Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Litva Festival and drifting about

One of my students, the wonderful Jolita being of the Lithuanian minority of NE Poland, told me about a Lithuanian Festival that was to happen in the old town square last weekend. So, I motivated the MMMM to get out of the house through the talk of food and liquid bribes, and we were away. It was a patchy day with cloud and sun, but when in the sun it was really delightful. So we strolled down from Ratusz to the old town. Passing through the old city walls on the way.
The bright sunshine cast glorious shadows.
And allowed a beautiful blue sky to display itself like a proud peacock.
There were people talking about it and even writing up about the day and this one, well she says that she "cordially invites us!"
Then it was on your bikes and off to the festival.
There was all sorts of things Lithuanian such as painted eggs for Easter.
Small knotted rolls I think they are called Riestainis.
Also much larger sour dough rye bread rounds.There were piles of sausages whole and smoked and then grilled ribs.
Then there was some fried onions with what appeared to be bacon.
And fried sausages too.The sausages can on some of the sour dough rye bread that was topped with sour cream and pickled cucumbers.
There were also little sweets made to look like mushrooms and strawberries and some really odd green things.
There was the usual accessories which I am sure my sister would have bought had she been there.
There was also an amazing fish headed man selling his smoked brethren. All looks enticing... no? So what would be next on such a fine sunny day?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Central Tower

It is really great when something you see often changes, and that has been the Palace of Culture aka PKiN (or Peking). It had been flashing up different colours in a celebration of colour that is the start of spring and the EU as Poland will be taking over the EU presidency in July. Exciting times for protests, expense accounts and lots of fast moving vehicles with flashing lights no doubt.

Some love it, some loathe it. For me it is really a big landmark for Warsaw and a great way to tell where you are when drifting around town. The EU presidency will be interesting as most people in the other EU countries wouldn't really know much about Warsaw, so it is a great chance to put the city on display.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring is in the air, Everywhere I look around

As I have mentioned recently the Spring is yawning, stretching its otherwise frozen limbs. The scary thing about Spring in Warsaw is that it can be very inconsistent. Classic example was that we had one beautiful weekend, where these photos were taken, and the next had snow. To show that this isn't an incident of global warming, let me tell you that the buildings with community central heating don't switch the furnaces off until May.

So we wanted to go into town to check out a photo exhibition at the Dom Spotkan z Historia (the History Meeting House) or DSH for short. The exhibition was about Julien Hequembourg Bryan, an American photographer and documentary maker that visited Warsaw as the Panzers approached, and found himself here when the city was being invaded by German troops. He therefore took photos and filmed documentary footage before, during and then returned later after the war to take more photos and follow up on the people he met originally.

It was a really interesting and touching display, especially when you know it was the first and almost the only photos that came out about the conflict at the time and he was the only foreign photographer in the city then. He also made a film while here called The Siege of Warsaw, which was the only footage that made the Western world know about what was happening. He smuggled out the negatives in a gas mask and there were suggestions that he wrapped his movie film around his torso to smuggle it out when the German army allowed foreigners to leave the city in a ceasefire.

So what you see here, is our stroll towards the gallery from Ratusz Arsenal, down the dreaded Dluga, and through the old town, where I got far too distracted by bubbles. Check the map for the stroll.
So down Dluga you get to see the ...... building which has a really nice set of front gates.
The walls are topped with little cherubs
And around the gate you get the four winds NESW
They stand quite proud and all buff and tough.
At the end of Dluga is To Lubie cafe which translates basically as "I like it", it is Marty's favourite cafe and the place we end up after every trip to the Foreigners' office which is on Dluga, hence it being dreaded. I swear in that office I have spent at least 24 hours in total. Anyway, if you are in the area pop into the cafe, it is housed in the Dominican Church's tower where they sell the Dominican monks' products.
From Dluga we drifted into the Stare Miasto square. I think I haven't really put up many photos of this location at all. So here are a few.
The Eastern sides in the sun.
One of the facades around the square on the Northern end.
The house as a whole facade.
Then I got distracted by bubbles, a lot like the man in this multi-picture.
So now you will be flooded by bubbles, there is one bursting here.
Sometimes they are in teams.
Other times they would taunt the mermaid.
Drifting around the place making the buildings all scared of the detergent.
Young and old were enjoying the bubbles.
It made some romantic and hold hands, or do graffiti.
Even those with red legs felt happy.
If you weren't happy enough, there were people there to change that.
After the exhibition, I decided to treat Marty to a coffee and cake.
We chose Batida, a pleasant looking cafe on Krakowskie Przedmiescie, not far from the Presidential Palace.
Marty instead opted for a red meal of Malina torte and a Black Currant Juice.
I went for the citron tart and the traditional double espresso. It was more costly than a normal cake date for us but it was still a pleasant way to end a sun shiney day.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Warsaw Street Scenes

Well, the Winter is slowly flicking off its mean nature and allowing us some sunshine. It still isn't the hottest weather you have ever seen, but it allows you the chance to at least see people rather than in Winter when I tend to stay inside hugging the heater and yelling at my computer for not allowing me to leave the house, due to it continually finding me distractions in web form. So we decided to stroll about the streets and I took a few snaps just to show you all the thawing streets.
Here we have a regular winter street scene, two bears wanting to attack an old man. This, unfortunately, has been a major cause of death to senior men, attack by angry bears.
Here is another old man, who is in a much safer position as the bear is in front of him, and he has an Indiana Jones hat to help him feel more in control.
I wanted to take a series of photos of silly hats, as there are some classics here in Poland in winter. Alas, I am thinking I will need to leave that until next year. But, this one is a combination of funny hat and cool braids.
There is love everywhere in Poland, even at the Central Metro station.
This is a really attractive new building going up on the corner of Aleje Jerozolimskie and Ulica Bracka, it is called Wolf Bracka. You can read a little about it here for technical info or here (if you speak Polish), it is actually right near the Australian Embassy.
Warsaw is slowly coming alive.... defrosting if you will. It is the best time to be here.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Slogan Winner(s)

So in the end we actually had a tie!!! How great that is. :) I love it that people voted, I really appreciate it, even if I know many of you looked but didn't vote. Sneaky little minxes that you are. So the joint winners with a combination of 50% of the votes are:

Warsaw: Where East ends and West begins
Warsaw: A reborn city

Congrats to Daniel and Joanna for the, soon to be award winning, slogans. I will endeavour to get a prize to you soon.

Also big thanks to all the people who voted! I have more challenges ahead for the students and therefore polls and surveys in mind so please keep your eye out for them. You can always follow the blog too and get updates when they happen. No off to

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

The New Warsaw Slogan Begins

Ok, so lets get a listing! What the plan is, is to have the slogan and the photo of their author together. Here goes. On the left hand side of this page there is a voting poll. Please vote for the one that you like the most, it doesn't have to be the perfect slogan, just the one you like the best. As the winning author stands to win a prize! Of course, some were serious about it and really wanted to create something really representative of their city, some don't even like living in Warsaw so found it hard, and some were just in it for laughs, like:
Come to Warsaw, your car is already here.
Warsaw: Expect the worst, prepare for the rest.
Warsaw: Positive problems, negative solutions.

Without further delay, here are the authors in alphabetical order:

Aga - Warsaw: To a different rythmn

Anna - Success, adventure, friendship, love, fun, culture
All these experiences & much more you'll find in Warsaw.The center of Poland, Europe, the World

Arkadiusz - Warsaw, it's the best for you
Daniel - Warsaw, where East ends and West begins
Dariusz - Warsaw, where the past goes to the future.
David - Warsaw: Where you can dream.
Diana - There's no place like Warsaw.
Ela - Warsaw, Sweet Warsaw
Grzegorz - Warsaw: It's like a box of chocolates, you never know what you'll get.

Grzegorz N - Warsaw, it's great! I lived there and can still write this.

Izabella - Warsaw, the city which changes every day

Jarek - So old, so modern.

Joanna - Warsaw, a reborn city

Jola - Warsaw, a changed city

Justyna - Warsaw is my place, the place of my life.

Kasia Ł - Warsaw: Experience the colours

Kasia J- Warsaw is liked. Why? Come and check.
Maciej - Warsaw: Be Impressed
Marcin - Warsaw: The heart of Eastern Europe.
Marek - Warsaw: Past & Future, Here & Now.
Marta - Warsaw: a city with the most wonderful extremes
Michal - Warsaw like(s) people, people like you
Ola - Warsaw: The changing city
Ola R- Warsaw: FUN 4 everyone.

Radek - Grow with Warsaw, Develop with Warsaw.

Tomek B - Love the world, love Warsaw

Tomek K - Warsaw: Modern & Proud

Tomek P - Warsaw: all for the money.

Tymek - Warsaw: Experience true emotions

Wiktor (yes, the moose antlers were planned) - Warsaw: Home of Western Europe's cheapest alcohol.

Weronika -
Zuzanna - Warsaw: Inspire me now
So there you have it! Please vote here on the left! Do it. Get your friends to vote too!

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