Photographer's Note

from the Sauntering 2000- travelogue:
German engineering and precision has only let me down once and today was the day. Some delays in the underground subway in the East Berlin area of town caused me to miss my bus, which left for Estonia exactly as scheduled (unlike half the international buses from London).

The next bus on my travel pass wasn't available for another four days, so I ran off to the train station to see if I could start moving in the right direction (further East) anyway. There was an overnight to Warsaw.

It was my first time in a sleeper car, which I had been looking forward to trying at some time on this trip. While I can hardly sleep or enjoy a moment on an overnight bus (or airplane), a train with a bed makes a fun ride and a decent rest. Just brush your teeth in the morning and you're ready to go in the new town!

I met a friendly Polish girl who was glad to find she didn't end up in a room with the half drunken Russian men, who apparently go through the same cycle every week: work the week in Berlin, go home to Poland to spend it all and then show up for work broke the next week.

The Polish, by the way, aren't that friendly with Germans or Russians due to war history. Speak a word of German in a Polish pub and you might not get served!

Warsaw was brutally destroyed during WWII. Three major districts were flattened, then the Nazis went through to the rest of the city on a house by house path of destruction. Half the city population perished and nearly all the Jews ended up in death camps.

Given that, the old town has been amazingly reconstructed from the rubble and is the only worthy place to appreciate the architecture. Out side this area exists miles of the most boring structures ever built: communist era apartment blocks. Nothing will make you appreciate colored house paint so much or lead you to fine so much originality in your own house (that is, of course, unless you live here).

Warsaw is a practical major transportation hub, but from what Iíve read and been told by Polish people Iíve met on the go, Warsaw is far from the best of Poland. I will return to Poland for a look at a major Southern Polish city in August with some American friends.

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Additional Photos by Dan Bachmann (danbachmann) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 274 W: 31 N: 400] (1746)
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