As I board the plane images of the past 18 days flash through my mind, so many new experiences to remember, so many people, so many adventures and so many things I want to share. I have always wanted to have a passport and now I have stamps in my passport!
We met our local tour guide and started our day. Warsaw is often called the Phoenix city because it literally rose from the ashes. During World War II around 80% of the buildings were destroyed.
We stopped at Lazienki Park for a group photo with a Chopin monument.
The next monument made Julie and I both cry. When the Germans occupied Warsaw during World War II, the sent the entire Jewish population of Warsaw (about 30% of the city) to the Warsaw Ghetto. The Gemans deported and murdered around 300,000 Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto between July 22 and September 12, 1942, most (265,000) were sent to the Treblinka killing center. Around 30,000 Jews were allowed to stay in the ghetto. The monument is in honor of those who died during the Warsaw Ghetto uprising in 1943.
Old Town in Warsaw was amazing because it is more new than old. The oldest section of the city was destroyed during the war but had been painstakingly rebuilt. They actually used anything that was salvageable to rebuild a new old city!
Joanne decided to go back to the hotel with a small group. She is a social butterfly and has made friends with other retirees! Julie and I decide to explore the city and walk back to the hotel.
We got back to the hotel in time to change clothes. We met up with our tour guide and got back on the bus. We stopped at the Tomb of the Unknown soldier. This monument was dedicated in 1925 and has had an Honor Guard continuously (except during German occupation).
We stopped at a park bench (one of many) that play Chopin’s music. We attended a private concert of Chopin’s.
We went back to the hotel to pick up some more of our group. We have a wonderful time at dinner with some traditional Polish Folklore entertainment. Julie danced! Another great ending to a wonderful day.
See ya on the road!
We always try new food when we get the chance, today it was cottage pudding, I think it was cottage cheese in pancake batter. It was sweet, a little tangy,with a pancake texture but in the shape of a ball. The buffet looked like it included leftover dessert from last nights dinner!
We did not get any money while we were in Belarus because we were advised by the state department not to use our credit or debit cards. When I called my local bank to let them know I was traveling in Europe they told me that my debit card would not work in Belarus. We did buy souvenirs but the young man wanted US dollars.
We started a movie “The Barber of Seville” on our way to Warsaw.
We got our passports back as we were waiting to exit Belarus. We stopped for lunch. We have been eating a lot of boiled potatoes lately!
It takes a while to get through the Belarus border and then we take a while to get through the Polish border. Joanne is very excited about Poland.
Julie is speaking now – Everyone got through customs! On the way I sat near a couple from Australia. Jill is also a picky eater, so we quickly bonded over food. Another Australian Jean, asked about Obamacare. Others on our trip know lots about our government, but only partly. Apparently the foreign news sources do not discuss the social services already in place, like Medicare and Medicaid, free and reduced lunches for school children, as well as bus services for children to get to school.
We finally got to Warsaw, and went to find something for dinner. Mom and I ate at a coffee shop, and Joanne ate at KFC with some others from our tour group. She said it was a little different then back home. We made it back to the hotel, and we’re ready to tour the city next day.
Lynda and Julie