Judix2 travels to USOpen, Estonia & Poland travel blog

Warsaw Palm Tree

Door of Sanctuary of the Carmelite

Black Madonna at St John's

Water Fountain Park

Saxon Park

Palace of Science and Culture

Roofs of Old Town from Viewing Terrace

Lunch in Old Town

Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

Bus 180

After a late start we decided to ride the 180 bus. At an intersection just South of us is a palm tree (real) that we wanted to see! So (walking) south on Nowy Swiat to see the Palm tree we were also looking for a bus stop so we could ultimately go North! Our walk took us further than we expected but we finally found a bus stop for 180 going the correct direction only to watch 10 to 12 buses (not 180) go by! Finally one came and we hopped on with our goal to go to Multimedia Fountain Park. It was built on an old concrete pond near Old Town to help improve the area by bringing tourists from the the Old Town to see more of Warsaw. It is a visual delight combining music, light and fountains (think Las Vegas' Bellagio). Although we did not see the show at night, it is suppose to be spectacular! We were getting hungry (must be all the walking!), so found an Italian restaurant in Old Town that was excellent - decided to have pizza (a change from the Polish) - it was fresh mushrooms and Gorgonzola cheese! As we were once again in Old Town we went back to the Cathedral of St John the Baptist to see the interior (there was a wedding there on Saturday and could not get in). The church was built in 1339 and is the most important church in Warsaw, Poland's constitution was consecrated here in 1791 and it became the final battleground of the 1944 uprising when Goliath (the Nazi tank) drove into the church and exploded. See Saturday's blog for pictures of the tread in the wall. The High altar holds a copy of the Black Madonna - the original is in a church 125 miles south of Warsaw. Next door to St John's is the Sanctuary of the Carmelite friars otherwise known as Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and of St. Joseph (built in 1692-1701; where Chopin gave a recital on the church's organ (his first employment). Again on bus 180 we went two stops to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with our destination Saxon Garden directly behind the monument. Another lovely garden with fountains and gorgeous trees and flowers. At the end of the garden we caught the tram ( our bus ticket works) to go to Palace of Science and Culture, Poland's tallest building (760 feet) built in the 1950's. It was a gift from Stalin that the people of Poland could not refuse. Varsovians call it "Stalin's Penis" and more crude names. Since the end of communism the Polish are getting use to it, some of the younger generation even liking it. It contains various theaters (Culture), a museum of evolution (science), a multiplex, lots of office space, and an observation deck on top. We rode the elevator to the observation deck to overlook Warsaw, unfortunately the view was not very clear as it was cloudy and even a little misty and breezy. We then navigated our way home via the metro tunnels to the correct side of the street to catch the 180 bus! After resting a bit, we explored our small street going the opposite direction and looking for a dinner spot. I think we are priming ourselves for Italy as we found a modern restaurant serving pasta, etc. We shared a green salad with goat cheese and delicious raspberries and a pesto pasta with burrata cheese and of course wine. Then it was home to our warm beds and unheated apartment! JC

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