BH in Warsaw

Jun 24th, 2002, 11:09 AM
Ben Haines
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BH in Warsaw

This is a quiet evening in Riga, as Latvians are just finishing their midsummer public holiday. I am in bed and breakfast in a flat where use of the internet is part of the (cheap) package. So let’s start with Warsaw. I was just a day there. I arrived on the through sleeper from Hanover, which I had to myself alone, very restful. Happily it ran late, so I had a long night and the Polish sleeping car company’s free light breakfast, and left the train at ten. I dropped bags, bought that night’s ticket, and took the bus to the National Museum. They have fine collections of Dutch painting from the Golden Age, including a Rembrandt, and of fifteenth century altarpieces, usually with central carved pictures, always gilt. (Yesterday, Sunday, in Tallinn I was kneeling by one of these pictures to take the Eucharist, and was startled to find myself directly in line with a fifteenth century German donor). I lunched in the gallery, and took a bus to a small museum of Polish history 1918 to 1945. Most of it I didn’t understand, but it was nice to be in a former museum of the history of Lenin. I had 70 minutes, so could fit in a tour in a cycle rickshaw around the Old Town. This cost three US dollars for the hour, excellent value, and no small relief to my tired right ankle and left knee.

I have changed my mind. Till now I have said that Adolf Hitler won, that his deliberate destruction of Warsaw block by block after the Rising in 1944 means that Warsaw is not now a rewarding place to visit. I no longer think this true. The old town is flourishing, and gives a sense of life that I have never felt there before. The rickshaw took me to the door of the Royal Castle, wholly rebuilt a frew years ago, where a chamber orchestra gave us ninety minutes of Mozart. It was down to be a 70 minute concert, but they played beautifully, and we persuaded them to give two encores, before the conductor said that after such hard work, on that hot evening, he hoped we would forgive their leaving. The hall was an ante-chamber to the Throne Room, gloriously done out in white and fresh gold, Baroque at its best. So downstairs, over the square, and by bus to the Central Statiion, where I had a quick supper and boarded the sleeper to Vilnius.

Ben Haines
Jun 24th, 2002, 11:43 AM
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Thank you for a lovely glimpse of Warsaw.

In the National Museum, besides works by Dutch masters,anythingelse interesting?

Looking forward to your impressions of Vilnius and Tallinn. Any interesting oldtown? Did you take trains all the way? How were they compared to trains in other countries?

How did people celebrate midsummer day in Riga?
Jun 24th, 2002, 11:50 AM
Jaime Torres
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Hello Ben!!

I need your help with somethibg in warsaw. I was in warasw about two years ago! In the oldtown market place I remenber a store wich use to sold nazi & soviet memorablia. For what I can remember it should be in the right side of the plaza . It's stil there? if for any reason you saw it!

Thanks in advance
Jun 25th, 2002, 07:10 AM
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It's nice to read such a report for a change.
Jun 25th, 2002, 12:36 PM
Ben Haines
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For Judy: As well as the Dutch pictures, the National Museum had a fine collection of fifteenth century altarpieces, Rheinish and Silesian, and a well-chosen handful of Deutsche Romantik.

Polish sleepers are on the usual model of the International Fedrration of European Railways, and are clean and comfortable. They took me from Hanover to Warsaw and from Warsaw to Vilnius,

Mr Torres: I am sorry: I saw nothing on these lines, but then I was not looking out for anything.

Jun 25th, 2002, 03:45 PM
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I just read that Estonia folk music is a kind of their national identity, has carried the history through all the suppressed centuries. Did you have any chance to experience any while in Tallinn?
Jun 25th, 2002, 04:49 PM
Uncle Sam
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We stayed at the Marriott and Warsaw appeared to be a very sterile. big city with Siemens, IBM, etal signs around everywhere.

We went to old town and we were amazed that they could rebuild the place so exact to the original based only upon photographs. Nice restaurants and shops, the old town made Warsaw worth the visit.

Jun 25th, 2002, 05:12 PM
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Thanks Ben. We did not have much time in Warsaw but did enjoy it. Enjoyed the old town and just down the street from old town is the house where Marie Currie was born, now a museum. It was also interesting. Enjoyed hearing your perspective on Warsaw.
Jun 29th, 2002, 09:06 AM
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topping, for fans of Ben
Jun 29th, 2002, 09:15 PM
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