Saturday, February 07, 2009

Next Stop: Warsaw

Fred and I have a map to chart our travels. It's color coded. (I love color coding.) I've put a pictures of the map on here before, but here it is again because it's such a nice illustration of where we'll be.

Color coding decoded: orange - Fred alone, green - me alone, red - us together, white - where we want to go. If you were standing in our kitchen, I'd make you figure it out for yourself.

I think I wrote already that Fred put a kibosh on vacations for 2009. But then he found a great deal online (aren't all the great deals found online?) for a weekend in Warsaw. And a weekend away is not an official vacation in The Book of Fred. Similarly, a week on a Greek Island is not a vacation. For it to be a vacation, it has to be something other than a city trip (Warsaw, Berlin, London, etc.) or a week on a beach. Come live in our world. You might not always understand the rules, but you get lots more air miles.

I digress.

Yes, the site of the Warsaw Ghetto and the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising is now a great destination for a weekend away! The problem is that when I think of Warsaw, I always think of gray pictures and film footage from World War II. I think if falling-down buildings and Nazis and Schindler's List. So when Fred suggested it, I was not impressed, but I've never been there before, so I'm cool with it - as the kids used to say. It sort of reminds me of a conversation I had with my mother. When I told her, two years ago, that we were going to Croatia for vacation, she said, "Is it safe?"

My answer: If overweight Russians in bikinis don't scare you, you'll be fine. Similarly, I'm sure Warsaw will be filled with Eastern European tourists. (Just don't cut in line at the buffet.) I once said, "We never go to Eastern Europe." We do now.

Since the initial announcement/suggestion, I've done a little reading and it sounds like it'll be a very nice weekend. Since the war ended, the city has an extreme make-over - and I love those shows - so you can see how excited I am.

The current student pastor at church is from Poland - by way of Edinburgh. She happens to have a friend visiting from Warsaw (what are the chances?) and she sent me a few suggestions about some places to see. They are as follows:

The Warsaw Rising Museum - About the 1944 uprising and the legacy of the Polish underground
Warsaw Old Town - The historical district
Royal Baths Park - Old gardens and parks
Palace of Culture and Science - A nice view from the top, which I always enjoy

Sounds like a well rounded start to a trip.

We'll find a guidebook somewhere and carry that along. Any suggestions are always nice - feel free to comment or send an email. We do a lot of walking on these trips. Fred loves to walk. (And you should see his shoes. They are not sneakers. They're shoes you'd wear to work. He's nuts.) I like walking enough, but I'm not the walker that he is. I would see far less without him - or take a bus or subway. I'm glad he's there to pull me along. And I'm sure I add something to the experience.

The trip is planned for Queen's Day - April 30. He's already heard that we should have chosen Krakow. When he told me, I said, "Oh please. It's not going anywhere."

So that's something to look forward to: a new pin in the map, a new snow globe and lots of new snaps - and one more country that I can say I've been to.

1 comment:

Susan said...

My husband just spent three months doing research in Warsaw, and I'd definitely go to the Royal Baths--bring some seeds to feed the red squirrels. And if you stand nice and still, the birds will come eat from your hands, too!