Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The very best of the best of Warsaw! Right?


Sorry all readers, I have been rather slack!!

Anywho….. A while ago I was thinking, yes hard to believe I know, but I was wondering about travel and tourism in Warsaw. It stemmed from an article I read, I think it was in the Independent or Lonely Planet, and they both suggested that this summer was one of the top ten locations to visit was Warsaw. First I chuckled as it has no beaches, no fancy towers and no great festivals to speak of. There is a river, wild as it is, there is a Palace of Culture in the middle of town, and they did have a Europride march this year for the first time. However, there was one reason that stood out according to the article. There was Chopin. It is a celebration year of him this year.

Then I thought, what else is there here in Warsaw? I have been here nearly a year and a half and I know what I love. However, I certainly am an odd tourist, it took me at least 9 separate trips to mainland Europe to ever go to Berlin and Paris. So, with me being untypical, I pondered what could my students do to help me know more. Sounds strange doesn't it? A teacher asking his students for knowledge! I am sure that people would say


"Excuse me, are you meant to be giving, confirming and sharing knowledge?", to which I might respond;


"Well, indeed, that is what I believe I am doing. I am allowing you to convey your knowledge on a given topic and correcting you when wrong".

No doubt, they would roll their eyes and agree. Sounds a lot like when "experts" say, "tell me what you know, and I will tell you how wrong you are", maybe not in so many words but probably more delicately.

I continued this "experiment" in the social confines of my classrooms for a week or two, so as to enable as many of my students involved as possible. So the survey, although limited to a few people who want to learn or improve their English in a couple of different companies, is balanced and relatively diversified in the sense that it is from people from Warsaw and from other cities around Poland.

I asked them the question “If you had a person from outside of Warsaw visit you, where would you take them?”

So here is my top ten:

1) Koło Sunday Antique Bazaar (If we can get out of bed after drinking with our guests on Saturday night this is the best fun in Wawa, probably also because most Poles never go!)

2) University of Warsaw Library (a great view soon to be greater with the Copernicus centre!)

3) Chimielna (for a Pączki)

4) Wedel (to bathe in chocolate)

5) Old town and confines (nice to give a history lesson and see how Wawa looked pre WWII)

6) Uprising Museum (if they like history and interactive museums)

7) Old Praga (if they don’t have anything valuable)

8) Hale Mirowskie (a nice market to stroll through and it is a nice starting point for a walk in Wola see next one)

9) Wola Ghetto (To talk about the ghetto and see glimpses of buildings and history)

10) The “Centre” (Although there is no true centre, I mean a stroll around the Palac of Kulture, a look at the beautiful Central Station, and its fancy brother the Złoty Terasy shopping complex)

Now then, in the next few days, I will write up a compilation of my students top ten’s and a few selected other locations that I find interesting.

What are yours for people from or who have visited Warsaw?

3 comments:

http://abebedorespgondufo.blogs.sapo.pt/ said...

Very good.

Embejo said...

tell me more about Wedel :)

Garth said...

Well Erin Wedel is the subject of a much earlier post, it is a chocolate shop/brand. They have a really lovely elegant "tasting" room where you can drink hot or cold chocolates and try all their hand made chocolates too. It is really lovely place to go and while away a winters afternoon. :)