Warsaw after Winter-Camp

Warsaw Travel Blog

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Night view over Warsaw from Olga's appartment
January 4

Finally later today Olga (HC: Olia) has arrived in Warsaw and I'm moving to her place for the coming days. She was at her family in Minsk for the holiday and just came back. We had got in touch through HC and it was good. So finally I spent the day quiet at Wojtek still talking and so and letting him know that I would intend to leave because I was starting to feel weird as I had been there for already several days.

But still it was really cool, but I was looking forward to move up and get into the moving rythm again, because when you are travelling it isn't always good to get long somewhere without moving. It makes you lazy and feel like everything is set.

In the evening, I moved downtown to meet her next to the McDonald, she lives nearby the train station and her roomates weren't there.
Night view over Central Warsaw
So on this rainy polish day we spent the evening talking and playing some 'Power 4' and other board game. A quite nice evening, it was also good to listen her story. Being born in Vladivostok area from Belarussian parents who were diplomat and actually lived everywhere in the world except Belarus, she had to choose a nationality when the USSR split up... having no nation she ended up with the belarussian one.

The view from the window of her appartment was quite something, direct on the main buildings of Warsaw. The sort of view and location that would be worth a fortune anywhere else. So I enjoyed it a little before heading to sleep. I was going to sleep in her roomate room for the night.

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January 5

Badly her roomate arrived in early morning like at 7am and I was sleeping in the bed.
Pointing somewhere (Embassy district)
So I get to wake up, but also a friend of Olga arrived at the same time as a surprise visit from either Ukraine or Belarus, I don't remember.

From then I felt that things got wrong or strange. Of course, I can probably understand the annoyance of arriving from a night train ride and having someone in your bedroom... but anyway I got to wake up and eat and prepare. Obviously, Olga wasn't going to have any plans for the day but would need to study a little and seems she would also have to take care of her friends. Which wasn't too bad as later in the morning I got an appointment to meet with Maikel who had forgot his bank card at the bar the other day and it ended up in my hand through Ghoti... plus some other stuff.

So I met him by late morning at the train station and we spent the day together walking in the Embassy district of Warsaw before he needed to leave to get his plane back to the Netherlands.
Central Warsaw Chaos View


So I found my embassy, and was quite shocked that it looked like a prison. A huge building (while I'm accustomed that Canada is only having an office in a building but not a whole building) surrounding by fence with guards. So actually how could I visit my embassy. I found funny that since it was MY embassy I had no stress to hang next to the fence and touch and so while Maikel felt unease by hanging there long... different culture, different behaviour obviously since for me this was my part of home where I could act like at home.
Anyway, we looked at the monument around and the canadian monument. This whole place must have looked pretty strange back in the communist time (as you have also the UK - Dutch - US and French Embassy around). It must not have been a place for the local.
Cultural Palace in the fog

I presumed that the embassador might even be living in the building maybe...

Later on we ended up looking for food, but Maikel needed a place that takes plastic... I needed a place cheap. The Greenway was a good option but he wasn't too keen on eating vegetarian, claiming he 'needs' meat... I hate that sentence! But I also know that you can not bring any reason over such a statement. So we ended up at a pizzeria.

Then Maikel left and took some over weight of my luguage (my christmas gift from Gdansk mainly) over with him so that I wouldn't have to carry them over to South Poland and further. I would simply have to get them later on.

Back at Olga, we prepared to go out with her roomate, friend and a couple of polish friend who were pretty cool.
Foggy day over Warsaw
Actually, I seem to have understood later that the guy might be working with high status in the Embassy district... meaning he actually knew a couple of Ambassador. I think he might have been from some police secret agency or so. Funny!
So we ended up in Praga in a little cosy bar. It was great as it looked like a propaganda environment or more an illegal place, looking like a cellar, little tables and all sort of people.

I took a beer, but tried to not spend too much... my polish zloty were really going away fast now. Gosh that Poland will have been an expensive country for my budget. I will finally have to double my planned budget for the country as I'm still going to be here for a few weeks more.

Later on we came back to sleep, I slept again on the floor of her roomate.
View over Warsaw, some monument whom you can't know the commemoration of...


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January 6

Waking up at normal hours, my plan for the day would be to go out doing some more discovery in Warsaw... Having no plan of what to see or where to go I would simply wander in the street of that Phoenix city that was destroyed down to ashes by the end of WWII. Somehow to pass a message to the polish nation by its enemy. But the determination was still there and the city raised pretty fast back to a big metropole (sadly not well planned).

So far I would say that it is nice and not too much alienating... just a little. But I didnt feel threatened on the streets. But gosh that the people are driving bad! So be careful if you try to cross the streets in Warsaw!

Ok, as it was raining most of the morning I waited before going out for some cityscape.
Warsaw Central Cliche
Olga spent most of the time talking with her friend somehow not really paying attention anymore to me. So I ended up having to talk a little to her roomate, whom I would doesn't seem to appreciate my presence.

Basically, she hold on pretty tight on asking me when do I leave and keep on bombarding me with questions. Which is not always a nice behaviour to have to answer questions like if its being an interogation. So I pretty much disliked it.
The main problem is that my next destination is Lublin, but I didn't hear anything from the person I would usually meet there (Asia) or at least about if she managed to organise me some places to go. My phone doesn't work correctly anymore, so I need new credits and eventually to stop by the Internet to know more. So I would be living for sure by the end of the week end according to the answer.
Warsaw Central Cliche
It's also a point that wasn't well discussed with Olga.

So anyway, I manage to escape and get the time for myself in town. Walking around the rest of the afternoon, watching some streets exhibits about the 'Solidarnosc' revolution, which is pretty educative.
I hang so long in that district that I only reach the historic downtown by dusk. At least even if I don't get to take pictures of it (my too expensive camera does crap pictures if the ligthing is not perfect) I got a good glimpse of that identically re-built area.

Then on the way back I stop to eat at the Greenway and finally go back in the evening (remember that the nightfall are coming pretty early at this time of the year and that north) to relax a little. Finally later, a UK friend of Olga come over (it seems that she has been living in the UK too for a certain time) and we all decide to go out to a nearby club.
Along Old Warsaw Wall
Of course, it is going to be a money pit but I manage to not spend a single money by simply not taking anything at all.

So Olga is either talking to her UK friends or her Belarussian friends and well this becomes a pretty boring evening for me. The guy for the UK somehow also try to hit pretty much on any of them I guess. The girl from Belarus is somehow a bit of a lost behaviour (at least I don't get her really much... she doesn't seem to get us either) and the polish flatmate girl is just slightly rude behaviour.

So even if we leave altogether back to the flat later, I somehow walk alone and have to wait by the door that the people arrive. I simply feel like I don't exist anymore.
Of course Olga make out with the UK guy... anyway. Back in we simply get to sleep and I still do at the same place than the previous nights.
Kiss along the wall


The main wonder now is about if I was 'expected' to make out and pay things and so... not really my behaviour, my mood nor my style. Not that I have the budget either (that remember me of the Icelandic girl statement in Brussel ''If you don't have the money you will stay alone' ... so what''.
Just wondering this has I heard so many this sort of subject in the mouth of people, but I never expect this through HC even if many people are actually still doing it, I'm quite respective of the priory objective of it that's all!

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January 7

Again this morning, Olga's flatmate kept on bombarding with question about when I would leave. So since I wasn't feeling comfortable anymore I simply decided to leave and search another option somewhere else.
Old Town Market Square light


So I packed my things and said I was leaving today... of course one solution was that I catch a night transport so that I don't have to wonder about where I spend the night. But then I still needed to kill the day.
So by late morning, after having extended as much time as could inside (it was rainy again), I leave.

Quite a relief!

Finally, I didnt despair and found the situation quite amusing. It isn't too bad as the Polish Winter is amazingly mild this year (it rains instead of being -30C). So I head to the supermarket (of course I have to take care of my bag the whole day) and fill it with goodies to eat later in the night. Then walk around in town for a while.

This goes for the whole afternoon...

By the evening, I go to Greenway to have a tasty decent veggie meal and eat slowly and stay there for some hours until closing time.
Night view over Warsaw
Then my first solution come over. I go to the NetCafé that I found and it happens that it is open 24h and that the night price is cheaper than a hostel. I used one hour to surf the hosting possibilities in the local hostels.. and also killed time in this warm place in a computer corner table, making myself some lunch.

The weird thing... why is there so many Polish men going to an Internet Cafe to surf Porn without any shame???? I found that behaviour so strange... and had already noticed it once  in Riga before.

I go again for a walk until after 22h where I can buy some credits for the night for pretty cheap. Then I start to surf and notice that I could be in Lublin to my host by tomorrow evening.

One funny thing, everyone comes to my msn to try to give me solutions and so and contacting people. But I let them know to not worry has I'm not in panic since my mood is pretty set on spending the night in the Cybercafe. One thing though, CouchSurfing is having a feature that tells who is logged in where... and I appear on Warsaw. So I have a pretty active member who write me a email immediately through that feature... I reply, he reply and so on and we end up that he invite me over for the night.

Just the time for me to finish my credits and I get on a late bus to his place, I end up meeting with Chris (CS/HC artlite) in a nightshop to get some alcohol and move to his place for a good meal and a great talk. He is journalist, has traveled extensively in the US and knows pretty well Blink-182 and so. So we talked a lot about that. It was a great time. I even got to work on his computer a bit longer so that I could contact members for further on the road to be sure to not be short on host and contact.

I get to sleep late.
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January 8

It was an early wake up with short sleep but I needed to get prepared to go out of Warsaw. As I already waste part of the morning I chose for the bus option so it would save my time and the stress related with hitch-hiking out of Warsaw.

So Chris, manage to get the information that there would be a bus by 2pm and I just needed to reach the bus station on the other side of the river in the 'old stadion'. I left and did so saying goodbye and reach the place that looked like a muddy flea market. Bought a ticket and manage to retrieve the information about where the bus would be leaving (not so  obvious in Polish).

Then I waited and got on the bus and slept a part of the ride until I arrived in Lublin by dusk.
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Night view over Warsaw from Olgas…
Night view over Warsaw from Olga'…
Night view over Central Warsaw
Night view over Central Warsaw
Pointing somewhere (Embassy distri…
Pointing somewhere (Embassy distr…
Central Warsaw Chaos View
Central Warsaw Chaos View
Cultural Palace in the fog
Cultural Palace in the fog
Foggy day over Warsaw
Foggy day over Warsaw
View over Warsaw, some monument wh…
View over Warsaw, some monument w…
Warsaw Central Cliche
Warsaw Central Cliche
Warsaw Central Cliche
Warsaw Central Cliche
Along Old Warsaw Wall
Along Old Warsaw Wall
Kiss along the wall
Kiss along the wall
Old Town Market Square light
Old Town Market Square light
Night view over Warsaw
Night view over Warsaw
Warsaw
photo by: EmyG