Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Praga and Antiquities

From the weekend of the 4th and 5th of April 2009.

This weekend was great as we actually have finally caught up to Adelaide, Australia in the temperature stakes! The temperature overall reached 22C on the weekend and it was devine!

I was actually tempted to whip out the shorts and get the legs some much needed sun, but seeming as people in Poland are not really very big on shorts I refrained, for the time being anyway. Warsaw was bathed in sun and warmth, we had a really great weekend weatherwise.

Saturday's great weather allowed an adventure to a little Easter market in a fashionable district called Mokotow (about 5km south of the city centre or 3 Metro stops). It is all rather posh there as the houses are large and have been handed down through generations, with lots of fancy new constructions going on around there.

The market itself was only small but offered some interesting foods and the traditional amber that seems to pop up on a regular basis, also many things that are traditional forms for Easter things that are taken to church and blessed, they are called palms. The Polish people aren't really big on the chocolate eggs like in Australia, so it is a shame for my large belly and chocolate gene. I should have organised for a shipment to come from Australia!

After this small market we strolled through this neighbourhood, it was interesting as we came across a house that was quite grand and impressive, but as we walked past it on one side we could see there was a little door above the garage next to the house. All around the door you could see that there had been bullet holes scattered. It well known that during the war there was fighting all over Warsaw and well this showed that there was someone shooting at the Germans there as it was sprayed with bullet holes and they hadn't been patched up at all. It certainly was fascinating stuff. From here we strolled to Pole Mokotowski which is a large park near the university popular with students it has 3 pubs in the park named after cartoon characters Bolek, Lolek and their friend Tola (the first two are boys and the last a girl). In the park there were some beautiful crocus flowers out already in purple and white. So it made for a nice stroll in the crisp sun, watching all the rollerbladers, cyclists, joggers and dogs running around everywhere.

Then we jumped on a bus and we went to the far side of the Vistula river, to a district that has many embassies they are not quite the grand houses you expect with Embassies in Australia, but they are more houses that keep in the same appearance as the surrounding environments. The streets here are named after countries (alas no Australia street). It is a lovely walk around in the sun to see the many restuarants, cafes, icecream shops in the area.

We also stopped for some traditional food Marta had Pierogi which are traditional dumplings (considered one of the three national dishes here) you can get them fried or steamed (these were fried) see the attached. She had two sorts, Lithuanian which is buckwheat and mushroom and Gypsy with minced beef and paprika, I ate Zrazy which is a pickle (ogorki) and chopped onion wrapped in beef with gravy on top, with small dumplings (potato style), and buraczki (grated beetroot and apple). It was all lovely and great to be sitting outside to eat again! Polish food always continues to amaze me and I can guarantee this will be a reoccurring theme here in this blog.

Sunday we went to the Antiquities market in Kolo (about 5km Northeast of the main city centre) which was amazing, and if there is anything you are interested in that is an antique you can probably get it there and cheaper than most places in Europe. There is a great deal of war memorabilia and you can even buy old ID papers of people from that time and some amazing things like shells, guns and German medals, just eye opening stuff really. There are amazing art deco things here from the Soviet times! All angular and funky looking. There Marta picked up her a prize purchase a bear that is about 50 or 60 years old. It is now called Dzielny (which means brave in Polish), as we thought it must have been brave to survive so long and it is also filled with Grass!

So that was all just part of a great sunny weekend!


Magdalena said...

Some inaccuracies but overall good :D

Magdalena said...

And your impressions about people here, huh? :p

Garth said...

I love the Polish people, especially the old people that talk to me on the bus or tram, even though I have no idea what they are saying I can guess what they mean. They are just complaining about random things. :) Like old people everywhere. Don't get me started on the girls! ;)

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