Saturday, 24 July 2010


After getting off the train into the very hot underground passages of the station the first task was to put our bags in a locker, so that we could go for a walk around the town. We swapped money but there weren’t any coins, so I had to go and buy some overpriced soya milk to try and get some. But I still didn’t have didn’t have the right ones. Jenny was getting cross in the heat so I gave her the drink and went to the exchange bureau and managed to get the ones I needed. It was definitely cooler but still very warm outside. Warsaw did not endear itself to us immediately and we wondered what we were doing here amongst all these modern skyscrapers and throngs of people.

Purchasing tickets for the Warsaw transport system is complicated if you read the wrong books and go to an unhelpful tourist info office. After trial and error and some unnecessary expenditure we did work it out in the end. You can get a single ticket which will be for just one tram/bus/metro journey and then you need another if you are swapping. You can also get a 20 minute ticket or a 40 minute ticket, so you can go on as many different modes of transport as you like within the time limit. However we discovered 20 minutes is not very long when you’re travelling in a tram that stops all the time or is stuck behind another one. I got pretty worried that we wouldn’t make it back in our 20 minutes that we were so busy looking at the time ticking away and not paying any attention to where we were. We got off after the 20 minutes and thought we’d have to walk the rest of the way, only to disccover we were exactly where we wanted to be. The best option if you’re making a few journeys is the travel card, so that’s what we went for in the end.

The old town was very pretty, clean and brightly coloured. I was pleased we’d come here after all. We later discovered that it was rebuilt after the war and that it’s really a new old town. Seems the Varsovians don’t actually go there and it’s just a tourist attraction.

We wandered past the grand buildings and new old churches and bought some delicious kiwi-pumpkin-apple-carrot drink, which sounded and looked a lot worse than it was. Our hostel was run by Warsaw’s green charity. It was extremely hot, had really short bedsheets (maybe they got them second hand, recycling and all that) and had only two bathrooms for about 24 people. The door handle fell off one of the bathrooms making only one usable till it was fixed. They didn’t do that good a job though because Jenny managed to lock herself in the bathroom because the door handle wouldn’t go back in. A less resourceful person such as myself would have panicked, but Jenny managed to undo some screws with the use of a screwdriver and work her way out. I’d read on the Internet before we’d left that people had turned up with a booking only to be told there was no space. We got there not too long after five and there weren't any problems. We’d been on the internet and I was just about to go to bed. It seemed that someone else was going to sleep in my bed but I got there first and she had to go and share a bed with someone else because there weren’t enough of them. A man was sleeping on the couch in the sitting room and two people with a booking turned up only to be sent away. Looked like the Green Mazovia hostel didn’t keep a good check on its bookings. At least the money we spent would be going to a green cause of bringing more bicyles to the streets of Warsaw. In the present traffic of Warsaw I can’t understand how anyone could face it on a bicycle. A lot of work to be done then.

1 comment:

  1. Its taken me over a month but I've just discovered your blog! Why was I not informed you were blogging sooner?! (Thank you Diana!) Anyway its awesome sounds like a massive adventure your having. Keep the updates coming. :o)