Day 1 in Warsaw
As a city it is fair to say that not many cities have been blown up, occupied or otherwise tormented as Warsaw and its population. So, as a modern history enthusiast I was in heaven, it is also fair to say that unless you are planning to stay for a month, you will have to choose your attractions. We opted for the Copernicus museum on the afternoon of day 1 that is after arrival. Nicolas Copernicus is of course credited with kick starting the scientific revolution. He was Polish so it stands to reason that there should be a museum dedicated to him and the importance of the physical sciences. As a science teacher I was very happy!
Day 2 in Warsaw
After breakfast in the old town our morning on day 2 was spent in the Chopin center a wonderful and interactive display of the life and times of a composer who would now be over 200 years old.
Day 3 in Warsaw
For me the most interesting museum was the Warsaw Rising Museum, visited on day 3. This is an exhibition and interactive display which tells the terrible story of Warsaw under the Nazis and the uprising which started on 1st august 1944. It is a succinct definition of the word betrayal. The advancing red army stopped and let the Nazis get on with dealing with the uprising. After it was crushed the Nazis totally destroyed those parts of Warsaw which they occupied and deported the population to death or slave labor camps. Only then, in early January 1945 did the red army continue its advance into Nazi Germany.
The Cure came on the night of Day 3 so we decided to spend the day bar hopping and eating our way through the Praga district, before going to see one of my all-time favorite bands ever. Warsaw is home to a stunning array of vodkas, which are so good you can drink them neat but ice (almost syrupy) cold, as well as lots of different types of lovely lager. All in all, the scene was well and truly set for the music of The Cure. So after what was obviously an amazing concert and the hangover to match we once again had breakfast (later than previously), in the old town.
Day 4-5 in Warsaw
We visited the eerie Pawak Prison, this was one of the symbols of Nazi occupation, over 100,000 people were imprisoned here, and some were tortured and executed in the prison courtyard. Some 80,000 however were transported to Treblinka extermination camp, using the railway constructed for this express purpose in the prison courtyard.
We had two more days which were spent leisurely exploring the royal route and Walinow Palace, both real snapshots of Polish imperial history and important because they were not destroyed in WW2. Allow yourself a complete day for this excursion. On the last day we overloaded our luggage, my partner with lots of trinkets and souvenirs, me with as many bottles of lemon grass vodka that I could carry. This has long been consumed; it is definitely time to go back.