving stretches of the Berlin Wall.
The site of the Fuhrerbunker, where Hitler committed suicide on April 30, 1945 as the Soviets closed in on Berlin. It’s deliberately kept nondescript to prevent it from becoming a Neo Nazi shrine.
The Holocaust Memorial, consisting of concrete blocks of various sizes resembling gravestones.
The Brandenburg Gate, a symbol of Berlin.
After the walking tour ended, I dropped by the DDR Museum which showcased life in Communist East Germany. It was a brittle regime propped up by propaganda, surveillance and Soviet military force.
A model of how the Berlin Wall functioned. Plenty of people were shot dead trying to escape to the West from 1961-1989.

What I ate

Had cold meats, cheese and waffle plus orange juice for breakfast at the hostel.
By sheer coincidence, a Twitter friend from Singapore was also touring Berlin and happened to be staying just across the street from my hostel. So we met up for dinner.
We had Korean BBQ, which was excellent. It was amusing to see the other customers drinking Tiger Beer in Germany of all places.

Click HERE for Day Eight and Day Nine