Vignettes from a morning walk

This going out and about early is becoming a habit, and so is just wandering around to see what I can see, maybe with a vague goal. This morning I’m heading for the Mirowski markets. However, I’m more than willing to ramble off in another direction if I see something interesting.


Ul Próżna is billed by lonely planet (thank you, Sue) as an “eerie and incongruous survivor of WW 2”. That may have been the case once, but now it’s been renovated, all except one building of splendid dilapidation, which is also under threat. 



I’ve visited the Palace of Culture and Science often, and once even painstakingly circumambulated its arrogant vastness. I am drawn off course by the sight of it framed by trees and fronted by a fountain, an aspect I haven’t encountered before. In the early morning light-and-shade it even has a certain charm. Lime trees move towards their apotheosis of bloom; lions spurt water into the fountain; men sit lazily on the benches; a bee buzzes from flower to flower (reminding me that there are hives on the top of the Gift); and a statue commemorates Janusz Korczak who accompanied the orphans in his care to the death chamber at Treblinka in 1942.


At the end of Ul Próźna is a church and a landscaped square with gardens, seats and a water feature, a beautifully tranquil foreground for the church it shares the square with. Pope John Paul presides at the top of the church stairs, with lanterns of devotion at his feet, and as worshippers pass they reach out an almost inadvertent hand to touch him.


Always in Warsaw, reminders of history, against the background of modern glass and metal buildings. December 13, 1981 was the day the communists declared martial law as their response to Solidarity: 10 000 people arrested and 100 killed.


The real goal of my morning stroll is the market, the first in my planned tour of markets in Warsaw. I am ready for a photo-feast but I’m daunted by the formidable look of the stallholders and my lack of Polish. However, I feel free to steal images of the buildings, dating from the early 20th century, although only the walls were left standing after the Warsaw Uprising. The Germans conducted civil executions here and you can still see bullet holes if you know where to look. There is a story that Margaret Thatcher shopped at the market in 1988: she bought vegetables and dried mushrooms.  (Source:

I prowl the aisles, scrutinising vegetables with a professional eye, once a market gardener with a stall at the local growers’ market. I’m spoilt for choice and finally buy tiny new potatoes, dill, spring onions, rhubarb stalks obligingly cut in half, a very white cauliflower. I note egg stalls, including speckled quail eggs; stalls selling a vast variety of cheeses; piles of bread; rows and rows of flowers; and pots of herbs just asking to be taken home for our windowsill herb garden. 

It’s 8 am when I head back to the apartment, along densely shaded pathways into the sun that is beginning to burn down.

About morselsandscraps

A retired Australian who spends a lot of time in Warsaw, and blogs as a way of life.
This entry was posted in early morning, photos and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Vignettes from a morning walk

  1. Lucid Gypsy says:

    There seems to be an endless range of lovely parks and outdoor spaces in Warsaw and now you’re going to do market, that makes me very happy x 🙂 x


    • I Must have a nose for parks. I saw another patch of dense trees in an unexpected direction from the tram yesterday. As for markets, I need to become fluent in courage and “may I take photos?”. I’ve just missed one closely which featured Italian food. It packed up and disappeared the day before I planned to visit. You’re responsible for this market urge as I remember!


  2. Tish Farrell says:

    There’s nothing like early morning exploring in a city not your own. The light is captivating. I felt I was prowling with you. The Janusz Korczak memorial is very moving.


    • There are so many moving stories amongst the horror stories of Warsaw. Early morning exploring anywhere is pure pleasure, even on the beach that is my own! I’m planning my Gdańsk visit on the premise that I’ll be up and about long before breakfast. Accommodation in the centre of town means I can break the day into three and retreat for a doze between times.

      Thank you very much for your prowling company.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. restlessjo says:

    I think that’s the best shot of the Palace of Culture I’ve seen, Meg. Beautifully framed. 🙂 Then you had me going off willy nilly on a tangent to Culture.Pl. Bees on the roof? 🙂 🙂 Then the article on post war buildings entrapped and confused me somewhat. Back to your fountains. I like those! 🙂 I know what you mean about stallholders. I always feel hesitant about getting up close and personal with their radishes 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That site is a treasure house: I loved the article on perceptions of Poland through photos. And I love “up close and personal with radishes”. I too like the photo of the monstrosity, and can’t believe I missed this aspect of it from the other side: Viveka had a contrasting beauty of it in purple glory in a recent post. Happy Wedensday with hugs.

    (This one for next Monday?)


  5. pommepal says:

    I am impressed how much you fitted in before 8am. You must’ve been out and about very early.The light is very good for photography at that time


  6. Heyjude says:

    Stop! This is far too much for me to take in. You could write half a dozen posts about the morning’s adventures. Love the dilapidation montage; absolutely astounding when enlarged. Then there is Stalin’s gift looking splendid framed by the fountain. I looked for the bee hives but couldn’t spot them. And the market… I really do miss my Ludlow market. Especially my egg lady and the marmalade and chutney lady. The flowers and the vegetables in your market are wonderful…


    • I was displeased with myself for not getting more than surreptitious photos of the stalls. Next time. As for a number of posts, there aren’t enough days, and I’m trying to show the diversity of a few hours strolling. I’ve just written another set of vignettes from yesterday.

      I was going to ask whether there was anything about Ludlow you were missing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Heyjude says:

        I know that feeling! So much to talk about but not enough time to do it justice. Maybe I need to just post a photo a day! And yes, Ludlow. I miss the market and the butcher and being able to amble along around the castle. I became very fond of that town even though it wasn’t a place I intended to be in. But now I have the beaches, the countryside, the cows!


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