I did the Old Town free walking tour in Warsaw this morning. Anne very sensibly stayed in the hotel and worked. Sensibly because it was, quite frankly, F R E E Z I N G!
However, despite the cold it was interesting.
Warsaw old town was completely ravaged/flattened in WWII, and it is has been completely rebuilt to exactly how it was before the war. Although apparently they coudn't decide how to rebuild the palace so that has been done in a number of styles.
Despite the cold - the streets were pretty.
This is the lucky bell. Not so lucky that when it was first used it fell to pieces, however people came to believe that it granted ones wishes and made them come true. Who's to argue with that. We were told how to do it, and the whole walking tour had a go. Now to see if my wish comes true :) If it does - then I'll know the bell works!
Houses were taxed back in the 16th century according to size of the width of the house where the front door was. This little house in between the two buildings paid very little tax. But don't be deceived - it's one of the biggest houses on the street as it goes back on a diagonal.
The other square. Not sure if this is the main square, or where the palace was is the main square. But square it is!
In the middle of the square is Warsaw's mermaid who protects the city from war. It didn't work in the second world war though!
Just along from the square is the old town wall.
The famous streets around the old town.
Looking back to the entrance of the walled part..
I noticed the bricks here were painted like the buildings in Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republik and wondered if there was a link.
Madam Curie's museum - she was one of the founders of science and physics and became famous in Paris.
The monument of the ghetto of warsaw, where half a million Jews were crammed in, starved, then shipped off to Concentration camps under the Nazi rule. A reminder that hatred should be stamped out, that no one is ever better than anyone else.
Past a beautiful modern building with lovely scuptures. Our walking tour guide didn't actually explain this, but I did think it was beautiful.
The world war II memorial representing the bravery of the polish soldiers who didn't have any chance at all to win.
One of the 15 (or 50 - didn't hear which) benches where you can push a button and hear Chopin play.
Back in the main square where we started from.
I then caught a taxi from old town back to the hotel where I got ripped off by the taxi. I knew I was ripped off and asked for a receipt, but he gave me nothing on it, so it all came to nothing. I'm much wiser now though. Uber all the way in Poland from now on.
Anne and I then caught a train to Lodz where we are staying in the Grand Hotel. We've just been out for dinner for more traditional Polish and Jewish food, and I'm so full I can't move.
Tomorrow we're heading to a spa for a massage and a pedicure, because we can.
The Grand hotel was pretty good, but even better when we got a free upgrade to an apartment where some polish film star stays in our room. Not tonight though!