Sunday, May 26, 2013

May 26: Krakow to Warsaw

Today, we reached our final destination of our two-week journey: Warsaw, Poland. After waking up late like usual and rushing through breakfast, we all checked out of our hotel and made our way to the Krakow train station. After shocking our drivers with the size of everyone’s luggage, we reached the train station and boarded our train to the Polish capital.

Throughout our three hour train ride, we attempted to sleep, played games, and took pictures. Along with this, Jon took it upon himself to poke us with his sharp pen since he was just so bored….I have the marks to prove this. Eventually, after we unbelievably arrived early in Warsaw and had to wait and stand in the aisle of the train as three Polish men crawled over us like a jungle gym, we left the train and got into our Benz vans since we’re such high rollers.

Next, we arrived to our hotel (which has great wifi!!) and were actually able to check in right away. After an hour to get settled into our rooms, we made our way to the lobby to begin our walking tour of Warsaw. Our tour guide, who we decided to name Woody since we did not hear his name, met us at our hotel and took us on the tram to the Old Town Square. Here, he led us through a number of historical sites and gave us some background on them. Along with this, we made our way up over one hundred and forty steps to the top of a bell tower in the square. Up here we had a bird’s eye view of the entire area as we tried to stay away from the rusty railing (even though Woody kept leaning on it). A point that really stuck out to me from Woody’s tour was how the Swedes were the first to ever sack Warsaw and practically burn it to ground. Now, we all know this has unfortunately been the situation for Warsaw a number of other times throughout history (poor Poland L). Towards the end of our tour, it began to rain on us….which seems to be a common theme throughout our time here in Europe. Due to the weather conditions, we had to cut our walking tour short and head to dinner.

The group had to split up and go to two restaurants. The restaurant that I ended up at seemed like a giant coloring book with outlines of tables, flowers, and animals on the walls, tables, and chairs. Here, we had kopytka with gulash, which is a traditional Polish dish. After dinner, we all went to an ice cream shop and then made our way back to our hotel, completing our first day in Warsaw.

- Chris Minitelli

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