Warsaw

Warsaw, in contrast to Kraków, is an extremely busy city. The streets itself in some regard remind me of New York City, packed with traffic and the sidewalks packed with people. On our first evening in Kraków I met up with a genealogy colleague, Grazyna Rychlik whom I met in the Boston genealogical research program.

She is a registered tour guide in Warsaw, and gave us a short tour of the city. Afterwards we stopped at Smaki Warszawy, Centrum for a few drinks and dessert.

The following morning, we took a four-hour tour guided tour of Warsaw, a four-hour guided walking tour. Our guide walked us around the city showing us major tourist sites. At this point in the trip I was not excited to be walking miles. Twenty-two days of “short walks” caught up with me. This was also my first experience with public bus system in Warsaw. It was very hot and uncomfortable in the buses.

Warsaw

Warsaw

Market in Warsaw

Market in Warsaw

10405451_10153610227237497_8161418921266135818_n[1]After our tour we grabbed lunch at Varso Vie. They had some amazing meals listed on their menu.

Weary and tired from travel, we walked some of the city on our own and then retreated back to our hotel till evening.

During our walk around later in the afternoon, we stumbled on a Brazilian restaurant, Browar De Brasil. So for our late dinner meal we decided to try it.

Brazilian Beer Samples

Brazilian Beer Samples

They had an amazing beer selection that I took an opportunity to try.
After dinner we went back to the hotel bar to have a few drinks. Suddenly I felt a tap on my shoulder and it was my cousin Gienek, who works in Warsaw. He had come to visit us!

We plan to spend the following day with him and his wife. On our last day in Poland, Gienek gave us a tour by car of Warsaw as it was raining, finally. I commented that it was Poland crying because I was leaving, something Gienek had said to me three years ago when the same situation happened.

Our main tour of the day was the Warsaw Uprising Museum, which was overwhelming. After our tour we went for dinner at Folks Gospoda. Here we encountered huge pork knuckles, and a Pierogi platter that came with five different types of pierogi, three each for a total of fifteen Pierogi. That’s a lot of Pierogi for anyone to consume!

After dinner, Gienek dropped us off at our final hotel for the night, the last for our 24 day trip, The Hampton by Hilton Warsaw Airport.

 

Krakow to Warsaw by Train

On September 10 we awoke early, packed, and headed to our final destination of Warsaw. The hotel staff  at the Krakow residence were extremely friendly and helpful during our entire stay there. They helped us get a cab from the hotel to the train station.

The cabdriver spoke English and was very friendly. We arrived at the train station and suddenly realized how extensive the train depot was. Neither of us had taken a train before, especially in a foreign country. The cabdriver went out of his way to help get us headed in the right direction by dropping us off at the correct platform. We might have gotten on the wrong train!

Even with all the signs, it was still confusing to figure out where we needed to be. Luckily we met an American couple who had traveled from Germany to Poland by train, and they helped us out.

Interior of High Speed Train

Interior of High Speed Train

Krakow Train Station

Krakow Train Station

We took a first-class, no-stop, one way train ride from Kraków to Warsaw which took about three hours. The train itself was extremely clean and very comfortable. They can get up to speed of around 125 miles an hour. In this particular train I don’t think we went past 60 or 65 mph. I would definitely use trains in Poland to go from point A to point B for long distances. You get to see a lot of the Polish countryside by taking a train.

 

View from the train

View from the train

View from the train

View from the train

We arrived in Warsaw and found it even more difficult to get out of the train station than it was to get in. It took us nearly 35 minutes to figure out exactly how to get out onto the street, the side we needed to be on.

I had been in Warsaw in 2013, but only for around four hours. I didn’t get the opportunity to see much. The view from the train station looking out over the city made it seem like I was in a metropolis. Kraków has some traffic on the streets and the is a little bit noisy at times, but Warsaw is completely the opposite. There are numerous lanes of heavy traffic, and it’s a very bustling city – extremely loud and noisy!

We grabbed a cab and took it to our hotel, the Polonia Palace, without realizing exactly how close we were to it. Looking at a map of the city, it looked like it was a ten block walk to the hotel. At this point in our trip, we were both exhausted. With the traffic that we were seeing, crossing the street with lots of luggage wasn’t an option. So we took a cab and found out it was only three blocks away. If nothing else we can say we took a cab in Warsaw. No wonder the cab drivers were laughing with each other. 🙂

Welcome to Warsaw!

Welcome to Warsaw!

2015 Poland Trip

In August 2015, my wife Denise and I took a trip to Poland. Read about our custom guided genealogy tour with PolishOrigins.com.

Welcome PolishOrigins Newsletter Viewers!
Thank you for your interest in my trip. If you need genealogy assistance in the United States or are considering a trip to Poland and need some advice, please contact me. I would be happy to assist you!
For first time travelers, view my page titled “Traveling to Poland”. This was created based on my own travel experiences. It gives you an idea of what to expect and bring for a better overall experience.

 

The streets of Tarnow, Poland.

The streets of Tarnow, Poland.