Category Archives: warsaw

Last Walk in Warsaw – see you next year!

We had a wonderful trip. Thank you for following along our blog. We leave you with some last images of our walk around Old Town and some lively videos.

gorgeous, Thad!

mom on old wall of city

me

Warsaw Old Town Square

lovely

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Warsaw’s Famous Mermaid fountain

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Thad sketching at the square

sketching

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warm wine on a cold day – love it

watercolors on the square

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some of Thad’s sketches from the trip

Lazienki Park, Warsaw – Thad’s watercolors

street scape – Thad

Old Town Square with mermaid statue

Royal Castle Square, Warsaw

 

 

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Visiting Warsaw’s Polytech U

always visiting exciting architectural buildings…

exploring

my mom is holding Marie Curie’s hand

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dad is very knowledgeable about these things

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checking out the model of it

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Breaking Bread in Poland

Poland is a culinary delight. Warm rye and sour soups, mushrooms in season, pierogies with savory fillings, fresh fishes, and bastion of beets. all make for lovely meals and lively conversations…

dining chefside

Thad commenting on the design of this bottle

my favorite lady

rye soup and kielbasi

yummy plate of pierogies

Podwale

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talking about architecture

Dom Polski

Mom with Dom Polski

one of our favs

Do you know that we are going back to Poland again next year, mom?

 

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fish in beet sauce

Dinner at the charming White Goose restaurant

Polish desserts

the most amazing dessert – ginger and orange merenge with fresh pink rose petals

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Salute at Il Bacio! (yes, I sought out an Italian restaurant eventually!)

Dad and Thad love to sketch at the table

Beautiful Mommy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Phoenix Rises from the Ashes – Warsaw

There is a curiousity when stepping into Warsaw for the first time and one might want to know about the planning, construction, and rebuilding of this complicated city. Warsaw was sacked and rebuilt so many times that it is amazing that it stands – and now thrives – today. Its very existence is testament to the will and fortitude of the Polish people.

As a City Planner in NYC, Thaddeus was interested to speak with some folks at the City Planning office of Warsaw located in the Palace of Culture. They got an appointment and met with a gentleman at Warsaw city planning who was passionate about Warsaw’s design and who, in turn, also had a few questions about NYC. Together with my father, a fellow architect, they had a fascinating in-depth conversation.

City Planners meet City Planners

On another note, I wanted to share Thad’s sketch of the Royal Castle Square from earlier this week:

Thad’s sketch of Royal Castle Square

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Highlights of Polish art in the National Museum in Warsaw

Today we visited some great museums starting with Poland’s National Museum which was a wonderful treat.

today we visited Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie – National Art Museum of Poland

the most famous painting in the Museum

a major Polish artist

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great painting of major boulevard

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One of dad’s favorite

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my favorite piece of sculpture

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Politics and Pickles

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Last Walk in Warsaw

For our last night we decided to leave the Old Town (Stare Miasto) and venture into new parts of Warsaw for a special farewell dinner.  This was followed by a walk of fountains, the tomb of the fallen soldiers – guarded 24 hours a day, an art gallery, and Teatr Wielki.

last evening in Warsaw

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he loves to sketch wherever, whenever he can!

cherry vodka at end of meal = love

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leaving art gallery

fountains on the walk

mom in front of fountain

Guarded tomb of fallen soliders of Poland

this is guarded 24 hours a day and columns surround it listing each war dating back to the 900s

My dad told us about each battle listed

Side view of the Guarded Tomb

Then we moved on to the opera house where exactly 10 years ago we saw La Traviata in the Emperor box seats – I will never forget it.

Teatr Wielki

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mom in opera house

leaving the Old Square behind

Thank you for following us on our journey!  We have received such nice notes and insights from your reading this blog.

And thanks mom and dad for a great trip!

Happy Travels!

PS – if you care to follow my adventures in Naples, please see:  https://travelsinnaples.wordpress.com

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How Royally Bittersweet it is….our Last Day

this about says it!

Today we explored the opulent rooms of the Royal Castle of Warsaw.  Nearly totally destroyed in 1939, it was rebuilt on the basis of thee only surviving parts.  It was once the headquarters of the king and authorities of “Rzeczpospolita” – the Republic of Poland (since the 16th century.)  It is also where the Constitution of May 3rd (1791) – the first one in Europe and the second one in the world was adopted.

Today it is a musuem that houses room after room of the most gorgeous inlaid wood floors I have ever seen with opulent gold fixtures and exquisite furniture.  For the highlights, we revisit Bernardo Bellotto, called Canaletto here, for his verdute of 18th century Warsaw.  These paintings were invaluable during the post-war reconstruction of the city.

And today we had the special treat of seeing the Titian painting on loan from Palazzo Pitti in Florence.

Royal Castle Square

After our tour of the Royal Castle, we headed for something sweet.  Famous worldwide, E. Wedel has been making savory chocolates since 1851.   Made with milk and dark chocolate, the Poles have a knack for incorporating fruits like cherries, plums, and apricots and making it divine.

facade of E. Wedel, Warsaw

inside it looks like a cafe in Vienna

my mom smelling the roses at their outdoor cafe

We are off to our farwell dinner – another bittersweet event as we are sad to be leaving this marvelous city that we have enjoyed so much!

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Two kinds of people in the world?

Vacation time makes you relax…think about the world, your surroundings, how others live, and how those before them survived.  So as I am enjoying mussel night in Warsaw (seriously, it’s on Thursday), I can’t help but think about the types of people in the world.

My mom loves mussels – it is her favorite dish.  I like them fine but I don’t like to get messy so my strategy is to schuck?/peel?/de-cant?  I don’t know what the word is – but essentially, get the mussel – all of them – out of the shell before consuming and thereby, create some sort of mussel soup.  Then I can wash my hands and enjoy.  On the other hand, my mom likes to leisurely enjoy each mussel, using her eccentric Italian hands to tell her stories, and dropping each shell one by one into a separate bowl over time.

We both savor our mussels – just in different means to the end.

mom with mussels

which brings me to the the Warsaw Uprising.  But I see it listed in the museum guide as Warsaw Rising Museum.  Does one person see the Warsaw Uprising as a singular event that marks a difficult period of time? Or sees it as an Uprising –  a continuous philosophy of progress for Warsaw and the nation, as a whole?

Or how about the half-moon that we saw in the sky tonight as we sauntered home….or was it a pierogi that hung in the black borscht bowl of atmosphere?

there is a pierogi in the sky

Contemplating the meaning of life in the piazza...oops, I mean square (rynek)

Either way, vacation has a way of nudging your mind to process life a little differently.  Or with a new perspective.  With a new appreciation.  And, in the end, isn’t that why we travel?   We are grateful as we process God’s amazing creations all in new ways.  Enjoy!

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Paying homage to the Polish Military

This morning we learned about the Polish military and Katyn and visited the Field Cathedral of the Polish Army, (also known as the Church of Our Lady Queen of the Polish Crown) which came about through the Military Ordinariate of Poland.

Inside the church there are medals and plaques and statues all dedicated to the military who perished at war.

The main altar contains a sculpture of the patron saint of the church, Our Lady Queen of the Polish Crown. Beneath the sculpture there is a steel grating with hundreds of military decorations and votive plaques donated by the soldiers. To the left there is a small Chapel of the Polish Soldier – a Mausoleum of the Defenders of the Motherland. Among the battles featured on stone slabs there are the battle of Cedynia, battle of Grunwald, battle of Vienna, battle of Westerplatte, defence of Warsaw, Warsaw Uprising and the battle of Berlin, as well as other battles of World War II. A chapel to the right of the altar is devoted to the victims of the Katyn massacre. Approximately 15,000 small tablets mark the names of the Polish officers mass murdered by the NKVD in 1940, while additional 7000 wait for the names of those, whose bodies are yet to be found.

And down the stairs is the museum and shrine to those clergy who died.  Noting that my dad speaks Polish and that we were very interested in the subject matter, the curator followed us around the exhibit interjecting some commentary.  My dad discussed old Polish war movies and my mom and I walked on.

We entered a room dedicated to the 2010 Polish Air Force Tu-154 crash which occurred on 10 April 2010, when an aircraft of the Polish Air Force crashed near the city of Smolensk, Russia, killing all 96 people on board. These included the Polish president Lech Kaczyński and his wife, the chief of the Polish General Staff and other senior Polish military officers, the president of the National Bank of Poland, Poland’s deputy foreign minister, Polish government officials, 15 members of the Polish parliament, senior members of the Polish clergy, and relatives of victims of the Katyn massacre. They were en route from Warsaw to attend an event marking the 70th anniversary of the massacre; the site is approximately 19 kilometres west of Smolensk.

Over 10 clergy members perished leaving behind in the rubble: rosaries, rings, glasses, prayer books, cloaks, etc.  all which we saw displayed in sand.  A chilling reminder and compelling exhibit.

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