Judix2 travels to USOpen, Estonia & Poland travel blog

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Warsaw Uprising Museum


The Tango

Walking in the Rain

Bigos and Pierogis

Today the weather is going to catch up with us. We've had rain off and on but always at night. Today the forecast is for rain until tomorrow starting at noon, or 11 depending on whose device you are looking at. We both use the Weather Channel but the forecasts are always a little different. We wanted to see the formal ceremony for the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier which is only on Sundays at 12. We decided to chance it and we made it through without any rain. After seeing the same at Buckingham Palace, this was somewhat underwhelming. There weren't very many people there which made it nice for us and the tomb itself was lovely with lots of flowers. Since 2 November 1925 the tomb houses the unidentified body of a young soldier who fell during the Defence of Lwów. Since then, earth from numerous battlefields where Polish soldiers have fought has been added to the urns housed in the surviving pillars of the Saxon Palace. Since Warsaw is much larger than the other cities we've been to (except for NY), we decided to use the buses and got a 3-day bus pass. In addition to getting around, there is also a #180 bus that is a special sight-seeing route. Our first foray was to the Warsaw Uprising Museum, a few miles from city center. Using Google, we were able to determine which buses to take and Google even tells you how many stops before you get off. The good news was that the museum is free on Sundays. The bad news was that the museum is free on Sundays. It was really crowded so it hampered our enjoyment. The museum celebrates the heroes of the Uprising and chronologically tells the story with an emphasis on the military history, Especially moving for me were the first-hand accounts and pictures of those lost. There was a 3D movie showing Warsaw after the war but we thought the line was too long and the crowds were getting to us. We did see a couple newsreels that were made at the time. When you see some of the pictures after the war and then the reconstructed Old Town that was completed by 1956, it is amazing what was accomplished. We had 3 options to get back to town center--the #102 bus, #22 tram, or #105 bus. As we walked out of the museum, the #102 bus drove by. When we got to the corner, the #22 tram went by. So we opted for the #105 bus which would take us back to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier which was close to the Museum of Caricature which we thought would be fun. We found it down a little side street close to Castle Square but it was closed until 9/28 because they were installing new exhibits. Since it was getting colder and the rain looked like it would be coming any moment, we felt a warm drink was in order. We had seen a nice coffee shop earlier on the main street and on the way we came across a demonstration, people tangoing until a rock band started up a little further down the street, and another bandstand with a little orchestra with an accordion, a mandolin, a trumpet and a few other instruments. I was happy to see that a Chai Latte was on the menu and ordered one while Judi C had a cappuccino plus we got a delicious chocolate orange muffin (and an almond one for breakfast tomorrow). I forgot that in Poland chai lattes are half chai and half coffee. So I loaded it with brown sugar and it wasn't too bad and it was warm. By now that rain had started so we headed for the bus stop to catch the #180 bus since we had our bus passes and it was almost a mile to our apartment. Thinking we are so clever, we were lucky enough that those at the bus stop pointed out that the buses don't run on this street on Sundays. When we asked them why they were there their answer was to get out of the rain. So we decided to walk since it wasn't raining that hard and the wind wasn't blowing. Well it kept getting a little heavier as we walked along and then started puddling up. By the time we got home our shoes, socks and pant legs were wet and we were cold. And there is no heat in the apartment. I don't know if it was mentioned before, but there is central heat in Estonia and Poland and it isn't turned on until the end of September. So we've had some cold nights on this trip. We got out of our wet clothes, grabbed our duvets and spent some time on the couch (we have two in this apartment which is very nice). We were hoping the rain might let up by dinner time but no such luck. We had spotted a nice Polish restaurant close by, so we put on dry socks with our wet shoes and dashed over there. We are liking several of the Polish specialties and tonight we ordered Bigos (sauerkraut and cabbage stew with meat, Polish sausage and mushrooms), spinach and goat cheese peirogis and, of course, wine. It was really good. We couldn't finish all the food so we brought the left overs home for happy hour tomorrow. By now it is even raining harder so we mad a dash for the apartment trying to avoid as many puddles as we could and changed into our pajamas as fast as we could. Hopefully our shoes will be dry by morning. JB

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