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My Trip to Poland
My Trip to Poland: August 25-September 10, 2012
Saturday, September 8, 2012: I am in Warsaw now. This morning I took a walk to Łazienki Park to take photos of the statues of Chopin and Sienkiewicz, two of my heros. Łazienki Park is Warsaw's largest park and, as I discovered, a great place to take a morning walk. I was still early and ithe sun had not as yet burned off the morning clouds and brightened the sky. I managed to take a few nice photos of Henryk Sienkiewicz's monument, but was disappointed that the area around Fryderyk Chopin's monument was not open to the public. I stuck my camera through the gate and managed to get one or two pictures, but they turned out pretty shabby. In order to not disappoint you, I took a picture of a picture of Chopin's monument, so that will have to do.

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My photo of Warsaw's famous monument to 
Fryderyk Chopin
My photo of a photo of the famous monument to Fryderyk Chopin
After Łazienki Park, I got on a bus and headed for Stare Miasto, the Old Town where there are lots of interesting things to see, especially the Royal Castle and Market Square. The sun made an appearance while I was on the bus, so I really enjoyed walking around the Old Town taking pictures in the warm sun. Then I walked south down the Royal Way, snapping picures of the many classisist palaces and statues along the way. I must warn you that I have an interest in sculpture and will shoot anything that is not moving. Warsaw has  more than its fair share of sculptures, so I hope you like looking at statues. Before making a side trip to the Chopin Museum, I treated myself to an ice cream cone; chocolate, this time. The museum was not as interesting as I had hoped, or maybe I was just too tired to appreciate it. Not enough music!

After visiting the Chopin Museum, it dawned on me that I neglected to see the Warsaw Uprising Monument located just a stone's throw away from the Old Town. I really wanted to see that so I had to back track north up the Royal Way. After all that, I took a cab to my hotel and took a nap.
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Warsaw is such a beautiful city. It's hard to imagine the enormous effort it must have taken to rebuilt it after World War II. In case you have never seen the footage showing Warsaw's devastation after the war, I'll post it here so you can see:
Sunday, September 9, 2012: 
My hotel, serves up a nice breakfast. I was happy to see that today kiszka was available. Delicious!

This will be my last full day in Warsaw. Before leaving, I must see the Warsaw Uprising Museum (Muzeum Powstania Warszawskiego), which is located just down the street from my hotel. Looks like a nice, sunny day, and I am looking forward to the walk. Maybe I'll also be able to fit in a concert this afternoon. Then it's back to my hotel to pack my bags and get ready for tomorrow's flight home. Where did the time go?

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I received a special gift today: a beautiful, sunny day for my last day in Poland. It's getting late here now, so it looks like my photos of Warsaw will not me posted until I get back to Rochester. (Okay, maybe I can post just a few before I call it a night, but I won't have time for comments.) 

Hope you enjoyed the Warsaw! Glad you were with me.
Quo Vadis and Sienkiewicz's Trilogy (Fire and Sword, The Deluge, Fire in the Steppe) are my favorite novels.
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A Typical American Tourist
I have no idea who these kids are.
I like this song.
Go ahead, play it!
Monday, September 9,  2012: I arrived home safely after a long, tiring day of plane delays and sitting still in one place for many hours in a seat that was obviously made for someone with much shorter legs. Throughout the flight I thought of the arduous journeys our courageous ancestors took by ship many years ago. Their reasons for leaving such a beauiful homeland certainly must have been compelling. I also thought of the wonderful people I met in Poland and passed the time reading about Poland (thanks again, Marysia) and viewing my photos of the trip on my laptop. Did it really happen, or was it all just a dream? 

Someday, I hope to return.
Warsaw is a phoenix rising from its ashes.
A visit to the Warsaw Uprising is a must.  For me, it was a short walk from my hotel.
This is the "umschlagplatz", the place where Germans loaded Jews into box cars bound for Auschwitz or Treblinka.
Ghetto Heroes Square
Monuments throughout the city serves as constant reminders of Poland's heroic resistance to those who tried to wipe it from the face of the Earth.
Enjoying beautiful September weather Sunday afternoon on the banks of the Vistula
Here's a message you surely would have seen throughout the Warsaw sewers during the Uprising: Beware! GERMANS.
Barbican
Tourists walking up on the defensive wall
New buildings seem to be sprouting up everywhere
Ruminations
1. Certainly every Polish family has been in one way or another profoundly affected by the events of World War ll or by Poland's many other wars throughout its tumultuous history. When I was at the Warsaw Uprising Museum, I looked through the records of those who so courageously gave up their lives resisting the German Army during the Warsaw Uprising. Out of curiosity, I searched for my grandparent's surnames wondering if perhaps any distant family members might have been involved. This is what I found:
Click thumbnail to enlarge
Whoever this Jasiek was, he was only 15 years of age when he perished.
Sadly too many names are on this list. 
All the records are online. Go HERE to check names.
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2. Now that I am back in the States, I will continue to produce short videos of my trip to Poland. Some will be mundane, like the one on the right of the train station next to my hotel on a Saturday morning. Personally I find this kind of thing very entertaining as it provides a realistic glimpse of everyday life. (Plus I like trains.) Other videos may be less mundane in subject matter-- but don't count on it.

By the way, the footage for this video was taken on a Saturday morning in September. 

Warsaw Ochota (Warszawa Ochota) is a railway station in Warsaw, Poland located in the district of Ochota at Plac Zawiszy on the corner of Aleje Jerozolimskie and Towarowa Street. The station lies in a cutting. It has two island platforms, one on the suburban tracks of the Warsaw Cross-City Line for the regional trains run by Koleje Mazowieckie and Szybka Kolej Miejska and one for the Warszawska Kolej Dojazdowa light railway. The station building, at the street level, was constructed in early 1960s—it has a saddle roof in a distinct shape of a hyperboloic paraboloid. The location allows for convenient transfers to city trams and buses serving the western part of the city center. (-Wiki)

Train Station: Warsaw Ochota (Warszawa Ochota)
3. It's mid-December (2012) and I just discovered that the 30 minute video on Warsaw I made after I got back from Poland has been blocked in the USA and Germany. I don't know why, but I will try again; this time I will break it down into four shorter videos. Here is the first:
Warsaw Video #1

Warsaw Video #2

Warsaw Video #3

Warsaw Video #4

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