The raw energy of a city is compelling, even if a little intimidating. Riding into Warsaw on the airport bus, my eyes were on stalks, collecting impressions on every side. Such a bustling, modern city, the buildings twisting and turning to point to the blue sky overhead. Anxiety was swept away by excitement. I was here! And I stepped from the bus into the warmth of Meg’s arms, those lovely eyes twinkling at me. All angst was neatly deposited in Meg’s backpack- my tour guide for a day, found!
Turning from her momentarily, the beaming smile of Gilly reached me from across the square, as she descended the steps of the Palace of Culture and Science, arm in arm with her friend Lindy. Gaggling like geese, we blindly followed Meg as she led us from the centre to a restaurant. Puzzling over the menu, we laughed when the wicker basket of knifes and forks arrived, bearing chopsticks in an elegant green wrapper. My efforts to eat my noodle laden broth produced more smiles, along with the slurps. Two thirds of the way through our meal, a mighty crash of thunder and coin drops of rain pounded our table. The wide, creamy umbrellas over the tables were scarcely adequate. More merriment and we scrambled indoors.
In no time, the sun was blazing through the open windows again. Meg was recovering from a heavy cold, and starting to wilt a little, having been tour guiding all day and shown the ladies lovely Stare Miasto in the morning. Lindy was struggling too, which left me and Gilly to get up to mischief. Arrangements were made for early next morning, and Meg deposited us at our hotel. A swift cuppa, and it was time to hit the streets. Already it was 6.30 on a warm Warsaw evening. Fortunately, Gilly was not at all critical of my reckless tour guiding style. Of course the bus would take us to the river! And so it did, with just a little walking involved.
The road stretched ahead, seemingly endless, the traffic buzzing past, the architecture varied and interesting. On the horizon we could see a stadium, which we knew to be on the other side of the river. Praga was not advisable after dusk, I was informed, but reaching the river the greater challenge was to get down to the riverside. With the agility of a monkey, Gilly swung around the barrier and scrambled along the bank, hand over hand along the railings. I followed, more sedately, concerned for my pretty, navy city shoes.
Nobody seemed to notice, and I was immediately at home, with a young crowd blithely enjoying the throng of beach bars, deck chairs and food stalls. Boats bobbed serenely, while overhead trams clanged past and bikes dominated the footpath.
Appetising smells beguiled my nose, but a drink seemed more pressingly urgent, in the sultry evening air. Dusk was beginning to fall, the warmth felt heavy with insects and an awareness that we were far from home. How to get back on the bridge presented something of a challenge, but I dared a few words of Polish and waved my arms at the bridge. The two young men politely gestured to where the steps were hidden. Gilly and I agreed that we would not have chanced it after dark.
What else? Hop another bus to take us nearer to the centre, a little judicious food purchasing and a bit of naughty jay walking. Subways can get tedious, can’t they? But please don’t tell. I’d hate to be in trouble with the authorities. The bottle top on my cider didn’t look promising, but it did unscrew. I had no spoon for the delicious yogurt though. Collapsed in my room with just my diary for company, I really didn’t care.
I hope you enjoyed our adventure. I really didn’t intend to post today, but realising that next Monday I will be on my way to the Algarve, and that I have a fine collection of your walks ready to share, I thought it best. Meantime, I’ll be off to see my daughter in Nottingham on Thursday. And yes, I did manage to get those tickets reprinted. Thank you all for your concern.
Where will we find Lady Lee this week?
A treat or two in store, from lovely Sherri. Anyone else get to the Bash?
A bargain ‘two for one’ from Anabel, and both just a short walk apart :
A glimpse of ‘that’ wedding and lots more food, from Jackie :
When Sue shows willing, you simply have to sit up and take notice :
‘Join the fun!’ says Jesh. You know you want to :
Suzanne delights me with fossils, shells and a little Autumn gold :
Calvi and Honfleur- two of the most scenic of places, shared by Drake :
Remember my lovely rhododendrons? Eunice has found me some more :
And Carol turns up some interesting treasure of her own :
How do you think of New York? Jane’s wonderful photos show us it’s calmer side :
And a wonderfully scenic hike with Cathy ends in tears, but don’t worry- she’s ok!
Not too very sure when I’ll be posting again. Life does seem a little hectic. Meanwhile, enjoy the sunshine, thanks for your company, and I’ll visit you all as soon as I can.