Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Kampinoski and the rest of Warsaw

On the first full day in Warsaw we escaped the city and headed to the village of Truskaw. Taking the icy cool metro to the end stop and then the 708 bus. The man at the tourist information told us to once again get out at the end stop. There we looked expectantly out the window for the National Park information boards we’d been told would be there but couldn’t see. We got out anyway and thought a visit to a polish village wouldn’t be a wasted day anyway. Wandering down the street we did however find some signs, took photos of the map and devised ourselves a route. The Kampinoski National Park prides itself on being the closest national park in the world to a capital city. There you can find lynx, wild boar and moose . It is apparently crowded with tourists at weekends but we didn’t see much evidence of it this weekend.

As we started on the path we began to get bitten by mosquitoes. There were lots of butterflies and birds in a clearing before the wood, but we didn’t have time to linger because of the mosquitoes. Being fools we’d forgotten the repellent and got what we at this time believed to be ravaged, later national park forays proved otherwise. We were hoping to spot a moose but all we found was a Tesco carrier bag and later some actual real life moose droppings! But alas no moose! There was a rather handsome lizard though.

On our way back we went shopping in the very polish supermarket, Lidl, where there was a powercut and the lights and tills stopped working. No one appeared too concerned and we could only presume that this was a regular occurrence. Didn’t last too long to get really exciting.

On heading back to Warsaw old town I told Jenny we really should look at everything as we’d only be there this once. Five minutes later I’d changed my tune and decided I’d had enough for the day.

The next morning we visited a park on the other side of the river where there were meant to be Polish landscapes in miniature. Took some finding but we think we reached the mountains. There was a pleasant waft of chocolate from the nearby factory.

We also went down a street that featured in ‘The Pianist’ and looked at a Russian church that was built near the station so that the Russians wouldn’t feel lost when they got to Warsaw. We got a free Chopin apple juice when we decided to take the tourist tram. Half of Warsaw (plus the tourists) seemed to be spending Sunday evening in a park where grandiose buildings and peacocks were to be found. Walking back to the tram the torrential rain started and people sheltered in doorways dashing along the street when their tram came. It had cooled down nicely but we had to go to the sweltering station to get our backpacks. We spent our last zlotys and traipsed through the rain to the bus stop to catch the overnight bus to Vilnius.

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