it's so wet, it's unbelieveable
08.05.2007 - 11.05.2007 15 °C
Got into the western bus station (not that we knew it was the western bus station) on Tuesday at about 6.30am. Got an overnight from vilnius and expected to be in at 8.10am, so we were pretty much wondering what the fuck was going on. You don't expect to be able to get a bus across time zones being from ireland.
The western bus station is a nightmare. The lonely planet said to "just hop on a train to the center" at the adjoinging train station. Just hop on a train eh. There's about 7 fucking platforms. I doubt if every fucking one goes to the centre now does it. Finally managed to get in after doing about 4 laps of the train and bus station. Another thing - there were lads drinking beer and vodka at the station when we arrived -at 7.00 in the morning. Nice. That's what I call proactive alcoholics - I think they must have set their alarms to get up at that time. Oh, busy day tomorrow, best make an early start.
First thing we did in Warsaw was stop off at the tourist office in the old town. From the womans reaction to us walking in the door you'd swear we ate her first born. When we asked where the hostels were she threw her pen on the desk and moaned. Then got up and went to the cupboard where she got a brown parcel. She asked us whether we had a map, we said no, she went ape. I mean, how outrageous - you work in a tourist office, the last thing you'd expect is tourists. The fucking cheek of us coming in and asking for tourist information.
Well, we managed to pick up the "Warsaw in short" guidebook. Really handy - it outlines walking tours you can do. We tried out the Jewish walking tour. Started off at the umshlagplatz where the jews were transferred to treblinka during the war for extermination. Before the war there were 300000 jews in warsaw - after just 5000 - 10000 (??). Unbelieveable. Despite it actually being a nice day our walking tour was cut short by a freak hail storm with fork lightening and gale force winds which were ripping the traffic lights off. lovely.
The old town in quite cool. It was levelled - raised to the ground - during the warsaw uprising in 1944 and painstakingly put back together. It's being recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage area. We went to the Warsaw historical Museum - exhibits were your usual crap " this is a bit of leather dating from 1500". But they did have good footage of pre war warsaw. Really interesting - especially seeing the ghetto fenced off. Reminds me a bit of Palestine today with the wall around the palestinian areas. Ironic eh!
Stayed a night in nathans villa hostel - definitely recommend this place. Free laundry, free internet, free breakfast, free tea and coffee. Sweet.
On Friday morning, there was sun. Couldn't believe it. Frikkin Sun. We headed down to Wilanow park and palace and then up to Lizienski palace and park. Really nice there - well worth heading over. We didn't actually go into any of the palaces as we're cheap asses and wouldn't have much of an interest in the interior. Also, we would definitely advise getting a day pass or a 3 day pass for the public transport - it allows you go on everything. You really need it to see the city - the old town is only a small part of Warsaw.