I have been trying to be more organised and start doing some of the things I had in mind for quite some time now. Hopefully, I’ll be able to stick to this. Priorities seem to keep changing.
I recently backed up some of my photo albums and realised I have quite a few stories to tell about places, people and society and I want to share them so that even I can go back and remember them properly.
I should warn you I will now and then make snide remarks towards the lack of…let’s say many things.As a disclaimer I should say it is my opinion which I will express so there might be people out there who disagree (which I don’t mind at all. It’s almost a free world).
So I went to Warsaw and Lodz in Poland in november 2012. It was my first business trip ever.
I didn’t really know what to expect when I landed in Warsaw’s Chopin Airport. I had decided I will learn things on the spot and see as much as was possible in such a short time. For those of you who do not know, Warsaw is the capital city of Poland and has a population a bit over 1.7 million (at least this was what Google said). The first thing that hit me (it was impossible to miss) was the uniform of the police in the airport. It seemed ‘old’ and unfriendly. I am well aware you cannot have pink uniforms in airports but an unfortunate colour combined with the lack of smiles really makes you fell uncomfortable.
While going on a city tour I saw that (of course) the city centre was very clean and that the buildings have been recently taken care of. The UEFA Euro2012 Championship had taken place there so this was a natural thing to do (sorry, I know almost nothing about football). Needless to say it was rather cold. At some point the tour continued on foot and saw me visiting the Old Town, the National Theatre, the monument of the Warsaw uprising fighters, the Castle Square, the monument of Nicolaus Copernicus, Chopin’s monument and St. Anne’s Church which were all really great to see. Because it’s been quite a while and I was rather nervous during that trip I am sure I forgot some important things from my list but I do remember it was a very pleasant tour. In the Old Town city centre we stopped for some traditional drinks and I had to taste a ‘softer” vodka with lemongrass as my stomach wasn’t up for large amounts of alcohol.
I remember eating at an italian restaurant – Piccola Italia I believe – and declaring I know quite a few better ones back home. I confess I didn’t remember trying some local dishes but only because I am a spoiled brat and don’t like most fatty foods (I cringe at the sight of grease).
I also managed to somehow get lost in Warsaw’s Central Station. Luckily enough I found some English speaking people (from a corporate building) to help me get back on track. The mix between old, historical buildings, and new ones (“glass”) was a surprise there. I stopped to pick something up from a Starbucks in which they misspelled my name ( *sad face*).
Up next was Lodz in which I only staid for 1 day and a half. The Andels Hotel was AMAZING. It was built in an old manufactory and had high ceilings and interesting walls. It looked really impressive on the inside and the service was great. It was across the street from the city centre area aptly named Manufaktura. This was another impressive sight.
To make things better, that evening I went to a Sting concert and when I got back to the hotel I met him in the elevator. He was staying on the floor above mine.
I went to one of the ‘fancy’ bars in the city centre later and had one of the best coktails ever (just look at the picture). Delicious!
On a sad note, the next day I discovered that when you left the central area the city looked really really bad. Buildings still looked destroyed with missing outside walls and it wasn’t a nice sight. It was sad to think it is the third largest city in the country and that it once was a textile empire…before World War I.