Rainy (shopping) day

The temperature dropped by 10 degrees centigrade and it is raining hard today. Good thing we did our extensive sightseeing yesterday, so today we can go shopping.Just next to the central station there’s the fairly new shopping mall: Zlote Tarasy (Golden Terrace). It was opened in 2007 and has 200 stores on five floors.

Most notable is the glass roof, which is supposed to look like waves.

I found the bathrooms noteable too.


A lot of the stores are the same as in Germany and there are a few that I know from other countries already and some unknown ones as well. While the husband enjoyed the free wifi I bought some shirts, a couple of belts and a handbag. 


The bag I had seen on a girl at Posnan station an the way here. I even pointed it out – and now I own one too – and it was on sale!

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Warszawa

Arrival and hotel

Arriving felt strange at first with all the unreadable signs and unintelligable language, but (too) soon you feel right at home with all the familiar places around you- from Starbuck’s to Subway to McDonald’s – and once you are outside the station you have banks and office buildings with the familiar logos on top.

We are residing in one of those hotels too and the welcome was not quite as warm as we would have expected – having heard so much about the famous Polish hospitality. Being asked for ID first thing certainly makes you think of other places than a hotel.

We took the great tour with the lift up to the top floor (stopping at every second or third one) before finally correctly applying the key card and pressing the button for our floor.

The room is great and even has a view (partly at least) of the Palace of Culture, Warszawa’s unliked, Soviet-built weddingcake-style landmark.

The city

We did it all (about 18k of walking – ca 25’000-30’000 steps: depending on the count on my or the husband’s phone)!

The old town, the new town, the river, the modern parts… and I don’t know where the people have been that call Warszawa the ugliest capital in Europe. It’s pretty and it is unique. It might not all be fresh and scrubbed, in places it is old and a little run down and a lot of buildings could do with a little color other than the common greys and browns, but every city district has its own charm and atmosphere – and sometimes it just means crossing one street and being somewhere different.

Palace square with Sigismund column:

Old town market square with the siren, another Warszawa landmark:

New town market square and Memorial for the heroes of the Warzsaw uprising in 1944:

Memorial for the heroes of the ghetto and Museum of Jewish History:

Remembering the Warzsaw ghetto:

Palace of Culture, skysrapers and Central Station with shopping mall:

The royal palace, the river Vistula and our favorite snacks:

On the road… ehm… track

I’ve come to like the landscape. It’s empty, but wide open, beautiful even in the evening sunshine – with small villages here and there and those very strange looking names with lots of s and z and c.


Language and translation are always interesting…

Even though we are only a few hours away from home, it feels different here. Foreign – like you want to get off at the next station and stay for a while and soak up the quiet and slow atmosphere.

The compartment is somehow nostalgic too, with curtains and you can open the windows (a little), but you also have power outlets at every seat and free wifi (obviously).

The loco is hooting all the time, also something you don’t really hear anymore on long-distance trains in Germany.

Berlin-Warszawa-Express

Our annual city trip is taking us due East this year. We are headed to Poland’s capital Warszawa on the Eurocity train connecting the city with Berlin four times a day. It’s a 5 1/2 hour train ride, which we only started in Frankfurt/Oder, the border town on the Oder river – using the classic mobility mix of street and rail.



We almost failed in the parking garage already and had to look very hard for coins (and coins only) to pay for a three-day-ticket.


Crossing over the Oder and entering another country might have been the most exciting part of the journey already – we’ve only seen fields and woods since.


In a couple of hours we’ll check out the dining car though…