Day 577 of Traveling the World, Warsaw (Warsawa), Poland. September 11, 2019.

There used to be a Polish restaurant in Santa Monica/LA, California called Warsawa. It is how we discovered that Warsawa is the Polish word for their capital city, Warsaw. Jan’s favorite food on earth is pierogi, a pillow of soft dough filled with potatoes and cheese, boiled, and topped with onions. Last night’s version here in the “original place” are shown in the first photo, and it cost $4 US for nine pierogi. At the CA restaurant, today called Solidarity, it costs $6 for two. We also had stuffed cabbage for $5 and a bowl of borscht for $2. Do you see where we are going with this? Poland is a very inexpensive place to live. We also want to a movie at the Kinoteka, shown in the second photo. It is inside the Palace of Culture and Science, not necessarily because movies can be cultural, but rather, we guess that there was money to be made by renting out portions of the “Palace.” Anyway, we spent $8 US at the theater, and do you know what we got for that amount? Two movie tickets, a large popcorn, and a Diet Coke. In the US, those items would amount to almost $40! By the way, if you are traveling extensively and speak English, it is really nice to relax with a current American movie every once in a while. In most countries, the movie will play in its original English with subtitles in a country’s native language. The box office folks always know a movie’s primary language.

The third photo is the front of the building as seen from across the street. Great looking building. After that are two views of the Royal Castle, which fronts Castle Square. It is now a museum. Having been looted and burned to the ground by the Nazis in 1944 after the failed Warsaw Uprising, it was rebuilt during the 1970s and early 1980s. After those photos are a few of Old Town Market Square, which was pretty lively both during the day and at night. Up and down the streets of Old Town were groups of musicians, sometimes with singers, but always with at least one accordion, competing for attention and some zloty. We heard several polkas!

The church shown after the Lighted Balloon Man is St. John’s Archcathedral, the mother church of the Archdiocese of Warsaw, and is immediately adjacent to Warsaw’s Jesuit Church. In the Warsaw Uprising, the Germans rammed a tank filled with explosives into the cathedral and blew it up, destroying most of it. In the parts that were still standing, they drilled holes in the walls and placed explosives to essentially finish off the cathedral. Rebuilt after WWII, the unusual design of the top is based on how the original 14th century church looked. The inside has soaring brick ribs along with numerous chapels that are quite modern, as shown. We were there for a noon organ recital today, which was excellent. The pipe organ dates to 1987 and has 4,301 pipes.

As usual, following the church are buildings whose design, artwork, or statues we liked. The citadel is Fort Legionow, near one end of Old Town. The last two photos were fun to see….dressing up in period dress so that their friends could take photos, and another guy hanging out at the Castle Inn!