Written by dangaroo on 23 Mar, 2009
Your average Vietnamese restaurant in Poland is less than desirable, consistently cheap and often in a shack like building. Meals tend to consist of rice or rice noodles with veal, beef, chicken, pork, duck and seafood in a choice of sauces which all tend to…Read More
Your average Vietnamese restaurant in Poland is less than desirable, consistently cheap and often in a shack like building. Meals tend to consist of rice or rice noodles with veal, beef, chicken, pork, duck and seafood in a choice of sauces which all tend to taste rather similar. The meat can often be chewy and the choice of starters is usually just as appetising. An abundance of cabbage usually comes with the meals which can be used to disguise the taste of the meals or simply cheer up the locals. Vietnamese food largely pulls in a crowd of workmen, drunk people on the weekend or hungover people on the weekend.The amounts succesfully satisfy the hungover and the grease soaks up the beer but to the less blurry eyed there are few of these restaurants that appeal nd to the foreigner who may have tasted better Chinese fare in their home country, will ultimately be a disappointment. A large amount of Vietnamese headed to Poland in the late 80s and early 90s, a fair proportion of them sell trinkets some have done well over the years, particularly in the clothes market. Another option, particularly for the legal residents is to set up a restaurant - judging the food, I can only think that their profession isn't in the kitchen as it is now and that could be one of the reasons for the lack of quality, Poles don't tend to use a great deal of spice in their cooking and this could also be one of the reasons, otherwise it could just be that such a huge amount of meat, veg and sauce is hard to knock up for such a cheap price without the meat having to come from suspect supplies. Either way, unless you want Pol Pot running riot in your stomach, I'd tread vary carefully and not just step in to any old Asian take away in Poland if you want your meal to be enjoyable. Close
Written by marif on 23 Mar, 2004
1. Park Lazienkowski was formerly the hunting grounds of Ujazdow castle but once acquired by King Stanislaw Poniatowski in the 18th century, it was transformed into a lovely park-palace complex. The park can be reached easily on foot from the city centre in about 20…Read More
1. Park Lazienkowski was formerly the hunting grounds of Ujazdow castle but once acquired by King Stanislaw Poniatowski in the 18th century, it was transformed into a lovely park-palace complex. The park can be reached easily on foot from the city centre in about 20 minutes. From Plac Trzech Krzyzy, walk straight ahead along Ul Ujazdowskie. Poland's parliament stands on your left while the other side is mostly occupied by embassy residences.
After going past the charming Botanical gardens and the interesting Astronomical Observatory, you'll reach Lazienki's main entrance, a huge gateway guarded by the monumental historic statue of Frederick Chopin. During the summer season, Chopin piano concerts are held here daily at noon in memory of Poland's greatest and most beloved composer.
Enter the park and stroll along Lazienki's main promenade towards the Old Orangery, a medium-sized structure that houses an excellent exhibition of Polish sculptures. The promenade itself is adorned with a variety of rare trees, busts of Roman emperors and elegant fountains. Continue straight ahead along the King's Promenade until you reach the Palace upon the Water. Considered as the most prominent structure in the park, this beautiful palace is the work of architect Domenico Merlini. Renovated after the war, it houses numerous fine furnishings and a unique Greek-style bathroom decorated with a profusion of bas-reliefs. The Amphitheatre, also designed by Merlini on the edge of a lake is a perfect summer venue for plays and musical performances.
Lazienki is much more than this. It is Warsaw's most famous recreation spot. It is a place where Warsaw's rich cultural heritage has been perfectly blended with the city's most fascinating natural environment.
2. Wilanow, 6kms from the city centre is a park-palace complex designed by architect Augustyn Locci for King Jan III Sobieski in 1677. The original design was made to imitate a typical Italian village; hence, the name Wilanow, a corruption of the Italian words villa nova. The park can be reached from the city centre by Bus 116, Bus 130 or Bus 410 in less than 30 minutes. From the Wilanow stop, cross the main thoroughfare and go in the direction of the church. On your right, drawn backwards from the road, you'll find Wilanow's main gateway.
The highlight of the park is Wilanow's palace, a symmetric construction whose artistically decorated exterior hides a profusion of equally fascinating interior furnishings. The grand hall, the dining-room and the gallery are majestic displays of opulence and romanticism. Several grand portraits of Jan Sobieski adorn the walls of the building.
The amazing garden that surrounds the palace is actually a combination of three gardens in one. A Chinese-style romantic garden lies on the south edge of the park while an English-style garden occupies the space north of the palace. The most splendid is unquestionably the central Baroque Italian-style garden, a delightful environment of beautiful pathways that meander along perfectly trimmed shrubs and hedgerows.
An amazing profusion of monuments, garden pavilions and blooming shrubs make Wilanow a breathtaking place for everyone.
3. Picturesque, historically interesting and ideal for a stroll, Ogrod Saski is a small public park that offers a perfect combination of paved walkways, recreation spots and lush greenery. Located a stone's throw away from the Old Town and Krakowskie Przedmiescie, it is an English-style summer garden whose beauty is enhanced by old chestnut trees, stone fountains and rows of lifesize statues that stand proudly along the garden paths.
From Krakowskie Przedmiescie, take ul Krolewska that soon opens into Plac Pilsudskiego. Walk towards the west side of the square where you'll find the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The tomb itself is the remaining part of the arcades of Saxon Palace designed by Stanislaw Ostrowski in 1925 for King August II. Since the remains of an unknown soldier were interred in the tomb, the place became a national symbol of bravery and heroism. Foreign delegations come here to put wreaths and pay homage to the soldiers who died to defend their country. At noon every Sunday, the square becomes the venue for the formal ceremony of the changing of the guard.
Behind the tomb is the public garden, opened for the first time in 1727. The goblet-shaped fountain ringed with an array of blooming shrubs was designed by Henryk Marconi in 1850 and was one of the few monuments that survived the war. The main promenade behind the fountain is adorned with a collection of 21 Baroque lifesize statues, allegories of the Virtues, the Sciences and the Elements. On one side of the garden, a small lake surrounded by willows stands out amidst a conglomeration of chestnut trees. Perched above it, the picturesque classicist building you see is Vesta's temple. Right on the lakeside, a tiny cabin houses a cafe and pastry shop where you can relax over a cup of coffee amidst enchanting surroundings.
Ogrod Saski is a great place for a walk away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Lined with an abundance of stone benches that fill up its numerous walkways, it is also ideal for relaxation. By day, particularly in summer, it offers a calm environment characterized by quietness, seclusion and tranquillity. However, all this changes after sunset when the garden is taken over by drunks, drug addicts and hooligans. Don't come here after dark because the place becomes daringly dangerous and unsafe.
Written by Praskipark on 28 Jan, 2009
I think I am probably correct when I say that the majority of women love shopping. Well there must be something wrong with me because I dislike it even more than housework. The thought of having to do a 'big shop' or shop for anything…Read More
I think I am probably correct when I say that the majority of women love shopping. Well there must be something wrong with me because I dislike it even more than housework. The thought of having to do a 'big shop' or shop for anything come to think of it really stresses me out and puts me in a bad mood. Now living in the city I am very pleased that there are small shops on every corner which makes it very easy just to pop out 15 minutes before dinner time to buy something which I can quickly prepare. Sometimes I even forget to do this. Good job, I don't live on my own, or else, I would starve. However, I have a very important date on 13th September and I can't be late and have to look beautiful. I have been invited to a wedding and I have to have something to wear which will transform me from this 'laze about the flat' look into a sophisticated, stylish, middle-aged lady. Where do I go for that piece of clothing? Arkadia! Arkadia is a shopping centre or shopping mall, a term Americans love to use, in Warsaw. It was built four years ago and it is the largest shopping centre in Poland and the largest retail and entertainment centre in Central Europe. To find this amazing piece of architecture you take the Metro from Warsaw Centrum and get off at Dworzec Gdanski Station and it is only a short walk away. Or you can hop on tram no's 1,2,16, 17, 19,22, 33, 35 or bus no 103, 303, 406, 500, 210 and 606. Don't forget to validate your tickets! It is located at the end of Aleja Jana Pawla, near Rodondo Radoslawa (former Babka). My First Impression ------------------------------ The approach to the entrance of the building is quite grand. As you step off the trams and walk over the road there is a pathway leading to a central fountain spraying water in every direction possible. Children love to jump into it and believe me I have thought about doing it over the last couple of weeks as it has been so very hot. On both sides of the fountain are restaurants with outdoor seating and parasols to shade you from the sun. Lunchtimes and teatime (4 O'clock in Poland) this area is always bustling and noisy but with a happy noise of people having fun. Leaving this frivolous area you will step inside a slow revolving door and immediately you are transported into street like galleries built around a circle underneath a single roof made from glass. The air conditioning is welcomed and is so refreshing after the hot mid-day sun. As you look around you will experience an atmosphere which is very European, possibly a touch Mediterranean with mosaic tilings and natural stone walls. Miniature orange trees, ferns and palms decorate the bottom floor where there are several coffee houses and restaurants giving the area a Bohemian if not a little pretentious feel to the area. The piped music isn't too loud or distracting but every now and again an annoying anouncement will leap forth from the tannoy saying in the worst possible American accent - 'Ladies and Gentlemen Please Do Not Smoke in the Public Areas.' I know they have to tell you that information but it does tend to break your concentration which is something I need a lot of when out shopping! Lay -out/Detail ---------------------- Altogether the centre has 230 retail and service outlets consiting of 180 boutiques, 25 large stores, 25 restaurants and cafes, Internet cafe and a giant 25 screen Cinema complex. Each level of Arkadia has been designed with it's own specific key theme: The ground floor is the first point of access if you enter the centre from the tram or bus stop. Primarily it is intended for everyday shopping with a Carrefour hypermarket, Le Roy Merlin (DIY shop), Saturn (electrical and home -media store|), with a few smaller shops interwoven like my favourite, The American Bookshop. I can buy most novels here in English and various text books. Prices are about the same as in UK. It is always very quiet in this shop and it has comfy chairs so you can sit and read. There is also a bigger bookstore called Empik at the main entrance which sells dvd's, cd's, maps, dictionaries and endless novelties and gift ideas. This has a coffee area where people go to read their newspapers in a somewhat pretentious fashion. I am not a fan of this store as it is always so crowded althought it sometimes has book signings which can be quite entertaining. In addition, there are five restaurants located on ths floor with seperate external doors at the front of the building, so that they are accessible even when Arkadia is closed. The first floor is dedicated to the world of fashion and accessories. There are many boutiques selling designer brands from Poland but also many International names are on sale as well. A few examples are; Bolero, La Senza, Gatta, Mango, Monnarri, Vero Moda, Wallis, Zara, and Monsoon. Arkadia also has a Marks and Spencer's which has just been refurbished which seems to be very popular. I am surprised as I always thought M & S clothes would be too frumpy for the highly fashion conscious Pole. Other UK stores I have spotted are C&A and British Home Stores but saying that I couldn't actually locate BHS so perhaps that has closed down too. There is also on the first floor a food court where you can eat Polish and International cuisine. Yes, there is a Burger king, KFC and McDonalds and several coffee shops like Coffeeheaven along with outlets selling Shusi, Italian, Greek, Chinese, Indian and meals from even the third rock from the sun (only joking). Not quite, but I should think there is an outlet selling cuisine from nearly every country in the world. The whole food area is pretty spectacular and spotless. The second floor is for leisure and this is where the cinema complex and Internet cafe is. Cinema City is a multiplex of 15 cinemas. They show all current films in English and the films usually hit the screens before some cinemas in the UK. They are open from 10.30 in the morning and the last showings are usually around 8.30.You can buy the usual popcorn, drinks and goodies to take into the auditorium and the prices are perhaps a little cheaper than UK. Car Parking ----------------- There is an underground car park with over 4,000 places including a disabled area with access and exit points to all directions of the city. It is colour and number coded. This is indeed a very large car park and I have been lost in here and I must tell you I was really freaked. My husband had a trolley load and went down in the lift whilst I went on the escalator. I thought we would come out at the same exit point but we didn't and I couldn't find him. I thought he had taken the load to the car so I tried to find the car. Could I remember the colour or number of the parking bay - not at all. At that point I was having an anxiety attack and not sure if I could have remembered the car let alone what my husband looked like. After 45 minutes of walking up and down, round and round, in and out of the store he eventually came drivig up from the bottom floor beeping like a madman. Of course he was amazed at the fact that I didn't stay put when I came down the escalator instead of wandering around in a dream. Which I probably was - thinking of the next article to write. Just have your wits about you when parking and walking into the store as the Polish youngsters use the area as a Formula 1 race track and they will mow you down if you aren't careful. Summary --------------The whole building is very attractive and I think very stylish. I thought Meadowhall was spectacular when that was first built in Sheffield but Arkadia is much more stylish. Some of the shops are very expensive especially the boutiques and you will need a good bank balance to shop on the first floor. As a place to socialise it is very popular especially with young people and there always seems to be a buzz about the place which I find quite attractive. If you are popping over to Warsaw I really recommend a trip to Arkadia - you won't be disappointed. Final Word ---------------- Unfortunately I came out of the centre with a pair of red and white spotted plimsolls with a red bow on top. Somehow I don't think I can go to a wedding looking like Minnie Mouse. What do you think? Close
Written by dangaroo on 13 Jan, 2009
Warsaw is becoming a more popular destination day by day, whether it is business men visiting for work purposes, oldies on coach trips, stag do's or young backpackers there's plenty of people around.Using a public transport system abroad can always be a bit worrying for…Read More
Warsaw is becoming a more popular destination day by day, whether it is business men visiting for work purposes, oldies on coach trips, stag do's or young backpackers there's plenty of people around.Using a public transport system abroad can always be a bit worrying for some people, so here's the low down on public transport in the capital of Poland.There's currently one metro line which runs through the centre from Marymont in the north, to the most southern district of the city Kabaty in the south. There are plans to have more lines in place by the time Euro 2012 comes knocking, whether that will materialise we will see!The metro is clean, new and modern, tickets should be bought from a kiosk, validate your ticket, go through the barrier and that's it, only 2 directions so you are unlikely to get lost, there are maps both upstairs and on the platforms of the stations.You don't need to do anything to the ticket on the way out, just walk through the turnstiles.Bus lines run across the city and in some cases outside of the city to surrounding towns such as Marki or Piaseczno. Day buses run from 5am to about 11.45pm at which point the routes are lessened and night buses take to the streets (denoted with the letter N before a 2 digit number), each bus comes once every 30 minutes and there are often 2 routes on 1 road, which means you shouldn't have to wait longer than 15 minutes for a bus during the night in most parts of the city.All buses head to the Central Station and meet there at the same time, giving you a few minutes to find your bus if you live in a different part of the city.Again, tickets should be bought in advance from a kiosk, you can in theory also purchase them from the driver but he is not obliged to sell you the ticket, particularly if the bus is late and may refuse or may be out of them. Kiosks are not usually open after 7-8pm and night buses are quite often inspected, the fine can be quite high (120zl - 30 pounds) and I've never known anyone get away with not paying, the most recommendable way of getting out of it would be to carry ID with you and claim you don't have cash, they should in theory give you a written fine which you then have to take to an office and pay. Obviously if you are visitng, you can skip the visit to that office ;)The same ticketing system applies to the trams which run throughout the cities in all different directions, ironically the brand new ones seem somewhat less reliable than the old models!The public transport company has a website where you can check the timetables and routes of all the transport in the city.Go to www.ztm.waw.pl, click on "Rozklad Jazdy" and then WG Linii and select the 1st or 2nd choice depending on what date it is. If you don't know the number of the bus you want but no the destination then it may be preferable to click on Wg przystankow, select the date and then click on the name of the stop that is listed alphabetically.I definitely recommend buying a map of the city which can be purchased for about 4 or 5zl (1 -1.25 pounds), most maps cover all the public transport routes but maps by Copernicus or Demart are recommended.It is custom to give up your seat for old people, who may pester you with a pesky kidsesque tirade if you don't!Hold on tight unless you want your head flying into a buxom busom of a poker faced gran!The system itself is ok, you can generally count on it, there's always transport close by but it does tend to get a bit hot in the summer. An enlarged underground system would definitely be a blessing. Close
Living in Warsaw and being a regular traveller, I've spent a fair amount of time at Frederic Chopin Airport in Warsaw (formerly known as Okecie).History---------Frederic Chopin Airport more commonly referred to as Okecie, has a relatively intersting history, it was used in 1933 to cope…Read More
Living in Warsaw and being a regular traveller, I've spent a fair amount of time at Frederic Chopin Airport in Warsaw (formerly known as Okecie).History---------Frederic Chopin Airport more commonly referred to as Okecie, has a relatively intersting history, it was used in 1933 to cope with the increase of traffic that was too great for the Pole Mokotowskie Aerodrome (Pole Mokotowskie is now a pleasant park with a fountain, several bars and the National Library). Okecie airport was the home of many a battle between the Polish resistance and the invading Germans during WW2 and this left it in a right old mess. LOT Airlines began flying from it after liberation.The information you'll probably need if you're flying there:Taxis immediately outside of the airport, charge about 2 or 3 times more than an average taxi, so you may be best off walking to the nearby road and flagging down one. You should pay about 20-25zl in the day and perhaps 30zl at night to get to the centre. Taxis are metered and there are rarely scams going on, so I wouldn't worry about it too much. Alternatively you can take Bus 175 which visits the Central Station, Metro Centrum and the old town. Buy a ticket from a kiosk in the airport beforehand (24 hrs ticket is 7.20zl - although this price will go up slightly on the 2nd June 2008)Remember if you are flying to another Schengen country, there is now no border control, to and from the UK - you will have to go through customs but they are not particularly strict. In theory you should not take any non sealed products like homemade bigos in your hand luggage, but we've done it before and when explained it's a present for family members, they are always pretty courteous about it.The Frederic Chopin Airport is only 5km from the city centre and it therefore only takes 30 minutes to get to and from the city centre, as little as 10 minutes when there is no traffic. Due to it's central location, the airport is forced to pay higher taxes and this is leading to the plans of a future airport (Modlin) being built. Though that won't happen for at least 6 or 7 years.What they do have at the moment is Terminal 1, Terminal 2 and Etiuda Terminal as well as future plans for a Terminal 3 to start being built in 2009. Terminal 2 was completed in March 2008, so it's still shining! Etiuda Terminal has been used for cheap flights for the last 5 years, it's really small and unbelievably crowded but the staff work their socks off to allow the queues to progress quickly. There is only about 1 shop on the other side of customs at Etiuda and it's mainly used for buying cigarettes. The section of main terminals (1 and 2) have a better selection of shops restaurants and bars on both the departure hall and the arrival section but it's not entirely riveting. Close
Written by Mandan Lynn on 07 May, 2006
I had a great time tasting all the Polish foods I could get near my mouth. I ate with an adventurous spirit I didn't know I possessed. Go to Poland and eat, eat, eat, my friends. Your taste buds won't be sorry.Pierogi. Dumplings, filled with…Read More
I had a great time tasting all the Polish foods I could get near my mouth. I ate with an adventurous spirit I didn't know I possessed. Go to Poland and eat, eat, eat, my friends. Your taste buds won't be sorry.Pierogi. Dumplings, filled with anything you can imagine. I was partial to mushrooms and cabbage, but you can order almost any variety—meats, vegetables, chocolate, fruit. Take note that they are very filling; six seems to be a standard order and my stomach was usually too full for the last one.Zurek. A sour rye soup full of potatoes and sausage. Hearty. Delicious.Nalesniki. When it comes to crepes, the French have nothing on the Poles. Order them from street vendors for as little as four zloty.Pomidorowa. A tomato-and-rice soup that puts Campbells to shame. Paczek. Basically a jelly donut, but I deserve to be punished for calling it that. Paczek are so much better. The jelly is slightly tart, and there's not so much inside the cake that it oozes all over the place. The cake itself is lightly glazed, but again, not overly sweet. I'm told by my Polish friend that the best place to buy them is Blikly.Bagels. They were invented in Poland, but they're nothing like we're used to in America. You can buy them on the street (especially in Krakow) for one zloty or less, and it's a fairly hard, chewy ring of twisted dough that is nevertheless quite tasty. And they make for an excellent quick, cheap breakfast when you're running to catch a train. For bagels like we see at home, check out BagelMama in Krakow.Pakora. I don't think this is Polish, but rather Indian. Doesn't matter. These deep fried vegetables are still delicious.Samosa. Ditto. Not Polish, but eat it (vegetables in a bread crust—reminiscent of a pot pie, but the difference is that samosa is awesome) if you get the chance.Barszcz. This (beetroot soup) is the only thing I'm going to suggest avoiding. Yes, taste it, but unless you're into beets and the concept of cold soup, don't order a whole bowl for yourself. Close
Written by love32travel on 21 Mar, 2004
My trips to Warsaw are mostly limited to picking up friends who arrive at the airport and occasional shopping near the railroad station. I don’t mind that at all, since the Polish capital is at the bottom of my personal "must see" places. The railroad…Read More
My trips to Warsaw are mostly limited to picking up friends who arrive at the airport and occasional shopping near the railroad station. I don’t mind that at all, since the Polish capital is at the bottom of my personal "must see" places. The railroad station is one of the dirtiest I’ve seen, with obnoxious solicitors and adolescent pickpockets. Once you get on the bus to the airport, you’re carefully observed by a gang of pickpockets who won’t miss an opportunity to snatch your carry-on luggage or wallet.
Anyway, one time my train was scheduled to depart from the station near the Stare Miasto, so after quick lunch and window-shopping in downtown I decided to walk to the Old Town. You have to walk along a busy thoroughfare for about a quarter mile, but once you get to Nowy Swiat, the walk is more pleasant and fun. There is a wonderful pastry shop called Blikle where the famous old-fashioned donuts are sold. I did not miss that opportunity, of course, and bought two dozen of them. Later I walked by Warsaw University and the Ministry Council. The square near the Royal Castle is located on a hill so you can see the Wisla River and parts of modern Warsaw. The main square in Warsaw is much smaller than in Krakow, but the houses are finely refurbished and look exceptionally well. The locals aren’t accustomed to say "main square." They will say they’re going to old town. When I sipped a cup of coffee in one of the cafes, I realized Warsaw can be pleasant and rewarding - you just have to make some effort (read: walk).
Written by marif on 20 Dec, 2004
The unification of Poland and Lithuania in 1569 led King Sigismund II Augustus to shift for geographic reasons his parliament from Krakow to Warsaw. Less than half a century later, after King Sigismund III Waza moved his court to Warsaw, the city developed quickly into…Read More
The unification of Poland and Lithuania in 1569 led King Sigismund II Augustus to shift for geographic reasons his parliament from Krakow to Warsaw. Less than half a century later, after King Sigismund III Waza moved his court to Warsaw, the city developed quickly into Poland's official capital. Soon after, Warsaw started to experience prolonged vicious warfare with Sweden and Russia. This led to financial ruin and political decline.
After the third partition of Poland in 1795, Warsaw came under Prussian rule but the city was liberated by Napoleon soon after. When Napoleon was defeated, Poland was taken over by the tsar of Russia. During the 19th-century Russian domination, Warsaw experienced a people's revolution twice, in 1830 and 1863. Poland regained her independence in 1918. Soon after, work on the capital gained momentum and the city's population exploded to 1.3 million by the beginning of the World War II.
Heavily bombarded during the war, the people of Warsaw succeeded in defending their city until the 27th September 1939. After this date, the German Nazis took over the city and terrorized the population for five years. All the Jews who lived in Warsaw were enclosed in a ghetto. Many died there of starvation and disease while others were sent away to be killed in gas chambers. Polish intellectuals who could pose a threat to the Nazi administration were arrested, tortured and sent to work camps. The Warsaw Uprising broke out on the 1st August 1944 and lasted for 63 days, costing the lives of almost a quarter of a million people. The remaining citizens were expelled from the city, their homes were burned down and practically nothing remained of the capital.
On the 17th January 1945, Warsaw was liberated by Moscow's Red Army and it was now the turn of the Communists to rule the city. The survivors returned without hesitation and immediately started reconstructing their capital. Their work is a miracle of rebuilding and restoration, a successful achievement unparalleled in history. For such a success, Warsaw's population was given a gift from Moscow: the Palace of Culture and Science, a gigantic edifice that has towered over the city since 1955.
With rapid political changes persisting in the Soviet Union, the Communists were forced to allow free elections in Poland in 1989. The Solidarity Movement of Lech Walesa defeated the Polish Communist Party and consequently a way was prepared for political and economic reforms.
Poland has become a full member of the EU on 1st May 2004. Joining the EU has presented numerous problems and challenges but Poles are optimistic that their future in the EU will guarantee democracy and economic recovery. However, the seven year moratorium on the right to work abroad and the desire to control domestic land are still hot political issues that need more time to resolve.
For further information about Warsaw's rich historical past, it's advisable to read James Mitchener's book of historic fiction Poland.
I tried something new when I went to Warsaw. Something I never thought I'd ever do.I stayed at the home of a complete stranger. A former complete stranger, I should say, who is now my friend.I found him through www.hospitalityclub.org. You fill out a profile…Read More
I tried something new when I went to Warsaw. Something I never thought I'd ever do.I stayed at the home of a complete stranger. A former complete stranger, I should say, who is now my friend.I found him through www.hospitalityclub.org. You fill out a profile and can search for people who live in the city you plan to visit who might be willing to host you for a few days. I was nervous for all the obvious reasons, but it was one of the best things I could have possibly done.My host in Warsaw was incredible. He prepared traditional Polish cuisine for me to try. He brought home sweets favored by Poles, like paczek, and insisted I try them all. He let me use his computer and even gave me his room to use as my own, despite my insistence that such generosity wasn't necessary. He took time out of his day to escort me around Warsaw, making sure I saw everything I needed to see. He even met me at the train station upon my arrival, and accompanied me there again when it was time to leave.All I expected was a little floor space to spread out a blanket.I will certainly be trying this again, and as soon as I have a home to call my own I will gladly be inviting travelers to stay there with me. Staying with a local allowed me to experience Warsaw in a way I wouldn't have been able to otherwise. I cherish that, and am so grateful to him for opening his home and his heart to me in that way. I can't wait to return the favor. Close
Written by Beth Neff on 13 Aug, 2005
The first few days after arriving at an ISDE location are always filled with chaos and scrambling. Team USA has the container filled with support supplies like oil, paper towels, and tools. You would be suprised how many paper towels we use.…Read More
The first few days after arriving at an ISDE location are always filled with chaos and scrambling. Team USA has the container filled with support supplies like oil, paper towels, and tools. You would be suprised how many paper towels we use. First things first--set up the work area. Raise easy-ups and shelters, unload all the individual crates. Each rider is sent a container--some contain their race bikes, which they will need to assemble, while others are renting motorcycles from various manufacturers and are at the mercy of the manufacturer's schedule. Most of the renters still have a crate with personal items and supplies. There is a mad dash to get all their crates organized and to check out the damage. Park Ferme contains over 40 different countries assembling in a race track located in Miedziana Gora Poland. Park Ferme is the heart of ISDE and is located about 15 miles from Kielce. Other countries are involved in their set up and organizing of their pits as well.