#poland pierogi #vodka #chopin #vistula #firstsolotrip #nowyświat #starówka
Home of the delicious Pierogi, Frederic Chopin and to one of the most stunning national landscapes in Europe - the Tatras Mountains.
Warsaw, Poland was my very first destination during my 2016 solo trip and while I had all the freedom at my discretion there was a condition tied to that - responsibility - and being over 20,000km away from home it would have been... say.. quite a devastating beginning to my trip if things didn't turn out well.
Went there for a two and a half week stay staying in Wrocław for the first five followed by Warsaw to see my favourite tenor Andrea Bocelli perform Opera at the City Stadium in Warsaw CBD which goes without saying including my new tuxedo suit I had just got tailored for the magical night. So, making sure the suit was not damaged during transport was stressful, then added was all the other travel responsibilities.. more stress.. more anxiety.. there was expectations!
Well, Wrocław & Warsaw were even better than my own home town Melbourne, of course, the fact that being on vacation helps. But, it was the hospitality.. no effort was spared.. staff in hotels were very hospitable with high standards etiquette putting customer relations ahead of the usual norms. I felt Poland was somewhere I would consider visiting more often from the already positive signs.
Then the abundance of fancy outdoor cafes, restaurants, museums and parks complimented by its citizens who happen to be one of the most friendliest people I've met and that is a checklist item for me.. friendliness is always high on my priority list when I'm a million miles from home as friendliness can be next to godliness..
Being more than approachable and upon engaging in conversation with its people there was the introduction of their beautiful city, the history of Poland, the invasion and the uprising and some of their fashion and shopping venues were amongst those highlighted with a huge emphasis on good polish cuisine and vodka. Lovely!
I had a great time the excitement that radiated with me during this epic journey is indescribable. Poland gave me the confidence right from the very get go leaving no challenges for me setting the bar of standards for my following destinations.
The opera went smoothly and it was beautiful as I expected it was an unforgettable event seeing Maestro Bocelli perform for the first time. Two weeks came and creeped up so fast I did not have any intentions to depart to go to my next destination, there was plenty of new friends and departure was the toughest challenge I was reluctantly up against.. I could live with that I suppose - I did plan to return anyway!
To that end, I feel that it is necessary to outline something before I close this blog; the history of Poland, and the things it has gone through over the course of its lifetime cannot be left unheard or forgotten.
We may indeed recall when Poland fell victim to the Nazi invasion on September 1, 1939 as Germans launched an attack plunging the two sides into direct combat lasting about a month, essentially, at which time the ruthless actions by Hitler had been deemed victorious resulting in Poland falling before the Allies could get to help.
The Nazi's were finally defeated in 1945, in essence, that did not bring about and hand over freedom completely to the people of Poland. Poland was only "liberated" by the Soviet Union who then went on and enforced a repressive communist regime for years ahead. A real shame.
Amid the brutal regime, the Polish were ever so brave at this point with patience, persistence and aspiration in their hearts they united to uprise fighting off the soviet in the 1980's restoring the heavily depleted nation back to its acceptable norms.
These big things have definitely shaped Poland to what it is today, not the invasions and occupations itself, though, it's the bravery in the Polish and how they went about protecting what they loved. Combined with "Nowy Świat" New world street hands back the same country to its people but in a new world.
Poland stands strong today taking into account the series of invasions and attacks it had been subject to it is a country that knows the meaning of love and what it takes to protect that against the worlds most strongest and tyrannical military regime ever.
An alley way in Warsaw Old Town
Warsaw, Mazowieckie, Poland
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