Kate's Travel Blog

Friday, June 10, 2005


The weather on Wednesday was awful, it rained for all of the day - the first bad weather we've had in 2½ weeks, aren't we lucky! We decided to attempt to find Pawiak prison, a prison built during Tsarist occupation and used excessively during Nazi occupation. After spending ages retrapcing our steps from the previous day we gave up and decided to go inside to the Royal Castle (palace) Museum. The palace was lovely, it reminded us of the Residenz in Munich. The only problems there were the hundreds of school kids and not all the information was translated into English which made it difficult to understand everything. Interestingly we recognised several portraits of English/British monarchs, namely Henry VIII, Charles I, Charles II & George III.

Yesterday (Thursday) the weather was much much nicer, although still a little chillier than the other countries we have visited. We decided to look for the prison again and with the sun shining we found it much easier. The guard was very friendly and so excited that we were English that he was showing us all the comments made in English in his guestbook. The prison itself was really good. It told the history of the prison, first as a prison under Tsarist occupation and later Nazi along side the development of WW2. Many personal stories were also told including one prisoner who met Himmler whilst imprisoned there. When Himmler asked him what his crime was he replied that he would like to ask him the same question. To this Himmler responded that the prisoner had betrayed his homeland and the prisoner retorted that he never had. As a response to this 'defiance' Himmler ordered the annihilation of the prisoner's whole family.

We ate lunch in the 'expensive' castle square but everything is soooo cheap here! Wendy is becoming addicted to the Polish delicacy Pierogi, which is a type of dumpling with assorted fillings.

After lunch we visited the Historical Museum of Warsaw which is surprisingly huge! There are many sections from the archaeological beginnings to the Warsaw uprising and concludes with how Warsaw has rebuilt itself after WW2 to the present.

Today we have had a rather frustrating day! We got up early so we could do lots of sightseeing and do some shopping. The weather has been so lovely again that we thought nothing could stop us. We first set out in search of the Gesapo House of Horrors, but on finding the street it was on there was no museum to be seen, so after wandering around for a while (& finding a post office to post our cards) we decided to look for the other museum we planned to see (which incidentally was over the other side of Warsaw). Again we found the street it was supposed to be on, but no museum. So after about 4 hours of walking we decided to get some lunch and ask the staff. They weren't very helpful so we decided to have one last look before heading back to our hostel. Nevertheless, we had a walk around parts of Warsaw which we wouldn't have otherwise seen :)

We fly to Stockholm in the morning and are getting a taxi all the way to the airport as it will only cost us 5 pounds!!!

The hostel here is ironically the nicest and friendliest we have stayed in (even if the maps aren't great and they have no signposts!!). Everyone here is really friendly. Most other guests are travelling alone (and are in their 20s or even 40s!) and are eager to get to know other people. We really have met people from all over the world here: Australia, New Zealand, America, Spain, England (of course), Spain, Germany and even Iran!!! Certainly is an international hostel!

Take Care
Love Kate xxx