We finally arrived in Warsaw last night. To put it quite simply it is freezing!
The Swiss Air flight was good, but we didn't have much time for our transfer in Zurich so we were rushed through another security check-in. Unfortunately Zoe and I set off the alarm - I'm still not sure how, but unlike other airports where you get a bit of a pat down we were ushered off in to a little metal frame with a curtain around it. I must admit at this time I was fearing what the next few minutes may have in store for me. I really wasn't looking forward to some "rubber glove" treatment, which fortunately did not eventuate. Although I must admit the security guy did a very THOROUGH investigation. Just what do they think you can keep in there?
After settling in to our hostel (Jump Inn Hostel) which I have to say is one of the best ones I have stayed in, we decided to take a look about. Obviously it was late so we weren't going to be able to see much, but after the near miss at the airport, I could sure do with a beer. We made our way to the Old Town. It looked nice all lit up, but it was too cold so we made our way to find a bar - surprise, surprise we came across an Irish Pub (funny how there is one of them in every tourist district). We went in thinking that it would help us acclimatise to our new environment, but all it did was see us spending 100zl for 5 drinks, a bottle of water and a packet of crisps - that was more than I'd be charged in Western Europe. Disgusted with the prices we decided to leave and went in search of some traditional late night cuisine and of course we found it hiding under some golden arches. I know - poor effort, but it was late!
I awoke this morning, jumped up, looked out the window and was hoping to see snow, but alas it was not to be. This time last year they were knee deep in snow. After breakfast we left in search of the Royal Palace. We did find it after an hour or so of walking. We spent some time in the gardens, looked about inside and then decided it was time to eat. There is one thing for sure - this weather gives you an almighty appetite. We tried out some real local cuisine this time - best choice goes to me for my order of "Bigos" or Traditional Hunters Stew (it tastes a lot better than it looks!). Anyway with a full belly we headed off back in to the cold and returned to the Old Town to look around the Warsaw Ghetto. It was pretty amazing to read about what had gone on here and then try and imagine how it could be possible when today it is a place a lot of tourists visit and has quite a vibe about it - a lot of shops, cafes and restaurants. Although the remaining wall around the area does give some idea of what may have gone on. It got cold and dark pretty quick, so we all decided it was beer time. Despite only being day 2 a little cabin fever had begun to set in, so it was thought best to clear the air and get on with an enjoyable holiday for all. Of course walking all the way back to the hostel in the cold made for a healthy appetite and we went to Chopskie Jadlo for dinner. It is a Traditional Polish Peasant Food Chain with tasty, large portions of food at a very reasonable price. Again I made a great choice, the spicy goulash on potato pancakes - I'm starting to think I could get used to this food!
After more food than required and a few large beers we decided it was time to head back to the hostel before chilling out and going to bed. Speaking of which, it is rather late so I must away. If I don't freeze during the night, I'll let you know how tomorrow goes.