Tuesday, A Day of Chance

After a much needed night of sleep, we woke up around 6:30 AM to be ready to head to the airport for our flight to Warsaw. We grabbed breakfast at the airport before boarding our plane, and then were in the air for about an hour and a half before landing in Warsaw around 11:30. After grabbing our bags we hopped in a taxi and headed to the hostel we'll be staying at until Friday morning. The room for the four of us girls wasn't quite ready yet, so we decided to try to find a pottery shop we had talked about in one of our meetings.

On our way to the bus station, we stumbled upon a beautiful park called the Saxon Garden. There were lots of colorful flowers, a sun dial from 1863, and a large fountain. At one end of the park there was a large monument and at the other was Poland's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It was really cool to see another country's memorial for their unknown soldiers, but there were some very noticeable differences between theirs and ours in the US. The most noticeable was the soldiers' movements. They were looking around and fidgeting, but it didn't seem to be a big deal. In the US, we expect our soldiers to stand completely still and never misstep. Jordyn pointed out that it is drilled into us even in marching band that we should be as still as a rock.

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After we had walked through the park, we got back on track to the bus station. We bought day-long tickets for the five of us and then found our bus and headed to the address we had found for the pottery shop. The address we found, however, wasn't right. We ended up in a section of town called Praga. After realizing we weren't in the right place, we decided to get some lunch before heading back where we came from. Because the restaurant we chose was in a part of town that tourists don't usually go, the menus were in Polish with no English translation. We struggled to read through it a little bit, and then asked the guy behind the counter to help us out. Along with his mom, who owned the restaurant with her husband, he helped translate the menu for us. They were a wonderful family and they really went above and beyond to accommodate for our lack of facility with the Polish language. Even though we got there by accident, it ended up making a wonderful memory!

After lunch, we headed back to our hostel and got our room. Then we went in to Old Town, a very historical part of Warsaw. During World War II, 95% of Old Town was completely destroyed but was rebuilt after the war. We visited lots of shops, saw lots of statues, and climbed up the "Taras Widokowy", or "The Viewing Terrace." We also saw a march. In 2010, there was a plane crash that killed a lot of Polish officials. Apparently it was really foggy and they couldn't see to land the plane. The official story is that the president told them to land even though they had said it wasn't a good idea; but some think it was caused by Russia and then covered up. The marchers were remembering those dead as well as protesting and demanding to know the truth. There were police everywhere! It was very cool to get to see the march happen, even though we couldn't understand anything that was spoken. We got to learn a little about the history of the country and see it in action, and it was never planned!

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We ended the day by getting kebab for dinner. It was absolutely delicious, and a perfect way to finish off our first day in Warsaw!

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Comments

  1. The most noticeable was the soldiers' movements. They were looking around and fidgeting, but it didn't seem to be a big deal. very beautifull pictures cute
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  6. It's great to see you all making the most of your first day in Warsaw, Sarah! While you might not have found the pottery shop, stumbling upon the beautiful Saxon Garden and learning about the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier sounds like a wonderful experience. The encounter with the kind family at the restaurant is a heartwarming example of local hospitality, and I'm sure you'll appreciate their kindness for a long time. Experiencing the march, even without fully understanding the language, must have been a unique way to learn about Polish history and current events. It sounds like you're off to a fantastic and immersive trip
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