Warsaw

Day 35- Museum of the History of Polish Jews and Warsaw Old Town

Today is our first full day in Warsaw! We decided to start out by visiting the Museum of the History of Polish Jews! It was a surprisingly large exhibit and had a detailed account of the life of Jews ever since they first settled in Poland. The Jewish story was for the most part very dark, but occasionally we were able to see some of the beauty they saw. The first picture below is a replica of the ceiling in a synagogue in the 18th century. 

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This monument is right outside the museum and is dedicated to the heros of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.  

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Following that sobering experience, we kind of just wandered in the little park area outside of the museum before catching a bus to Old Town. Since the museum took almost 3 hours, it was time for a very late lunch when we got to Old Town. We found an outdoor restaurant with traditional foods right in the middle of the square. Since it is quite cool here, I had a cup of tea and Alexander, a hot chocolate. We then shared some traditional Polish dumplings! I would love to have them again while we are here, because they were delicious! Then for our meals, I had the Polish duck and Alexander had Polish rolled chicken (it was stuffed with what looked like sauer kraut). Since this was our official meal out for Warsaw, we then shared a slice of apple pie with ice cream for dessert!  

This building was across from us as we ate lunch.  

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We then walked through the rest of Old Town to get to the Multimedia Fountain.

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We sat on the edge of the fountain for a while and felt the mist on our faces! 

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As you can see in the photos, the dark clouds brought rain so we decided to head back for the evening. We had dinner at home and listened to the rain! 

Day 34- Travel to Warsaw, Poland

Today we woke up, got some hotel breakfast, and headed back to the bus station! We got some Subway to have for our lunches and got on the 8.5 hour bus to Warsaw! 

After two movies, lunch, a nap, and reading a book, we made it! We got off the bus only to get on a commuter train for another half hour to get to old town where our AirBnB is! 

After settling in, we headed back out and walked 20 minutes-ish to the train station. Since we couldn't buy our tickets online for some reason, we went to the station to purchase our tickets to get to Berlin on Wednesday. Unfortunately, this was way more of an experience than it should have been. So far, we have had very little problem with communicating with people! In situations where we need to speak with someone they have been able to speak English and the only situations we have been in where they don't, we didn't really need to actually talk to them. The biggest example of this is at the grocery store. They say hi in their language, I say hello back, they say cash or card and if I need a bag in their language I reply in English. This works because we basically both know what the other is saying since that interaction is so common. However, buying a train ticket to a specific place at a specific time takes a little more communication. After frustrating two Polish ladies at the train station, both at the ticket counter and customer service, we found a woman who spoke enough English to get us our tickets.

We were slightly surprised that most people working at the international train station in a major city didn't speak English, especially when people working at a hole in the wall restaurant in Lithuania did! It is interesting, but it would make our trip too easy if we could just speak our own language with everyone! We've noticed, however, that it seems like older people are a lot less likely to speak English. Which makes sense since younger people are probably more associated with American and English speaking culture.  

Anyway, after successfully getting our way to Germany, we headed back to our AirBnB and are planning for tomorrow!