Other parts of the city

After visiting the folk art exhibition, I discover that the Gromada, built for country groups visiting Warsaw under communism, is still functioning as a hotel. So of course I book myself in for a night. It’s an odd mix of grand marble staircases and folk art decorations. My room provides darkness and silence, both in short supply in the apartment, and its location a new neighborhood to suss out. 

The main resident of the plaza outside the Gromada, apart from the installers of Christmas lights and a few rugged-up pedestrians, is Napoleon, designated Wielkiemu wodzowi, the Great Chief according to my translation app. Napoleon created the Duchy of Warsaw and with it the hope that Polish sovereignty and borders would be restored after it had been divvied up between Russia, Prussia and Austria in 1772. My first translation of the words on the bottom of the plinth suggested he’d been recycled, which startled me a bit. Further investigation, and I realise that the statue had probably been moved from elsewhere. 

I ramble around side streets and find artisan beer, cheek by jowl with a Solidarity office, shadows and a seriously rusted padlock.

Distressed brickwork is in the same block as the gracious Philharmonie building, built in 1900, burnt down in 1939, rebuilt in the socialist-realist style in the 1950s, where I discover another program to tap into for my evening musical pleasures.

The sun is shining but I’m uneager to walk much and definitely averse to going inside, so I hop on a tram to ride it to its terminus. It takes me across the river and out into the suburbs, passing the vast Gródno cemetery, and finally to an industrial area, a reminder that all Warsaw is not its centre.

Near the city tram stop is a building site, with historical photos on its hoarding, a history of the area from its grand days to the destruction of World War 2.

Making my way back to the hotel to check out, I pass a lion perched high and supercilious at the junction of two buildings.  The fish market which was setting up as I watched the elevation of the Christmas lights is now busy: fish frying, curries bubbling and fresh fish, bottled fish, tinned fish, prepared fish offering themselves for purchase.

As I look over today’s ramble I remember back to this day last year and wonder at the vagaries of my life – and at my faulty memory. I could have sworn I spent the day looking for orchids in the bush at Congo and brunching on beer and wraps near the beach.

About morselsandscraps

A retired Australian who spends a lot of time in Warsaw, and blogs as a way of life.
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11 Responses to Other parts of the city

  1. restlessjo says:

    Oops- did I end up in your Trash there? My comment disappeared 😦


  2. Lucid Gypsy says:

    I’m glad you posted about the hotel, you mentioned it the other day and I couldn’t get my head around it! Fascinating place, an eclectic mix of goodies. Did you choose any lunch fish in the market? I doubt I’d be able to. It must be so good to have leisure to explore the wider city. Happy Monday Meg 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sue says:

      Glad I wasn’t the only on puzzled about the reference to a hotel, Gilly!


    • I’m a bit mystified that the hotel mystified. I’ll go back to the fish market. I fancy a curry. But on Friday I’d just eaten breakfast and I was lunching with my daughter. Leisure is something I have lots of. It was a bit hard to find something special to do for my birthday when every day is special and available for my pleasure! Happy Monday to you too. My life is richer for your presence in it.


  3. Sue says:

    What a splendid idea, Meg! More of Warsaw at your feet!


    • Do you mean the tram? The hotel? The tram is my version of hop on hop off – something to do on the days where I don’t feel like doing anything. I find new parts of the city to explore in a variety of ways. On Saturday, an exhibition on Polish housing post communism took me out to the vast brick buildings of the Filtry, and on Sunday I discovered another place to go described on the back of the loo door in Złoty Tarasy!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Heyjude says:

    The fish market looks enticing. I wonder how pricey that salmon is. And I think it is a splendid idea to treat oneself to a hotel for the night – and I have obviously missed your birthday! When?


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