The train from Krakow takes only a few hours and we arrive in Warsaw late Wednesday evening. We sit in a cabin of six with a girl and this strange guy. We first met him on the train from the salt mine. He has Long hair and a suit. We later meet him and sit in the same compartment as him. During the trip he pics up a magazine about trains which he studies the entire three hour trip, when he is not talking on the phone (that is when he manages to answer) and later when getting off he puts the magazine back in its plastic wrapper.
Getting off the train we walk to where we are suppose to stay, Chmielna Guest House on Chmielna street. Getting here we realize that we missed that the reception is at Nowy Swiat and the New World Hostel. In a way it doesn´t matter since then we get to go down Chmielna street and it is kind of an adventure in itself. With vegan food, 100 % natural, handmade, hip asian food places and more on the same street we feel convinced that we ended up in backpacking heaven. Dragging ourself up tons of stairs we get to the reception and get our key along with restaurant and hipster areas/ scouting suggestions.
”The hipster subculture typically consists of white millennials living in urban areas. The subculture has been described as a ”mutating, trans-Atlantic melting pot of styles, tastes and behavior” and is broadly associated with indieand alternative music, a varied non-mainstream fashion sensibility (including vintage and thrift store-bought clothes), generally progressive political views, organic and artisanal foods, and alternative lifestyles. Hipsters are typically described as affluent or middle class young Bohemians who reside in gentrifying neighborhoods.” (if you are to believe Wikipedia)
We have some non meat sashimi ramen and then go to bed.
Warsaw have a variety of food and Martin is curious of the polish food after having great experience of good and cheap food in Krakow. We start our day with the traditional Milk bar or in Swedish called Mjölkbar. Today a non existing phenomena in Sweden. We have eggs and pancakes, coffee and bread and it doens´t cost much. The Milk bar is situated at Krucza street.
Later during the day Martin test Ruski pirogi and I have some hipster veg food and lemonade at the same time getting the idea for new balcony furniture.
Fotoplasticon and the Etnographic museum
After breakfast we continue down the street to something called Fotoplasticon, a weird device created in the 19 th century for some 3D effect in photos. It does work though and for twenty minutes we get to experience early 20 th century photos of Warsaw in 3D.
After a quick twenty minutes at the Fotoplasticon we continue to the ethnographic museum. The ethnographic museum has a very lovely cafe but that is basically all. Some of the collection is interesting but there is basically none. I was surprised on how little it was.
Open air photo-exhibitions.
Continuing back towards the starting point, our hotel, we head up the street Nowy Swiat towards the old city of Warsaw. The old city is on the World Heritage List. It was completely or almost completely destroyed during ww2 but rebuild and along its walls hang a photo exhibition with text about the work on the west side wall.
On the way towards the old town we pass Cafe Bristol that was established at 1901, in the park outside they have a photo exhibition of reprints of old Warsaw photographers. Martin find some free wifi and I stroll the exhibition reading about the old photographers. Especially one catch my eye, Karol Beyer. He was put in Siberian prison due to his political acts as a photographer in the 19 th century.
The Old City of Warzaw
Arriving in the old city we look at the view from a terrass located at the south of the old town, where the street Nowy Swiat ends. The view is magnificent. Throughout our backpacking journey Martin and I have traveled on one normal ticket and one student and this has worked in all countries and on trains, Martin only using his Swedish uni card. This is until we came to the terass looking out over the old city of Warsaw. Here they only accepted polish student cards for a reduced fee, which is funny in a way since the cost were somewhat like 5 zloty for full price. I wondered how much you could have saved with a polish student card then?
After the view over the city we continue to the middle of the old city and the mermaid of Warsaw, the symbol of the city and every tourist favorite destination. Or? During our time sitting there around a hundred tourist or maybe more walked by taking photos of the mermaid, so it must be the definitive favorite.
We spend the rest of our day buying some summer clothes for Martin and looking at people before hopping on the nighttrain to swinoujscie.