Day 68 – 70, Warsaw, March 17th – 19th 2012Posted: March 20, 2012
Saturday, a beautiful sunny day, with proper warmth in the air! It was a really lovely day, like summer had just popped up to say hello! I spent the day wandering around the city, enjoying the sunlight and the fresh air. Marta and I ended up back in Cafe Vincent, we had planned to go to the is fish place called Top Fish, but it was full with people, like most places. We were really lucky with Cafe Vincent, managing to nab a seat as some people left. I had a really great Salami and Mozzarella baguette and some orange juice. It was very good, one of those baguettes with proper substance to them, nice and chewy, and warmed up a bit too. We scoffed those down and then carried on our sunny walk.
We walked and then sat in the university grounds on a bench in the sunshine for a while, until some neddy characters turned up and decided to stare at us until we decided to leave, what is with some people some times, they are just out to spoil other people’s enjoyment, I have never understood that. Anyway, we started to wander again, then bought a cartoon on Green Grapefruit Juice and went to sit by the river. The bank has large steps built onto parts of it and there were loads of people out enjoying the sunshine. It was a lovely atmosphere, people buzzing up and down on their bicycles and rollerblades. We sat there for a while until it started to get a bit cold as the sun went down and then we attempted to go home. This took us aaaaages! We got on a tram, then, with the intention of speeding up or journey home, got off at the Metro stop and went down to the platform. What a mistake, engineering works were happening which meant we could only get a train two stops, then we had to get off, get another train another two stops, from the opposite platform, then get off again and go home. This whole fiasco took about two hours in the end! There was loads of confusion about which platform to be on and when and why. I’m glad I wasn’t alone, I think I would of ended up in Siberia or something!
Sunday, and another great sunny day. I went to the flea market up at Kolo, on Obozowa street. This was full of stuff, much of it bric-a-brac and junk, but it was a good experience, lots of good faces and banter going on. I bought a little badge that the stall holder described as junk, which it probably is, but then, aren’t all badges really?? We walked up and down the stalls for a while. I took a few photographs, and was glad that I hadn’t photographed one stall, as I saw a girl trying to and then the stallholder come bowling towards here waving his arms at her camera in anger. That was a lucky escape, for me, and for her camera which remained intact.
We then met up with Carolina again, and her boyfriend, another Michael from Scotland (though this one was born and bred). We then headed to the Jewish Cemetery, where Marta was meeting a friend. Her friend is part of a scheme that is currently trying to clean up and restore parts of the cemetery as it is in a rather sorry state. The place is really massive though, so it is little surprise. We wandered around the graves for a while, it is reminiscent of the graveyard in Krakow, although much much larger and there is a little bit more space between the gravestones. The sun was still shining down, and a small breeze was waving the tall, thin tree trunks gently back and fourth. The place is very peaceful, and in the sunshine very serene.
After a while there, meeting Marta’s friend and talking and her showing us some of her favourite and some of the most famous stones, we left and went to get something to eat, sadly just some fast food in the Arcadia shopping mall. Then we got a tram to the New Town area, and walked south into the old town, people watching, the other Michael taking cheeky pictures of girls who took his fancy, a 50/50 mix of people who seemed flattered and some who were less so, and a few that pretending to be annoyed but with a rye grin on their faces. We ended up in BrowArmia, a pub that brews it’s own beers and has a terrible live singer stuck in the window, in a vain attempt to draw in more punters. If I were them I would stick to radio warsaw….
A nice half litre of Stout drunk and we left, wandering towards central. Carolina and Michael jumped on a tram home and Marta and I walked around the city a while longer. We found this interesting little place called V9, a sort of artists space, mostly for graffiti artists it would seem. Then we carried on our walk and finally headed back home.
Monday, I spent the morning at home then left and went to the city, I am still thinking about the bicycle travel plan, but can’t quite figure it out in my head just yet. But I had another look at a few bikes. Then got drawn into a bookshop by the window display of books about chinese tea. Then I found myself in Cafe Adi. I ordered a Turkish coffee and sat down. There were only a few other people there. One appeared to be the owner, a big Turkish man who was definitely the patriarch of the place. The waitresses, yep, all girls, seemed to be at his beck and call. One even had to go out and clean the inside of his car window! But it all seemed fairly light hearted and they seemed to know how to deal with him. The coffee was really good. Much better than the Israeli coffee I had in Krakow. The flavours of the spices were properly there and the coffee was thick and rich. I sat for a while, writing and thinking. The sun was pouring through the window, making you forget about the wind that was lashing the awnings and forcing the door shut with a huge slam a few times, even with a rock the size of my head holding it open!
I drank up my coffee, then walked slowly back to the city centre, got on the metro at Politechnika and went back to the flat.