I'm ashamed to say I didn't have high hopes for Warsaw, or its Old Town. Like so many others before me, I underestimated this country and its capital city.
I've seen enough of Europe to know that when things are reconstructed post WWII they often feel...strange (Frankfurt, anyone?) Like Disneyland - a little too shiny, too new.
But not here.
|3D reconstruction of Warsaw post WWII via|
Maybe its the extent of the damage Warsaw suffered, or the sorrowful history Poland endured during that period, that makes this reconstruction feel so beautifully defiant and authentic. Either way, Warsaw's Old Town really is a joy to explore, full of folk art, easy smiles, and hearty food.
I wish one of these had fit in my suitcase! Aren't they incredible? I settled for a little hand cut paper artwork instead.
Yes, you can get beer served hot in Warsaw (with raspberry syrup and cinnamon). No, it is not good. (You've been warned. Have the hot mead instead!)
These are the most perfect little candy souvenirs, and (if they don't melt) they're coming to Canada as wedding favours!
We - my wonderful friends and I - left Warsaw's Old Town stomachs full, arms full of shopping bags, and full to the brim with excitement. We were heading to see Beyonce in concert in just a few hours! Come back soon to hear all about it: The most amazing art performance (because it wasn't just a concert!) I've ever had the privilege of seeing.
And, while I don't promote underestimating cities or countries, Warsaw reminded me that sometimes having low expectations leads to the greatest delights.
Thanks, Warsaw. (I'll be back for that paper chandelier someday.)
WARSAW AT A GLANCE
slept / Hilton Warsaw
ate / La Vinotheque
drank / Pistachio Bar
shopped / the folk art store in the Old Town's main square, near the Museum of Literature
& the candy shop on Piwna street (follow the smell of melting sugar)