When I was making a list of places I wanted to visit on my trip to Europe last year, Warsaw wasn’t actually on the “must see” pile. It was simply somewhere I was stopping at for a couple of days between Berlin and Krakow. I’m almost ashamed to admit to that now. As it turns out, Warsaw was one of the prettiest cities on the itinerary and I would gladly return.
I was staying in a district called Praga, it’s located on the eastern bank of the Vistula River, and location wise it was perfect. I had arrived in Warsaw via train from Berlin, from the main station I simply hopped a tram and about 4 stops later I was in Praga. There were the usual array of shops and restaurants around, all in all in was a relatively peaceful spot. Just at the end of the street was St Florian’s Cathedral, a magnificent and eye catching piece of architecture. From there, I just hopped a tram and one stop later I was across the river and at the Old Town of Warsaw. Now, Warsaw itself is the capital of Poland and Old Town Warsaw is the oldest part of that city. To be honest, it pretty much where I spent all my time. I just thought it was beautiful.
Walking up the stairs from street level, I arrived in Castle Square. Lined by colourful townhouses, with the Royal Castle on the right and Sigismund’s Column in the centre, it’s a breathtakingly beautiful old town. It is full of cobbled streets, churches, town/market squares, statues and monuments to the cities past, and surrounding it all the Barbican and the old fortified city walls. The history of this part of Warsaw is lengthy, and it’s interesting to note it was mostly destroyed during World War II, but honestly – you’d never know looking at it today. I would strongly advise joining a walking tour of the area in you really want a thorough explanation of what you’re looking at. I did. It took about 4 hours but it was absolutely worth it. All in all, Warsaw was a surprise … and a pleasant one at that.
This post is part of my contribution to the April 2017 A-Z Challenge
For a list and links to my other challenge posts, click here
For those interested in revisiting my 2016 challenge post for W, here’s the link: Snapshot – Wadi Rum