A Fake Palm Tree, A Flooded River and an Hour in a Hypermarket

Warsaw Travel Blog

 › entry 19 of 22 › view all entries
After waking at around 9ish and taking full advantage of the free breakfast, I moved my stuff to another room, as the one I was staying in was already booked out for the next few nights. With that done, I headed out into another sunny day in Warsaw.

My first stop for the day was the 15m tall fake palm tree in the middle of a roundabout on Aleje Jerozolimskie in the centre of the city. The piece was originally just going to be a temporary installation, but ended up being left there. It's called 'Greetings from Jerusalem Avenue' and is meant to be an ironic commentary on Poland's not-so-hot climate.

From there I wandered along Most Poniatowskiego, snapping a few pictures of the tanks and planes outside of the military museum on my way. As I neared the river, I could see quite a crowd of people gathered around the bottom of the bridge, so went over to see what was going on. Poland had suffered a lot of rain over the previous few weeks and were still recovering from it. The Vistula River, flowing through Warsaw, was very very full when I reached it. A road heading down to the river was submerged, as well as most of the verges, some of which were cordoned off. Lots of people were watching the masses of brown water flowing by, hoping that they didn't get any higher. A news reporter and cameraman even turned up too, but I didn't manage to get in the background! I did see some of the footage shot there on TV later that day though!

I spent a few hours wandering around the area on the other side of the river, passing the massive new stadium being built, and through Skaryszewski Park and across to the neglected market, which is on the site of the old stadium. It felt a bit like a shanty town, built on a waste ground! All of the stalls are ran by Vietnamese, who make up a sizable minority in the city. Only half of it seemed open on the day I visited, and most of the stalls were selling clothes and shoes. I didn't need either, so only had a quick walk around before heading to another big park (which was much prettier than the last), passing the zoo, a Soviet era milk bar and a big Russian Orthadox church on the way.

After having a rest and snack in the park, I wandered around the area more and found a big shopping centre with a massive hypermarket in the basement. I'm a big lover of food and I love to wander around food markets and supermarkets when I'm abroad. Okay, so I don't often understand what everything is, but it's still fun to see (and eat) foods different from back home. I walked around with a rumbling tummy for a good while and found a counter selling hot food, so got myself a nice big plate of 'bigos' and ate it in the cafe area in the middle of the market. I picked up some food for that evening too, then headed back out into the sunlight after spending an hour in there!

It was getting on a bit, so I jumped on a tram and headed back to the hostel. The hostel was pretty dead (again) that night, with only a few non-English speaking Poles for company. I booked my bus tickets to Vilnius online (saving myself 5 euros in the process) and printed them out at the hostel. After eating (again) I walked up to the Old Town, which was now lit up as it was dark. The Old Town looks even better at night and the hordes of tourists also seemed to agree. I spent a few good hours wandering the streets, snapping photos along thw way.

On my return to the hostel, I watched an episode of Lost from the last series ('The Candidate') on my iPod, but I won't mention anything about it for those who haven't seen it!

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photo by: EmyG