Thursday, August 26, 2010

The very best of the best of Warsaw! #10

Ok! Sorry again. I have once again fallen far behind here.
However, I will do like Milli Vanilli and "Blame it on the rain".
Yes, the summer has officially ended and the rains have arrived. Booo!!! Absolutely, you are right. I now should, in theory, have more time to do this, well, yes and no. Liverpool have been playing in the EPL and the Europa League, so I have been busy crying a lot and yelling at the screen. Whilst maintaining the normal cycle of cooking, eating and trying to do some research into new camera additions.... all of that, and I have still been able to incorporate being lazy.

So I will start from number ten of the list of the Polish people's best things in Warsaw:

#10 Old Praga

Praga is "the other side" when it comes to Warsaw. It is the Right or East Bank. As some of you know, Warsaw is divded by the Wisła (Vistula) which runs from the South of Poland through to the North ending in the not so salty Baltic Sea. Praga is also the Polish name for Prague (capital of the Czech Republic), which can be confusing, but on the whole has been better preserved than the more central part of Warsaw, much as the Czech capital has. The reason being the Germans couldn't destroy it in WWII, as the Russians had already arrived when they (the Germans) decided to destroy the Western side as part of their retribution for the Warsaw Uprising.
Praga is where the new national stadium is, the zoo, and the next big point of the new metro system. So it is all go here.

Praga, now, is the closest link to what once Warsaw was. It has been the setting of movies such as Polanski's classic "The Pianist". This is because it has many old buildings and some really pretty areas.

This said it balances by being Warsaw's real working class suburbs, much more so than anything on the other side of the river. So, even though the houses and buildings are prettier and older, it isn't as expensive as you might think.

Ząbkowska street is the central to "old Praga" and one of the nicest places to stroll and look at the buildings and "the way Warsaw was". On this street you will see many of the buildings and their internal courtyards that typified Warsaw pre war. Of course there are larger things like Koneser, an old Vodka factory that is now more arts focused as you can see with the Amy Winehouse carving here above.

I like Praga and think it is well worth a look, just watch your wallet, as there are always stories of hoods and pickpockets. As in many inner city working class neighbourhoods.

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